Thursday, July 22, 2010

100 Greatest Books #92 - Matilda

The next book on my 100 Greatest Books of All Time list is Matilda by Roald Dahl. You can find this on the BBC book list and My Book List.

I rather enjoyed this book a lot (Annabelle and I did). I found this to the best of the Dahl books that were on my list. The story was nice and linear as opposed to several of his other books which seemed to be more disjointed jumping around. The characters were also some of his best and actually made you care about what happened to some of them. A sign of a good book (where you actually care about the people). I loved how, at the end, the story line tied up very neatly and how aspects of people's personalities came back in a rather surprising (at least to me) way. The story is about an extremely intelligent 4-5 year old girl named Matilda. Although she happens to live in a house where her parents don't think anything is possible out of a girl and her school's headmistress hates children. So life kind of sucks. But she has a teacher who goes to bat for her and in return Matilda not only helps the teacher out of a bad situation but helps herself as well. The morals of the story are great and at many points in the book I actually got rather upset at several of the characters. Another great thing about this book and most of Dahl's works are the use of larger words. Words you wouldn't typically find in children's books. He uses them in such a way that they fit into the context of the story and the person is able to understand the meaning of the words, just by the context. No additional sentence explaining the definition of the word. Another Dahl book on my list, and actually I think it should be ranked higher than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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