Amazon’s List of 100 Books Everyone Should Read: 17. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Photo Credit: Penguin

I must first apologize to you guys. I had said that the next book I’d be reading from the Amazon list would be A Wrinkle in Time. My bad. It WILL be the next one now because it’s the only book I currently have from the list. But that doesn’t matter yet. The purpose of this post is to talk about the book I did read, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Let’s jump right in.

The Chocolate Factory

The book begins by introducing the reader to the family of Charlie Bucket. You immediately realize that his family is experiencing some hard times. He lives in a house that is much too small for his family of seven, four of which are grandparents. They barely have enough to eat. And Charlie gets excited once a year on his birthday when he receives a whole chocolate bar for himself. Then life becomes even more difficult for the Bucket family. His father loses his job and can’t find full-time work elsewhere. The family begins to starve, literally. Until world famous chocolate genius Willy Wonka announces that he’ll allow five children inside his factory for one day. All you need is one of five golden tickets. The first four are quickly found. Then Charlie finds a dollar bill on the ground during his walk home one day. He buys two chocolate bars and the second has the final golden ticket. The following day Willy Wonka takes the five children on a tour of his factory and one by one each of the children act out and are taken from the group until only Charlie and his grandpa remain. This is when Willy Wonka reveals the real reason for his tour. He’s giving his factory to Charlie. All of it.

My Thoughts

I definitely enjoyed the book. Would I call it one of the best books I’ve ever read? No. I realize that Roald Dahl is one of those iconic authors of the twentieth century who everyone seems to have read at some point. This book just didn’t make me want to go buy his other well-known works. I have some issues with the book. There were WAY too many exclamation marks. I’m talking in the hundreds. Yes, Willy Wonka is enthusiastic and energetic, but I couldn’t read any more dialogue ending in an exclamation mark if my life depended on it. I honestly believe the dialogue took away from the book. I liked Charlie as a character and liked the chapter titles, and the book itself wasn’t bad, but I’m actually surprised to find this book on the Amazon list. I’m thinking this was one of those body of work kind of picks.

You’ll recall that I have my own list of the best books I’ve ever read and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank ranks #1 and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ranks #21. This book didn’t make the list at all. It’s currently 113 titles.

I’ve seen the first movie and enjoyed it but not the more recent one. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book.

I’ve now read seven books from the list.

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21 thoughts on “Amazon’s List of 100 Books Everyone Should Read: 17. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

  1. The Gene Wilder movie is leaps and bounds better than the Johnny Depp version. I’m a big Depp fan, but Wilder is classic.

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  2. I agree. The second movie pales in comparison to the first. Don’t bother with it.

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  3. I have been meaning to read this book. I love the movie, both of them actually. The first movie is classic and you can’t beat it. I loved the second movie simply because it was Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. I love both of them so much that it is hard for me to hate anything they do.
    I have a hard time reading books that I have already seen the movie of, but Roald Dahl has created such amazing characters that I still wanted to fight my way through this book. I might actually do it one day, but after seeing your review, it might be a few more years before I get to it.

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  4. Not my favorite Dahl book at all. It makes a great movie (Wilder fan) but I wasn’t captured by it as a child. I loved The BFG which for me is the best Dahl book. I think though they really are for children and really are for a specific age/time of life. They are really upbeat and have a conquer all kind of mentality. Anyway cool project. Your book has an interesting style to it (read the first page on Amazon). Cheers.

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  5. A child would definitely love it. I liked the happy ending, otherwise it was just alright. Thanks for sharing your point of view.

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  7. I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory way back in like…. 2004? I thought it was cute, but probably not something I would read again. I am a huge Depp fan though. I grew up watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory and loved that movie. But after reading the book and realizing that the old movie wasn’t anything like the book, I have to say I like the new version better. It follows the book better.
    Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is on my summer reading list for 2014. 🙂

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    • Well if I remember correctly, some previous commenters said the new movie was just not good. So I don’t know. I haven’t seen it. Probably never will.

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      • It’s a matter of opinion I guess. It’s actually one of my favorite movies. I’ve watched it countless times.

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