I have read plenty of Roald Dahl's books in the past. He is the author of one of my favorite books as a child - Matilda. I do not object to his writing. However, this book is not one of his bests. For some reason, I never read James and the Giant Peach as a child. I am uncertain how that happened. It is one of the few chapter books that my middle child has read from cover to cover. Reading it I understand why. My daughter does not like books with conflict in them. I mean any kind of conflict. This book really fits that description. There are a few scenes that describe the group getting out of tricky situations, but it was not really conflict. No one really grew and developed in this book.
I am a pretty easy going reader. I am not a huge fan of a lot of things, but if it has a place in a novel then I will not knock a book down for it. This book had a lot of things that just were not needed. I would blame the time it was written or the author, but none of this has been a concern in any of the other Dahl books I have read. James's aunts are shamed for being both too fat and too skinny. Yes, they are deplorable human beings, but what does shaming their weight have to do with that? There is a completely inappropriate remark about the grasshopper and Mexicans. The cloud men are all men, the women are tucked up in the giant cloud city with all of the cloud children. To top it off there is no growth in any of the characters.
The dialogue was boring, the adventure not all that entertaining, and the ending had me facepalming myself. This is, obviously, not my favorite book. However, there are some really good facts about insects in the book.
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