Monday, January 6, 2014

Matilda by Roald Dahl Illustrated by Quentin Blake

Standalone. Puffin Books (1988) Library
Poor, misunderstood Matilda fights back against an unappreciative world through a hidden talent: Matilda is the world's greatest practical joker! Little effort is needed to put one over on her obnoxious parents, but can shy little Matilda handle the formidable headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and win the respect of every kid in school? Yes!










I didn't realize how wicked Roald Dahl was until I read Matilda. If you notice his other books follow the same format with the lives of his characters. They are usually poor or in misery with their parents or guardians. There are some that aren't like that but his most popular books have a real world edge to them but of course in an exaggerated way. I mean you can reasonably have parents who insult you and could not care about you at all in the real world but more than unlikely is a headmistress like Miss Trunchbull tossing a girl around by her pigtails. I was just surprised while reading Matilda how dark of a story it really is yet what a great little story about a girl who cleverly takes a stand.

Obviously Matilda appealed to the reader side of me (which is a quite large part of me by the way). If I could I would spend as much time as she did in the library reading book to book to book whatever genre it may be. Matilda is remarkably intelligent but her parents ignore her - that or they either don't see how intelligent she is or don't understand her. I thought her brother was going to make more of a presence because I've seen the movie adaption a couple of times and I remember him being distinctively exactly like his parents. In the book he was like them but I think he was a kid who was just following the lead of his parents which was really sad. Why couldn't he be a part of Matilda's world more?

I found this story to be very detailed. I got to know the things Matilda did to get back at her parents and I got to know Matilda herself quite well. I easily was able to absorb her story and get lost in her way of life. I felt like I was waiting forever for her to show off her magic because I knew it was coming eventually. Well I hoped. And it did. Reading the book I was able to know more about where it came from and how it felt to her which was really interesting and weird in a good way. Matilda is truly a classic. I've read two other Roald Dahl books but I haven't quite liked them like Matilda. It might be the little guy (or in this case girl) getting the better of the mean adults and carving a better life for herself or it may simply because she loves to read so much. Whatever the case is I enjoyed escaping to Matilda's world.

13 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm glad you liked it! My daughter got this for Christmas so we are planning on reading it right after we finish Fortunately, the Milk (for the fourth time), Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and The One and Only Ivan (for the second time). I love Roald Dahl. He is one of the most imaginative writers! I haven't read Matilda before, so it will be a new adventure for both my kids and me. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Sweet! I would have loved to have gotten Matilda when I was young. I hope you and your daughter enjoy it.

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  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this =) I always hated the movie Matilda as a kid so it ruined any chance of the books for me.

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    1. Why exactly? I'm guessing it's The Trunchbull.

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  3. You know, I've never read this story and I'm not sure why. I need to correct that this year. :)

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    1. I thought the same thing when I was deciding what I wanted to read this January.

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  4. I loved reading these books to my daughters. Wonderful review :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm happy you and your daughters were able to enjoy Matilda together.

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  5. It's been forever since I've read any Dahl, but I seem to recall them as all having a little edge of darkness. I guess even kids like a little of the dark sometimes! I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

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    1. Now that I think about it I loved The Series of Unfortunate Events which could be really dark in its own way so I guess you are right (:

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  6. You know... I have read a few Dahl books but not this one. I don't even know why!!! I forgot about that movie adaptation.. I was never interested in seeing it.

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    1. Oh but the movie is really good! At least to me it is. It's a classic in a movie. I've read three Dahl books now. I want to read more of the famous ones which happen to have movies to themselves too (:

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  7. I agree with you about Roald Dahl's books. I was obsessed with them for a period of time in elementary school and I read all of them, most of them more than twice. As an adult I have reread most of them (The BFG, The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and Giant Peach). I haven't reread Matilda, but now I will have to do so! Loved your review. :) I have to watch the movie, too!

    A lot of my students enjoy the books that he wrote about his own life, but I haven't read them yet.

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