Hello everyone, I’ve recently crawled out from under a rock, because I just read Matilda for the first time! Not only that, it’s my first Roald Dahl book. That fact is kind of sad, isn’t it? Anyway, I absolutely loved it and can’t wait for the my next Dahl book.
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Published by Puffin on June 1st 1998
Genres: Children's Classic
Narrator: Kate Winslet
Length: 4 hours, 18 minutes
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Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she's knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she's a super-nerd and the teacher's pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda's world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there's the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Mrs. ("The") Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.
She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defense of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The reader cares about Matilda because in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings.
a clever girl, a horrid headmistress, and a bunch of tiny magical hands
5 Things I Loved About Matilda:
1. The simplicity. Books don’t have to be a million pages to be wonderful! This book was short, short, short, and it was entirely lovely. I think this is why I love children’s literature so much. They carry powerful messages in fun ways and they’re right to the point about it!
2. The Trunchbull. A wonderfully absurd (also abusive, which took me by surprise a bit at first) villain. I loved everything about her, and especially her title in the book: the Trunchbull.
3. Kate Winslet’s narration! It was completely wonderful! I would highly recommend the audiobook of Winslet narrating.View Spoiler »At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the fact that she had “powers” suddenly, but then I just accepted it and decided it was excellent. It made for an especially fun ending. « Hide Spoiler
5. The slight absurdity of it all. There were so many things in this book that could never actually happen, but it wasn’t in-your-face ridiculous. I guess you could say it had a touch of magical realism, and I think that nothing could be better for a children’s book.