Tuesday, December 2, 2014
One third of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I just reread the classic children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and was eager to tell you all about it. So I wrote one introductory sentence and then, instead of continuing, I drew a hundred tiny dots on my thumbnail with my pen. Those little blue dots are pretty interesting on my thumbnail and they say to me "I don't like writing book reviews!"
Now that that's out of the way I can say what I came here to say. I love the first third of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I love it to pieces, which makes it particularly appropriate that my copy is a first edition with all the pages falling out of it. I love that first third so much that even after probably a dozen read throughs I still cry every time Charlie finds a golden ticket.
My god! All that making a small chocolate bar last for a month because it's that precious and rare, and his heartbreaking birthday present of a mere chocolate bar where he doesn't find a ticket just as one would expect and his grandpa's hoarded dime that buys a chocolate bar without a ticket as one would expect, but a little less so, and then finding the ticket only when in an astonishment of good luck, desperately hungry, Charlie finds a bit of money and buys chocolate that he wolfs down without even considering the ticket because he is starving to death.
To talk about the grab bag of dazzling, imaginative genius, amusing nonsense, and petty, mean-spirited moralism of the last two thirds of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is beyond the purview of this essay and merely makes me want to see if I can draw a nice chocolate bar on the back of my hand.
So how about I leave you here and get to that...