matilda book cover

Matilda book review

 

matilda book cover
Matilda by Roald Dahl 

Matilda is a whimsical, endearing treasure. If this book were a person it would be your best friend, the one you spent your summers with, making up stories and chuckling like a bubbly country spring. The story is just simply lovable, as quirky and as comfortable as that old pair of slippers you love to lounge around the house in on Saturday mornings.

The story centers around a precocious little girl name Matilda. Though born to shallow, self-centered parents who could care less about her, Matilda quickly blossoms into a child genius. She teaches herself to read and knows how to do difficult math inside her head, all before the age of five. When she finally goes off to school, her abilities, along with her troubles, increase exponentially as she is pitted against one of the most formidable villains in all of literature, Ms. Trunchbull.

A worthy adversary

Combining the pathos of Attila the Hunn with the fieriness of a wolverine on locoweed, this school headmistress is a terror to child and teacher alike. Her disciplinary measures fall just short of the level of a prison camp. But they are so exaggeratedly horrific that they come off as comical. And that is really the main course offered here, a great, romping good time. Dahl is out to have fun and his clever prose and quick wit are on display on every page. This is a classic, pure and simple. No, it’s not on the level of a Dickens or Doesoyevsky, but as a children’s book this is one of the best ever written. If you pick up this tale be prepared for page-turning fun in one of the silliest and sweetest stories around.

Author DJ Edwardson's seal of approval

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Comments (2)

  1. Jenelle February 7, 2017 at 9:47 am

    You know… I never realized that Matilda was a book first! And a Roald Dahl one at that… I must see about getting my hands on a copy. I enjoyed the movie back when, but the book sounds delightful.

    Also, I tagged you http://jenelleschmidt.com/life-lessons-learned-from-fantasy-tag/ – no pressure to actually do it, of course!

    • DJ Edwardson February 7, 2017 at 10:26 am

      Yes, I first experienced this as a movie. The movie is reminiscent of the Princess Bride in that both the book and movie are equally good so that it’s hard to pick one over the other.

      I will say this, though, that the movie adds quite a bit of plot to the end. It totally fits with the book, but I was surprised when I read the book that those parts were not there. So don’t be surprised if the ending feels a bit abrupt.

      And thanks for tagging me. I’ll see what I can whip up!

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