I’ve always vaguely known James’ story but I don’t think it’s one I’ve actually read before; my knowledge was probably based on the film (which is amazing and I have such a craving to watch it now I’ve read the book).
The book is quite different to the film, which meant it was a refreshing read for me. It starts off quite similarly, with poor James’ parents being eaten by a rhino and him being sent to live with awful Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge. I enjoyed their fate in the book a lot more than I did in the film: a lot more satisfying and a lot more ‘Dahl’.
I read this book when I was feeling a bit down and it certainly cheered me up. Dahl’s books are charming, even when they’re dark and dangerous, and they never fail to make me smile. This book had a few pages that lost me a little: a whole page paragraph describing the peach rolling away was a bit much for me, but otherwise the story moves fast and is captivating and even makes giant insects seem charming rather than scary.
Ahaha I love this book, you should totally read it!