Mean As Custard (calico_pye) wrote,
Mean As Custard

Charlie and the Expanded Chocolate Factory

As a child, I was a voracious reader.  Like a lot of forty-somethings, I was raised with Enid Blyton (Famous Five/Mr Pinkwhistle/The Wishing Chair - frightfully un PC these days, but pretty good), Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland/Alice Through the Looking Glass), Alf Proysen (Mrs Pepperpot), P.L.Travers (Mary Poppins) and the most delightful Roald Dahl.  My parents didn't approve of him (they had watched Tales of the Unexpected on TV and castigated him as a "dirty old man"), therefore his books rarely came into the home.  I was lucky enough to have an English teacher that would read to us at home time and would delight in telling us the more descriptive texts in the most delightfully hammy way (wonder what happened to that teacher? Think his name was Mr Barrett. He wrote his own stuff too - Teddy No-Nose and Panda. Great stories - shame he never published them).

Anyway, I read other Dahl books and then passed the tradition on to my children, notably Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG and James and the Giant Peach.  Thrilling, sometimes a little scary, but very imaginative and of course bonkers-brilliant.  

News from the Roald Dahl estate reveals that originally there had been at least two other children in one of the drafts and that there was an extra place or two - the Vanilla Fudge Room, where a couple of unknown children are 'processed' and eventually meet their doom in the 'Pounding & Cutting Room.' (Source - Accessed 31/08/14). Now as much as I like Charlie, I think that the idea that there were TEN children rather than five and that Charlie went with his mother rather than his grandfather, would have been wrong, somehow (not to mention a bit long-winded) - but the idea of other Dahl redrafts seems so very exciting, the stuff that imagination is made of.

Anybody out there got a beloved childhood author/books that fired their imagination?

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Tags: charlie and the chocolate factory, roald dahl

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