Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Books 62 & 63 of 2015: The BFG by Roald Dahl & The Riddle of the Third Mile by Colin Dexter

I love that my review of The BFG by Roald Dahl is coming just a couple of weeks after I saw the recent adaptation in the cinema. It was my choice for Week 35 of the Reading Challenge, a book from your childhood.

This is the story of a young girl, named Sophie, who is snatched from her orphanage bed one night by a dream depositing giant who catches her peaking at him. He is the BFG, he lives in giant country among his human-devouring brethren, and catches dreams which he distributes to sleeping humans. When Sophie realises that hundreds of children are being eaten by giants in the night, she works with the BFG to formulate a plan to stop them once and for all.

The BFG was a staple of my childhood. It was on my bookcase for so many years that I couldn't tell you how old I was when I first read it. It was published four years before I was born and as far as I remember I had it when I was about six, maybe even before. Sadly, I don't have my original copy any more, but I have a nearly as battered secondhand copy.

It's been years since I last read it, years and years in fact. I really loved revisiting it and I'm determined to go back and read some of my other childhood favourites. I need to read Matilda as a matter of urgency.

It's a really quick and easy read. I started it at night (by torchlight thanks to a powercut) and I finished it less than twenty-four hours later. It was just as well because it was shortly before I went down to Wales and I knew it wouldn't be a long read so wouldn't last the journey down.

Took me right back to when I was much younger. And that made me sad that I didn't still have my old copy of the book. This one just didn't have the right smell about it.

At the time that I read it I wrote a note that I really wanted to see the adaptation again. Of course I meant the animated version and since then I've seen the live action one. I really want to see the animated one though. I've been singing the Whizzpopper song for weeks now!

I've convinced Mr Click that he needs to read this now, especially as he enjoyed the film so much. I think he'll enjoy it. It's such a fun read. I love the way that Dahl plays with words. As well as appealing to husbands, I think it's the perfect bedtime story book, or class reading book. The chapters are fairly short but plenty happens to keep kids entertained too.

I followed up The BFG with the sixth Inspector Morse book, The Riddle of the Third Mile by Colin Dexter.

In this Morse story, part of a body is found in a canal in Oxford and so it's down to Morse to investigate who the torso might belong to, as well as how he got there.

This one took me a lot longer to read then I would have expected it to because I was headed down to Wales and so I spent most of my time doing fun Wales things (and travelling) instead of reading. Travelling overnight doesn't make for easy reading so I took my time over it.

I don't think that this is the sort of book that you should read slowly. At times I was only reading a chapter at a time and that made it hard to follow what was going on. Dexter has a habit of dropping in chapters which seem almost unrelated to the case at hand in the beginning, but which then relate to the case later on in the book. That, coupled with the fact that the case itself was fairly confusing, meant that I didn't enjoy this one as much at the others I've read.

And as usual, I've got my normal complaint about Inspector Morse books. It's nearly impossible to actually solve the case yourself because you don't get all the information that you need at the time that Morse does. He brings stuff up later in the book that you were never told about, or he makes huge deductive leaps which are more guesswork than detection.

It was a good read, but not one of my favourite Morse books.

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