Firstly, why wouldn’t I want to the be the author of a work of commercial fiction that translates as wonderfully to the big screen as it reads on the page? This Roald Dahl epic, written in 1964, transcends time and generations.
Charlie Bucket’s simple and disadvantaged background strikes a chord with so many people. Who can’t relate to the wonderful energy he gives his Grandpa Joe and the unconditional love he receives from his family despite their struggles?
And who can’t relate to the hope he sees in that golden ticket!
Willy Wonka is a character for the ages while Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt and Mike Teevee – the privileged yet bratty children who get selected to visit the mysterious chocolate factory alongside Charlie – remain in the memory. As for the Oompa-Loompas – a stroke of genius!
The book allows the imagination to run riot and the mouth to salivate at the descriptions of all those delicious treats in the factory.
The only thing it lacks is diverse characters… Roald Dahl’s widow said Charlie was originally written as a Black boy but his agent advised he change that to give the book wider appeal.
Regardless, they say simple ideas are often the best and I’d say this applies to this classic tale.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (colour edition) by Roald Dahl, illus Quentin Blake, is published by Puffin, 978-0141369372, £10.99 pbk.
Book one in The Starlet Rivals series, The Bollywood Academy is out now, published by Lantana Publishing, 978-1915244000, £7.99 pbk.