Thursday 22 November 2018

Review: Matilda - Roald Dahl

"So Matilda's strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone."

Matilda is the world's most famous bookworm, no thanks to her ghastly parents.

Her father thinks she's a little scab. Her mother spends all afternoon playing bingo.

And her headmistress, Miss Trunchbull?

She's the worst of all.

She's a big bully, who thinks all her pupils are rotten and locks them in the dreaded Chokey.

Despite these beastly grownups trying to push her down, Matilda is an extraordinary girl with a magical mind.

And she's had enough.

So all the terrible adults had better watch out, because she's going to teach them a lesson they'll never forget!

Visit Roald Dahl's website for more information

I was a huge Roald Dahl fan as a child, I think I had nearly all of his books and they were stories I'd read over and over again so it's very hard for me to be objective about them now as an adult. It's funny because on the surface Matilda should have been my favourite of his books - its about a little girl who loves reading and spending time in the library which was totally me as a child and if I'm honest still describes me now LOL - but I think my heart had already been stolen by the BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory so I only read this one a handful of times. It wasn't until the movie released that I really started to appreciate this story and it's impossible to reread this now as an adult without picturing Mara Wilson as Matilda.

There's just something special about all of Roald Dahl's books but Matilda really is one of his most well loved characters and there's a very good reason for that. She's an intelligent child who doesn't fit in at home and whose parents definitely don't appreciate her but she finds a magical place when she discovers the local library and teaches herself to read. Her love of books and reading is something all bookworms will appreciate but I also love her constant search for knowledge and her excitement about getting to attend school for the first time.

The relationship she develops with her teacher Miss Honey is heartwarming and desperately needed after we've seen how badly she is treated by her parents. Then of course there is the terrifying headmistress Mrs Trunchbull who runs her school more like a prison until Matilda dishes out some much deserved punishment of her own.

I loved revisiting this story and I think I appreciated it so much more now that I'm an adult. The movie will always hold a special place in my heart but now the book does too. It's hard to believe that this story is 30 years old this year and I absolutely love the newly updated covers designed by the original illustrator Quentin Blake. His drawings throughout the book add so much to the story and I love the way he's imagined some of the exciting jobs that Matilda could have chosen for the new anniversary editions. I'm very, very tempted to collect the set but I'm not sure my already straining book cases can take the pressure.

Matilda as Chief Executive of the British Library, a World Traveller or an Astrophysicist on the new 30th Anniversary Hardbacks.

And just because I can here's the movie trailer!

Source: Purchased

Other reviews of this book:
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Paperback / Kindle / 30th Anniversary Hardbacks:

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