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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