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Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Still in celebration of 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, here is the 6th review in my Roald Dahl Read-A-Thon.

“Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator” by Roald Dahl is the sequel to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and picks up immediately where the previous book left off. Willy Wonka, Charlie and Grandpa Joe have just collected Charlie’s parents and other three grandparents and are zooming into the sky in the Great Glass Elevator. Wonka’s plan is to get enough altitude so they can speed back down to earth with enough velocity to break through the roof of the chocolate factory. However, distracted by Charlie’s grandparents, Wonka misses his chance to hit the button at the right time. The occupants of the elevator find themselves adrift in space, just in time to see a shuttle that is about to connect with the world’s first space hotel.


Although this is the sequel to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” it lacks a lot of the, dare I say it, sweetness of the first book. Where “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is a wild journey into a wonderful place, “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator” seems to have gotten stuck on the wild part. It has all the hallmarks of Dahl’s other children’s books, bubbling enthusiasm, small but clever child, idiotic adults and reams and reams of nonsense language. However, this book is missing some of his usual charm and humour. It definitely doesn’t seem to have undergone the same editorial treatment that the first book did, and there are pages of jokes at the expense of people from other countries.

I don’t remember caring much for this book as a kid, and I didn’t care for it now. Apparently Dahl was working on a third book in this series that was never finished, and I have to say thank goodness. Stick to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, this one is just disappointing.

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