Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rereading The BFG by Roald Dahl

Sophie couldn't sleep. A brilliant moonbeam was slanting through a gap in the curtains. It was shining right on to her pillow.

The BFG is definitely one of Roald Dahl's most famous novels, after Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda. It is the story of the BFG or the Big Friendly Giant, and a girl named Sophie, who becomes his friend when he takes her away to Giant Land. Sound silly? Perhaps, but like much of Roald Dahl's fiction, it is a really entertaining book, full of whimsy and fun. The BFG is the only nice giant; all the others eat human "beans". When Sophie hears about this, she decides that she and the BFG  must stop them once and for all. She devises a clever plan.

The BFG is one of Roald Dahl's (comparatively) longer children's books, but it is still a quick read, perfect for an afternoon. There are a lot of interesting thoughts and sentiments in the book that the BFG introduces Sophie too, things that she's never even thought about, and that perhaps the reader hasn't ever thought about either.

One cannot write a review of The BFG without commenting on the BFG's peculiar way of speaking. Peculiar and delightful. He is a veritable Mrs. Malaprop, and often mixes up common phrases and expressions. A notable one is "skin and groans" and "Dahl's Chickens" for Charles Dickens or "rack jobinson" for Jack Robinson. The BFG also makes up all sorts of new words by combining suffixes and prefixes of various related words. And of course, just completely random words too.

I loved the ending of this one a lot. It felt right, and it was a happy ending to a marvelous story. I enjoyed rereading The BFG and will continue rereading more of Roald Dahl's work throughout this week. The more I reread, the more I wonder how his adult short stories differ from his work for children. I have great expectations (by Dahl's Chickens) for his short stories.

Read The BFG:
  • if you like Roald Dahl
  • if you like books about giants
  • if you like whimsical tales
208 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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