Thursday, May 10

The BFG by Roald Dahl

When Sophie spots a twenty-four-foot man in the middle of the night, she is snatched away from the orphanage and taken to Giant country.

Lucky for her she is in the hands of the BFG - the Big Friendly Giant - who has no appetite for eating humans and is an avid collector of dreams. The other giants aren't so nice. Every night they are visiting different countries and gobbling up humans.

Horrified, Sophie insists that the BFG help her to stop the giants from eating people...but it is going to take a mighty plan and a lot of help.

I always knew about 'The BFG' but I didn't know what to expect. I purchased the audio book, narrated by Natasha Richardson, after listening to an excerpt. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The BFG was a pleasant surprise of a character. He is presented as a mysterious, black-cloaked individual, who looks - and is - exceptionally old. However, the BFG has a wonderful child-like wisdom that even at Sophie's age is subsiding.

The things that the BFG says and the way he says them are beautiful. He may be uneducated in the sense of schooling but he has a raw knowledge that cannot be taught but can be learned. Such brilliant words in the BFG's vocabulary are, "bundongle," "chiddler," and "phizzwizard."

Due to the BFG's extraordinary way with words, I decided to purchase the book in paperback so that I could see the spelling. This has the added bonus of including the wonderful illustrations by Quentin Blake, whose imagery is so inherently a part of Dahl's works that it would be a sin to pass them by.

Even so, I'm glad I listened to 'The BFG' on audio. Richardson narrated the book in a way that my mind alone could not have allowed me to experience, particularly in capturing the voice of the BFG.

One of the most wonderful things about the BFG is his fancy for collecting dreams. In the book, dreams are presented as something alive and pulsing. Hearing about the sorts of dreams the BFG collects - and his ability to mix them together like the ingredients of a recipe - was an enjoyment in itself.

The BFG's biggest asset may be his extraordinary hearing but the quality I most admire is his unique way of seeing the world. It is infectious and I felt as though I had awoken from an adventure in one of the BFG's phizzwizard dreams.

I think that my love for the BFG began with this quote from the chapter of the novel also titled The BFG:
'Wellington?' Sophie said. 'Where is Wellington?'

'Your head is full of squashed flies,' the Giant said. 'Wellington is in New Zealand. The human beans in Wellington has an especially scrumdiddlyumptious taste, so says the Welly-eating Giant.'

'What do the people of Wellington taste of?' Sophie asked.

'Boots,' the Giant said.
You have to love a book that references the city you were born in such a way. I'm not sure if this information will protect me from cannibals but I suppose I'm an acquired taste.

Now that I have finished 'The BFG,' my next Dahling adventure will be with 'Matilda,' which I have never read. I cannot wait to immerse myself once more in the language and imagery of the brilliant due of writer and illustrator.

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Puffin and is used solely as an aide to the review.

1 comment:

Sid Carter said...

Roald Dahl! *Squeee*