Sunday, June 25, 2006

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Roald Dahl
Fiction, Fantasy, Children's

This sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is full of wildly implausible adventures, space stations, magical youth pills and Vermicious Knids. It also has Charlie Bucket's entire family, though you'd be forgiven for not noticing Charlie's parents, who only have a few lines in the whole book. Willy Wonka is in full manic form, and with the help of the great glass elevator, they're going back to the factory. With a slight detour to the USA's new Space Hotel.

This book never grabbed me the way the first did. The first had a veneer of plausibility; if an eccentric candymaker wanted to mix his chocolate by waterfall, or to have his walnuts shelled by squirrels, why not? This book, however, has trips to Minusland, where those waiting to be born go, and huge subterranian tracts of candy mining (despite the fact that the first book clearly states that chocolate comes from cacao beans, they are seeking out chocolate wells in this book), and the belief from the first book that this place could possibly exist is stripped away by the lack of logic in this book. Plus Grandma Georgina is whiny and greedy, not at all like the loving grandparent described in the first book.

Not a bad sequel, but it loses its luster compared to the first.


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