And so, I have spent my time reading another one of Roald Dahl’s works again. This time, I read James and the Giant Peach. I’ve only known recently that a movie was based on the book, but I haven’t watched its film adaptation yet. One day, perhaps.
Here’s the summary from the back cover of the book:
When James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree, strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. Then James discovers a secret entranceway into the fruit, and when he crawls inside, he meets a bunch of marvelous oversized friends–Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. After years of feeling like an outsider in his aunts’ house, James has finally found a place where he belongs. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the exciting adventure begins!
Just as the title suggest, this is the story of James Henry Totter’s adventures while in the giant peach. James’s parents were caught in an accident, so his aunts were sort of forced to look after him. The downside of this was that he was treated badly and cruelly, like Cinderella and Cosette from Les Misérables. I pitied James for his mishap life, of course, but his world turned upside down with the help of the magical seeds from an old man.
With this said, a giant peach grew, together with some other insects. At first, readers might find it creepy and scary having to see insects as big as a normal person, but this feeling will soon subside because of the insects’ amusing personalities. I, myself, hate insects, and yet I come to admire the characters in the book. Roald Dahl did not fail to portray the insects’ value in the world while most of us often take them for granted. I cannot imagine myself to be in James’s position, but I learned to appreciate the small things and the advantages they bring in life.
Roald Dahl’s stories are perfect for children and those who are young at heart. Aside from the weirdness of it, I find it funny that the names are easy to remember. For example, James’s aunts’ names perfectly reflect their physical characteristics – Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. Moreover, the original poems/songs in the book are entertaining to read. The author captures the mood and feeling and adds humorous lines here and there, too. The combination of these elements is what makes the story unique and more fun to read.
Indeed, James and the Giant Peach is full of weirdness and magic. The things that happened have been very peculiar – leading one thing to another – and they seem unbelievable, but in Roald Dahl’s world of stories, anything is possible. The book definitely allows enough room for readers to explore their imaginations. They just have to have an open and imaginative mind.