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Our Fantastic Week Ahead: August 29

Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryFor many, Roald Dahl's books are some of their favorites from childhood.

The BFG.

James and the Giant Peach.


And perhaps most well-loved, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Dahl's books bring together fantasy, everyday reality, and humor into a mix that is irresistable, and this week, we're excited about the relase of the Penguin Deluxe edition of the novel, complete with cover art by Ivan Brunetti and an introduction by Lev Grossman.

In addition to talking about this new version of Dahl's classic, we have some other fun things for you as well, including the beginning of Dan Lammert's playthrough of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the final installment of Phil Ilten and Jen Miller's Sword of Shannara read-through, and this afternoon, some thoughts on interactions between humans and technology as seen in the TV shows Chuck and Dollhouse.  We will also be introducing a new series on Dr. Who, which promises to be a lot of fun.

So stop back often to see what we're up to, and in the meantime, post your favorite Dahl moments in the comments!  We'd love to know which books or parts of books you enjoyed the most.



Don't forget The Twits!  That was probably my favorite.  Though, to be fair, I don't really remember details from any of his books, just that I loved them.

If you don't read Dahl's short stories, you're missing out on his absolute best stuff. Imaginative and creepy.

Matilda was my favorite. Though, like Adam, I don't really remember details, just that I loved it. Maybe it's time to reread.

As creative as the fantasy bits of Dahl's work all are, I think that my favorite moments are those that Charlie and his grandfather share at the beginning of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  The desperation of their situation, combined with the everpresence of hope, make for very powerful fiction.

Of course, I also really enjoy the scenes where they whiz around the chocolate factory in the elevator, with Willy Wonka naming off the rooms that they're passing.  I always wanted them to stop, so I could see some of those rooms in greater detail.

I've read several of Dahl's books, well-known and slightly less-so, and I feel like most of the details have blurred together. But the Big Friendly Giant's introduction--"I is the big friendly giant! I is the BFG!" is as endearing as it is ungrammatical. The twist in that book's final few sentences, I think, is something I've seen in several other books. But it was memorable enough at the time to make a fresh impression.

The climax of Matilda is also good. And there's a funny character in "Danny The Champion of the World" who puts h's at the start of words where, and about only where, they don't belong...very memorable accent.