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  • gilwilson 5:53 PM on March 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fairy tales, , , willy wonka   

    Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts By: Roald Dahl 

    Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts By: Roald Dahl17707729
    Narrated by: Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig, Miriam Margolyes
    Length: 1 hr and 10 mins
    Release date: 09-26-13
    Publisher: Listening Library

    I have a collection of Roald Dahl audiobooks to get through and so I’ll continue with this one. From the man who brought you Willy Wonka, James & the Giant Peach, and so many more, this short collection is a great side from the longer writings by Dahl. Each one of these books and collections of stories seem to have something different to say and show another side of Roald Dahl.

    If you’ve ever read the books “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” or “James and the Giant Peach” then you pretty well know the magical worlds Roald Dahl has created. I loved the books the movies and everything associated with the two books mentioned and when my son was learning to read I made sure to read him the books and watch the movies as he got older. I was aware of other titles by Dahl but just never took the time, that is until recently. The recent excursion into the writings of Roald Dahl is all thanks to Penguin Audio. Penguin has recently released all of Dahl’s stories in excellent audiobook form. Each book is rather short and perfect company for my commutes to work and any other trip I need to make.

    In the first section of this audiobook you have Revolting Rhymes where Dahl takes a turn at re-telling classic fairy tales. The one that seems to draw a lot of attention is the Cinderella story. This one has a section where the prince beheads Cinderella’s step-sisters and then turns to Cinderella and asks “who’s this dirty slut? off with her nut, off with her nut!” Hmmmm, slut in a kids story? Maybe more of an adult aimed story. Just be careful with it, and be aware.

    The readers all have something to contribute and make each story fun, but to be completely honest, there were times where their reading nearly put me to sleep.

    Publisher’s Summary

    Revolting Rhymes

    Did you think Cinderella married the prince and lived happily ever after, or that the three little pigs outsmarted the wolf? Think again! Master storyteller Roald Dahl adds his own darkly comic twists to six favorite tales, complete with rambunctious rhymes and hilarious surprise endings.

    Dirty Beasts

    Roald Dahl’s inimitable style and humor shine in this collection of poems about mischievous and mysterious animals. From Stingaling the scorpion to Crocky-Wock the crocodile, Dahl’s animals are nothing short of ridiculous. A clever pig with an unmentionable plan to save his own bacon and an anteater with an unusually large appetite are among the characters created by Dahl in these timeless rhymes. This new, larger edition is perfect for listening.

    ©2009 Roald Dahl (P)2009 Penguin Audio

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  • gilwilson 10:14 PM on January 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , doglas hodge, glass elevator, , , willy wonka,   

    Audiobook Review: “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator” by Roald Dahl 

    greatglasselevator

    Audiobook Review: “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator”
    by  Roald Dahl
    read by Douglas Hodge
    Published by Penguin Audio
    Approx. 3.5 hours

     

    When I wrote the review of the newly released audiobook version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” I felt I had to mention the two movies based on this book. The first movie, from the 1970s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, seems to be the cult favorite. The latest version was actually titled “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and starred Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. Many folks refer to the first as the original and some even say best, but the latter version was the one that actually stayed true to the book. The first movie seemed to add in some features that are borrowed from this sequel by Roald Dahl, “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.”

    That is all that needs to be said about the movies this time around. It is time to focus on the book, more specifically the latest audiobook release. Being the audiobook I first have to talk about the reader or more accurately, the performer, in this release. The genius in casting the voice for this audiobook is that Douglas Hodge performed the role of Willy Wonka in the 2012 musical stage production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The catch is that Wonka is not the only character in the book, and Hodge has to perform all of the voices. Hodge does this to perfection. Sure, he presents Wonka perfectly, but that perfection is carried on in all the voices represented in the book, from Charlie Bucket to the President of the United States of America. The characters in this book are over the top children’s book characters and Hodge brings the to full-color audio life. I was totally consumed by this book due to the overwhelming performance by Hodge that brought this childhood classic to life.

     

    As for the book, well, it all starts off exactly where “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” left off. Charlie has just found out that Willy Wonka has decided to leave the factory to him. In order for Charlie to take over he has to move his family, which includes; his mother and father and two sets of grandparents. This will not be an easy feat since the grandparents are bedridden and have been for years, the reason they are bedridden is quite comical in that they just won’t get out of bed, Grandpa Joe is the exception because he got out of bed to accompany Charlie on the tour of the chocolate factory. To move them into the factory Wonka decides to transport the entire family in the glass elevator. The problems begin when Wonka uses too much speed to take off from the home causing the entire family and Wonka to blast into space.

     

    Once in space they decide to board the world’s first space hotel only to find out that it is overrun by Verniciou Knids. The staff of the hotel are just about to arrive when they see the glass elevator and mistake it for an invading ship unaware that the invaders (the Vernicious Knids) are already on the station. It is then up to the elevator occupants to save the world through the only way Wonka knows how, through extreme silliness and creativity.

     

    This audiobook adventure is pure fun and a great entertainment. It is also a nice way to introduce a new generation to Roald Dahl or simply re-visit a childhood classic.

     
  • gilwilson 3:45 PM on October 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: augustus gloop, , charlie bucket, , , douglas hodge, gene wilder, , mike teavee, , , veruca salt, violet beauregarde, willy wonka,   

    Audiobook Review: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” By Roald Dahl 

    charlie

    Audiobook Review: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

    By Roald Dahl

    Read by Douglas Hodge

    Published 2013 by Penguin Audio

    Approx. 3.5 hours

     

    I think it is pretty safe to say that we have all seen the movie based on this book.  Whether it was the 70s movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, or the recent “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, this book launched two movies that have become hits.  The Gene Wilder version was a box office flop but has become a cult favorite and pictures of the Wilder Wonka as a recent internet meme.  The Johnny Depp version was a box office hit.   As a side note, the Johnny Depp version is the one that stayed closest to the book’s plot and actions.

     

    No matter which version you prefer, you should make sure and read the book for yourself and to your kids.  This book is just plain fun and with just as much non-sensical moments as Lewis Carroll’s adventures with Alice through Wonderland books.  Roald Dahl had such a great way of playing with words and sounds and they come out even more so in this audiobook production.

     

    The narrator, Douglas Hodge, recently portrayed Willy Wonka in the stage musical at the West End’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in England.  His narration of this book is pure magic.  The words, story and characters all gently roll into the ears and through the brainspace creating a magical audiobook adventure.  His vocal characterizations of all the fun people in the story are spot on and his portrayal of Willy Wonka will have you laughing out loud and even cheering out loud.

     

    The gist of this story is that Willy Wonka has not allowed anyone in or out of his chocolate factory in years.  When it is time to find someone to replace him he devises a contest to find the most imaginative child to take over running the factory.  The contest first involves five golden tickets distributed with his candy and the five lucky winners get a tour of the factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate.

     

    The five winners consist of: Augustus Gloop, a fat boy whose hobby is eating, Veruca Salt, a spoiled rotten brat, Violet Beauregard, a dim-witted gum-chewer who talks more than she listens, Mike Teavee, a boy obsessed with television and Charlie Bucket, the hero of the story and who seems to be the world’s only honest, kind and brave child.

     

    The children are each swept away due to their own short-comings and the adventures along the way are narrated with musical numbers from the Oompah Loompahs, the true labor force in the chocolate factory.

     

    Sit back and enjoy this great audiobook with great narration and even a few fun sound effects to keep the fun rolling.

     

     

     
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