Phil Earle finds it hard to choose one book, but plumps for ‘the perfect’ Roald Dahl.
You want me to list all the books I wish I’d written? In 200 words? Give me 200 pages and you might have a chance…but ok, here’s a few crackers I could only aspire to emulate.
Louis Sachar’s Holes, because it’s as close to perfection as is humanly possible, Lemony Snicket’s A Bad Beginning for showing how funny and subversive a narrator can be and Jack Gantos’ Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key for creating a character with the heart of a lion.
Shall I go on?
OK, add to the list Kevin Brooks’s iBoy for pure concept brilliance, Keith Gray’s Ostrich Boys for being the book my 15 year old self would have killed for, and Don Calame’s Swim the Fly, for being downright naughty and brilliant with it.
But if I had to choose one book, at this moment in my life, that is wish I’d written, it’d be Dahl’s Danny the Champion of the World. People talk about the craziness of Willy Wonka’s factory, or the fantabulous language the BFG utters, but for me, Danny is the perfect book. Warm, funny and with a father/son relationship to die for. Without this book I’d never have written Demolition Dad, and for that simple fact, I feel profoundly lucky to have read it.
Danny the Champion of the World (978-0141346434) by Roald Dahl is published by Puffin at £6.99 pbk.
Phil Earle’s new novel, Demolition Dad (978-1444013863), is published by Orion Children’s Books, £6.99 pbk.