Review: The BFG by Roald Dahl

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The BFG
Roald Dahl
New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1997
Paperback, 208 pages

Synopsis:

Captured by a giant! The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater, the Bonecruncher, or any of the other giants — rather than the BGF — she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that they are flushbunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

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Review:

My mom bought me an entire set of Roald Dahl books when I was younger. We loved ordering from the monthly Scholastic book orders through the school. And I absolutely loved having all the Roald Dahl magic at my fingertips. I decided to go back to my childhood and read The BFG again since the movie was released.

On reading it now as an adult, I was a little wary because a lot of books I remembered enjoying as a child becomes a different read when I go back to it. The BFG was one of a few exception where I found that I was able to still enjoy and appreciate it. It’s a little novel full of nonsense words- much like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The teacher in me couldn’t help but notice how great that this book would be for students – instead of reading quickly, they would have to take the time to read the words as they are written. And it would be great to see how they figure out pronunciation based on phonetics and root words.

Don’t gobblefunk around with words. – The BFG

But there are a few things that I would need to consider – there are some rather unflattering descriptions of different countries and strange stereotypes about them that may be misleading to students if taken seriously. Though when it comes to reading Roald Dahl, I don’t know if anyone ever takes it seriously.

Two rights don’t equal a left. – The BFG

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There was an interesting part of the book that became more deep – when the BFG compares the other giants going to kill and eat the human “beans” to humans doing the same to other animals even though animals never did anything to the humans. At the same time, the BFG makes the observation that…

… human beans is disappearing everywhere all the time even without the giants guzzling them up. Human beans is killing each other much quicker than the giants is doing it. – The BFG

And of course, this is true back in the 80s when Dahl wrote it and it’s definitely still true for today’s current world state. Human beings are definitely the only species that kills its own kind to the extent of massacres. Which gives you something to think about.

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I’m even more interested in seeing the movie adaptation than I was to begin with. I’d love to see how the movie takes on the dreams aspect of the story. And whether they keep certain things in it – like the stereotypes (which I don’t think will play out well) and the deep question about humans and morality.

And just for fun, I took a photo of a “Big Friendly Giant” the world is more familiar with.

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