” Then one day, James’s mother and father went to London to do some shopping, and there a terrible thing happened. Both of them suddenly got eaten up (in full daylight, mind you, and on a crowded street) by a enormous angry rhinoceros which had escaped from the London Zoo.”
Welcome to the grand story telling of Roald Dahl. Please leave logic, facts and truth at the door. Open your eyes and your mind and get ready for a flight to remember in James And The Giant Peach.
Our hero, James Henry Trotter is thus orphaned right at the beginning at the tender age of four. He finds himself in the care of his aunts Sponge and Spiker, one fat as a balloon and the other thin as flint, united however in their meanness of spirit and their vile behaviour towards James. Thus James grows under the constant taunts and endless chores, with never a kind word or deed directed at him.
“They never called him by his real name, but always referred to him as ‘you disgusting little beast’ or ‘you filthy nuisance’ or ‘you miserable creature’, and they certainly never gave him any toys to play with or any picture books to look at. His room was as bare as a prison cell.’
We almost resign ourselves to hear the sad story of James, when we find him meeting a small old man who we never meet in the story again. He gives James green, rice like things which the old man says are made of a thousand crocodile tongues, boiled skull of a witch mingled with the eyeballs of a lizard, monkey fingers, pig gizzard, parrot beak, porcupine juice and three spoonfuls of sugar. Handing this to James and telling him to take care not to drop it. He instructs James to mix it with water and drink it after which ‘marvellous, fabulous and unbelievable’ things will happen to him.
Unfortunately James does drop the magic bits. The next day James and his aunts discover a gigantic peach in their garden. James enters it to meet a large cheeky centipede, a silkworm, a musical grasshopper, a lovely ladybird, a spider and a glow-worm. They decide to roll off the garden, with a little help from centipede’s mandibles.
The giant peach starts its momentous journey by rolling over aunt Sponge and Striker and rendering them flat. On and on the giant peach rolled, with this unlikely bunch, each with their own oddities and whims.
From the garden to the sea, the sea to the sky, sky to the Empire State building and then finally to Central Park. I’m sure you are curious to know what happened on the journey and how James and his travel companions arrived at their happy endings. Well, for that you will have to read the book. So fantastic and unbelievable is it that you simply must read it.
James And The Giant Peach is classic Dahl. Child against the world which is often cruel and unfeeling. Like Dahl’s other heroes and heroines James never loses his child like innocence and a lack of harbouring ill-will. He goes with the flow, however fantastic it seems, muddles his way through all the adventures and challenges.
This book has so many interesting facts about spiders, ladybirds and grass-hoppers all told in the most fun way.
Well, what are you waiting for. Jump into James And The Giant Peach and learn more.