BOOK REVIEWS

James and the Giant Peach Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-27 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 1 user ratings
ISBN:0425287653
LANGUAGE:English

"I shouldn't be allowed to read classic children's literature. My brain simply doesn't appreciate its intended purpose - creativity, imagination, fantasy. Instead, I wonder, "What's the point here?" Sometimes, there is a point, but I think with Ronald Dahl, the focus is placed on the magic and if there happens to be a story in there somewhere in it..so be it.

I borrowed it from the library because it was on the most-commonly-banned-books-in-America shelf and I wondered how the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory could upset so many modest American readers?

I still don't know. Unless there is some upsetting symbolism that went way over my head and would be sure to go over the head of its intended audience, I don't understand how this book could offend anyone but mean, crusty old aunts who don't love and take care of their orphaned nephews.

That being said, I wish I loved this non-controversial story, but I didn't. I thought it was overly strange. Strange in a did-you-write-this-while-tripped-out-on-LCD? kind of way. Giant talking bugs. Living in a peach. Flying over the Atlantic Ocean with the help of string tied onto 501 seagulls via the giant silkworm and spider. Landing on the needle of the Empire State Building in New York. A ladybug marrying a police man (What the?). O.K then.

James was surrounded by mean, nasty aunts and now he's happy and living in a giant peach in New York City's Central Park. Wildly imaginative but famous through the ages?

To make sure it deserved its fame, I had my eight year old son read it (even though the word a** is in it twice. Why did Dahl do that?) and he liked it. He didn't love it. Not because it was strange but because like most things he reads, the characters are magical and the plot bizarre. For him, it seemed almost standard fare. When he finished, he handed it back to me and I asked, "Did you like it?" "Yeah." That's it. No buzz. No acting out parts of the story and certainly no regurgitating details from it like he does with some of his other books.

I guess we're just a bunch of fuddy-duddies around here because I found nothing extraordinary about James and the Giant Peach except it's eccentricity.
" said.

"I can't seem to stop reading books by Roald Dahl! :D

This time it's about a boy whose parents die so he has to live with two aunts, who are terrible people. They constantly mistreat him and keep him from meeting other children.
Just one small note here: Why are the bad people in Roald Dahl's stories always either enormously fat or very long and thin?! It's a constant throughout his stories and I wonder if there is a special reason that can be found in his life's story?!

Another note here: A boy losing his parents having to live with ghastly relatives and his name is James Henry Trotter ... am I reading too much into this?!


Anyway, one day there is sort of a miracle, making a peach on a tree in his aunts' garden grow (and to an enormous size too). Inside, James meets a lot of insects and soon they go on a trip together. Yes, this book basically is a giant road trip story.


Again, the author demonstrates his huge ability to come up with the most fantastic events, funny rhymes and songs and he invented quite some marvellous creatures in this book.
The one star I deducted, by the way, was because I didn't like (view spoiler)" said.

"I remember when this book was read to me by my fifth grade teacher during our daily story time hour. I also remember hating that teacher because he played favorites to a group of girls that bullied me. However, despite my obvious distaste for the class and its inhabitants, I largely attribute that particular teacher for reading out to me some of my most favourite children's books; this particular Roald Dahl was one of them.

In all honesty before re-reading this after some 14 years, the only part of the entire book that I remembered distinctly was the bit with the old man and the word "peculiar" repeated several times (it was the word we had to remember for a test in the class, I believe). So re-reading this was like a new experience, which was just completely exciting for me!

This was such a short, sweet and lovely little book filled with all the classic kid lit tropes, which made it utterly enjoyable and as whimsical and delicious as the peach described in the book! I highly recommend it and I can gladly say that after fourteen years it still remains a favourite.
" said.

"Roald Dahl continues his mission to ruin your child by insisting that a man-sized centipede would not be the most horrifying thing in the world. Centipedes are nightmares, man. Wanna see a foot-long centipede hunting bats? Of course you don't, that's awful.

Anyway, so here's a book about a kid who murders his legal guardians and takes off with his creepy friends. Along the way they meet magical people who make rainbows, and pick a fight with them. When they're done they deface the Empire State Building. As you can imagine, the result of all this is that they get a parade.

There are some great songs in here, too, all of which should be sung to the tune of something by Gilbert & Sullivan.
" said.

"Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC's Big Read Poll of 2003.

The only way to describe this book is "fun". Yeah, it's got whimsy and adventure and imagination and some very Dahlian deaths and the Horrible People with their Horrible Traits, but it's not got that kind of wonderful spirit that some his other books have.

Whilst I'd never say that adults should not read children's books, I personally haven't been getting the same amount of enjoyment from these books as I usually do from books that are written for kids. I think with a lot of these books it's the reputation of the author and his more successful books that holds them up.


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" said.

" This was my first re-read of James and the Giant Peach as an adult. It's still just as great. It's so quirky, and the end is so heartwarming! I can't wait to read it to my child one day. Sidenote: I never realized how many times the word "ass" is in this book. Ha. " said.

" Muy tierno y entretenido.No es lo mejor de Roald, pero sí una excelente aventura. " said.

"خوب بود دنیای جالبی داشت اما از اونجایی که شباهتاش به چارلی و آسانسور شیشه‌ای خیلی زیاد بود یه جاهایی تکراری بود روندش. به هر در مل لذتبخش بود.
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بخش‌های ماندگار کتاب:
شاید ما غرق نمی‌شدیم! شاید هم آن‌قدر ترسیده بودیم که فکر می‌کردیم داریم غرق می‌شویم.
...
در تمام این دنیای ما چیزهای زیادی هست که تو هنوز به آن‌ها فکر نکرده‌ای.
" said.

November 2017 New Book:

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