Tuesday, March 01, 2022

11. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl

I did not have high expectations for the sequel to the fantastic Charlie and the Chocolate factory and they were met.  It's a weird, bifurcated story whose flaws my daughter keyed in on about halfway through: "this book should be in the elevator for the entire story".  I don't know if I quite agree with her on that, but it does feel like Dahl did not have a strong premise or idea for this one. The first storyline is about them interacting with the US government while in space and while parts of it are quite wacky and fun, much of it feels like an aimless Dr. Strangelove, with much goofy commentary on various members of the US executive branch and military. It's not that funny for adults and kids don't get it.  The second two-thirds deal with Charlie's obnoxious grandparents taking too many youth pills.  It does allow us to see more of the factory but the whole problem could have been easily avoided if Willy Wonka had just doled out the pills in moderation.  His being neutral works perfectly with spoiled kids, but with people in their 90s it feels like he is being the irresponsible one.  It just may be that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory should not have a sequel. 

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