Audio (every other) Friday is for Audio reviews.
This weeks review is by Wanda.
Narrated by James Bow.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 1964 children's book by British author Roald Dahl. The story features the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was first published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in 1964 and in the United Kingdom by George Allen & Unwin in 1967. The book was adapted into two major motion pictures: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in 1971, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2005. The book's sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, was written by Roald Dahl in 1972. Dahl had also planned to write a third book in the series but never finished it.
The story was originally inspired by Roald Dahl's experience of chocolate companies during his schooldays. Cadbury would often send test packages to the schoolchildren in exchange for their opinions on the new products. At that time (around the 1920s), Cadbury and Rowntree's were England's two largest chocolate makers and they each often tried to steal trade secrets by sending spies, posing as employees, into the other's factory. Because of this, both companies became highly protective of their chocolate making processes. It was a combination of this secrecy and the elaborate, often gigantic, machines in the factory that inspired Dahl to write the story.
Overview of the story
Charlie is a sweet well behaved boy, whom by a stroke of luck lands in a Chocolate factory with some truly naughty children and their parents.
One by one these childrens behavior lands them in trouble and they are forced to leave the grand tour. This puts Charlie in a position where fortune smiles on him.
If like me, you’ve never read the story or seen either of the two film adaptations then this is where I will leave you now regarding the story line.
I absolutely adored the story and the narration by James Bow was superb. I loved the fact that he would sing the songs in the book as naturally as if he had composed them himself. The book is read at a nice fast pace and an audio listener can finish the book in a morning which makes it an altogether more fun read than it already is.
Charlie is portrayed as a well mannered well adjusted little boy filled with the wonder of a little boy in a chocolate factory. This is apparent in the questions he posed to his grandfather.
The characters portrayal is done with such clarity that I am sure many a grown up would listen to the book and say – Hey we had a girl like that in school! The children’s offences in the book is of such a nature that I winched and thought to myself that wow – I wonder what my parents would have done had I tried to do x, y or z. I am sure I would have been in for a well deserved hiding. I loved the lessons in good manners these books give to children and have to admit that afterwards I am even more set on my own manners. I am unsure as to why I have missed these books up to now. But I am glad to report that I have two more on audio and can’t wait to start on them.
While doing a bit of research for this review I found a lot of information on the book and the motivation and I would suggest all to take a few minutes and go and read up on this book in open source directories. The amount of information is astounding as well as very entertaining.
I will give this book a 5/5 star rating since I simply adored listening to it. I would recommend that parents listen to this with their children. We all can do with a brush up on manners every now and again. This said, I would not describe this book as a children’s book although it is obviously suitable and advisable for children to listen or read this book. I find many of the more humorous parts to be above the level of a child to grasp totally and appreciate fully. Hope to listen to the next book soon.