24 October 2011

Book Review: The BFG

Title: The BFG
Author: Roald Dahl
Publisher/Year: Scholastic / 1982
Date Finished: 23 October 2011
Source/Format: Auction / Print
Book #: 81

Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid

The Short and Sweet of It
One night, restless, Sophie looks out her window to see a huge giant puttering around outside children's window. Her spying discovered, the giant makes off with her to keep his secret. Luckily, he is The Big Friendly Giant, a snozzcumber-eating nice guy very unlike his human-bean-eating relatives. Now Sophie and the BFG must save the world's children from being eaten!

A Bit of a Ramble
I am honestly not so sure about this one, but I think I would have adored it as a child. The action is quick and interesting, Sophie's a likeable protagonist, and the BFG is wonderfully unique. As an adult, I appreciate the whimsy, but I found it quite easy to set the book aside for extended amounts of time - and I must admit to a wee bit of skimming from time to time.

The illustrations are wonderful. The artist, Quentin Blake, creates images with the perfect amount of detail:
I spent quite a bit of time enjoying these illustrations. What stood out to me even more is the creative language of the book, particularly the diction used by the BFG who, unfortunately, never had a chance to attend school, and as such, his vocabulary is peppered with made-up words and he mixes up words quite often. This was such a surprising and fanciful twist, and I really enjoyed it.

While I skipped over a lot of middle grade fiction like this as a child, I don't think it's in my best interest to go back and catch up (an idea I had for a short period of time). I do, however, want to at least hit the biggies, so if you have any must-read suggestions, let me know!

Question: Any other Roald Dahl books I should check out?


  1. I really liked this one as a kid. I work for a company called LUSH that has a bath bomb call Fizzbanger that is based off the drink from BFG.

  2. I haven't read it since I was a kid but I used to adore My Father's Dragon. Also did you read James and the Giant Peach? I adored that too. I never read the BFG though!

  3. I second the recommendation of James and the Giant Peach and also recommend Matilda and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, just because I feel like those are two that have kind of entered the collective subconscious. However, The Witches is creepy and awesome too, and The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar contains some of my favorite Dahl stories ever.

  4. I haven't read this one, or any Dahl really, but I like the sound of this one, and can imagine that it would be interesting to peruse. I also like that the giant makes up all sorts of words and uses them incorrectly. It sounds like a cue book, and I love the illustrations!

  5. I loved this one when I was growing up. I'm a huge Dahl fan and I'd recommend just about anything he's written. Definitely read Matilda if you haven't. James and the Giant Peach and Danny the Champion of the World are both great too. Also, his short stories for adults are so good!

  6. I loved this one when I was a kid -- I think we read it aloud in class when I was in elementary school. I have a collection of Dahl short stories called The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar that I liked reading. If I remember correctly, they're a little more adult.

  7. I absolutely adored RD's books when I was a kid (and still do actually....). Witches is brilliant, also Danny the Champion of the World is very moving. His collections of short stories for adults are also excellent - very dark humour and full of jerks getting their comeuppance in horrid ways!

  8. I'd have to second Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and also James and the Giant Peach. I think Matilda is great too but I THINK I've only seen the movie, not read the book. I think Dahl is great, but BFG is probably not the best. Although I did like it as an adult...

  9. My brother and I used to quote this at each other when we were kids and my son has already loved it when we read it together. It's definitely a book for kids.

  10. I like all road dahl's books except the creepy ones

  11. I totally agree with your review of BFG. I just read it for the first time (I'm 34) and while it was enjoyable it wasn't a must read. There were parts that I was wishing would go faster so that I could get to the resolution of the story. Roald Dahl has a habit of course of getting stuck in the peripheries of his plot.

    That being said you "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is one of my favorite books. I also recently read "The Enormous Crocodile" which is much shorter and meant for early readers and a book of short stories called "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More" Which is meant for older readers (teens/adults). I liked both of these.


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