'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 18 August 2012

Review: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

An elevator which travels into space, shape-shifting aliens, a floating hotel, wonka-vites that will take you to Minusland? There is only one author that can create such magic. Roald Dahl, of course.

As a child, I remember reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and immediately wanting to read the sequel. But how could any book follow the mouth-watering, delightful world of the chocolate factory? The gobstoppers, Veruca Salt, Mike TV?

However, this wild romp begins right where Charlie and his family left off - inside the glass elevator - and continues to take the reader up, up and beyond. The familiar characters are as loveable as ever, Mr Wonka with outrageous knowledge and ability to make the ordinary completely extraordinary, Charlie’s optimism, the delightful Grandpa Jo and of course the bed-loving, grumpy Grandma Georgina and Mr and Mrs Bucket.

We are launched straight into the action when the gang is shot into space and enters the newly built floating space hotel. The US government mistakes them for aliens and broadcasts their intrusion to the entire world. The drama continues when they are confronted and chased by the infamous, shape-shifting, killing vermicious Knids!

Dahl was reported to have a strong interest in science and space travel and wrote Charlie and Great Glass Elevator just a few years after the moon landing. The story moves along with speed and nail-biting moments, and is peppered with Dahl’s witty humour. There are more ‘adult’ references and jokes in this story than his other books, that children may not to relate to, however, as Dahl knows the key to a good story is its plot and characters, both offer so much entertainment.

It’s no secret many were disappointed with the sequel to the world-famous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, however I found this wild ride as exciting and fulfilling as all his stories. Dahl once said, "Nowadays you can go anywhere in the world in a few hours, and nothing is fabulous any more."

Perhaps that’s why so many all over the world love his books. Each story transports the reader to another world, and is always truly fabulous.

Title: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Author: Roald Dahl
Publisher: Penguin, $16.95 RRP
Publication Date: August 2007
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780142410325
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior fiction