Thoughts on Roald Dahl: Matilda, Esio Trot & The Twits

Roald Dahl Collection

Roald Dahl Collection

I wrote a post for Roald Dahl Day last month on Why You’re Never Too Old to Read Children’s Books. I revealed that I had just finished reading Matilda and that it was my first Dahl book ever. (I know, I know!). So, now I’m working my way through the Roald Dahl Collection and for every three books I read, I’m going to let you know what I thought of them! I’ve now read Matilda, Esio Trot and The Twits and I must say that buying the box set was an excellent decision. (Perhaps one of the best I’ve made!). I’m loving them and very much enjoying the wit, the intelligence, the outrageous storylines, the terrifying characters, and the fangirlable ones (which, I have noticed, are very rarely the adults). I can see why many people love Quentin Blake’s illustrations and why so many children find the stories magical and unforgettable. And I can confirm you can still enjoy them as an adult! Matilda

Which Roald Dahl book does a book lover choose to read first? Why, Matilda of course! I adored the film adaptation and so I couldn’t wait to see how faithful it was to the book. I wasn’t disappointed; the horrid characters are just (if not more) horrid and the loveable ones are just as loveable. Matilda Wormwood, as we all know, is a highly intelligent young girl whose parents just do not appreciate her. I did not expect the book to be as dark as the film, but it’s even more so! Miss Honey’s story is even more upsetting: she’s poor and cannot afford furniture, food or heating, and Miss Trunchball held her head under bath water as a young child. (And the chokey is just as horrifying). I loved being able to read a story I had grown up with and I’d urge you to pick it up if you, like me, did not get to read it as an actual child. It was wonderful to become immersed into such a fantastic, magical story and read it in (nearly) one sitting.

I’m wondering what to read next.” Matilda said. “I’ve finished all the children’s books”. Esio Trot

Esio Trot
Did you realise that Esio Trot was tortoise spelled backwards? I certainly didn’t. I can imagine a child being blown away by it when they reach that page! Esio Trot was the first Roald Dahl book I read yet knew nothing about before starting. I thought it would be a cute little story about a tortoise, but it’s actually fun and hilariously disturbing! I see people praising children’s books for being a little more daring and I can see why. Mr. Hoppy and Mrs. Silver are questionable and poor Alfie has done nothing to deserve such harsh treatment and neglect. Esio Trot makes you realise how irrational adults can be. I also felt a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment after finishing a book within half an hour… !

Tortoise, Tortoise get bigger, bigger. Come on Tortoise grow up, puff up, shoot up! Spring up, Blow up swell up! Gorge! Guzzle! Stuff! Gulp! Put on fat, Tortoise, Put on fat! get on, Get on! Gobble food!! The Twits

The Twits
I had seen a lot of people say that The Twits was their favourite Roald Dahl book, but it was another I knew nothing about. The Twits are awful people who are dirty, disgusting and play nasty tricks on each other. But one day, the birds and the monkeys decide that enough is enough and begin to get their own back on the couple. I could not be more thankful that I did not start this book over lunch as I had planned to. (You’ll know why if you’ve read the first few page!s). It’s a traditional tale of triumph of good over evil, intelligence over stupidity, and er, monkeys over humans. It’s whimsical and silly and gave me a hunger for more Roald Dahl, but probably not spaghetti…

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

Have you read any of these Roald Dahl books recently? Let me know what you thought! Next up… The Witches? Thoughts on Roald Dahl: Matilda, Esio Trot & The TwitsThoughts on Roald Dahl: Matilda, Esio Trot & The Twits



Esio Trot

Esio Trot

Esio Trot

Esio Trot

The Twits

The Twits

34 thoughts on “Thoughts on Roald Dahl: Matilda, Esio Trot & The Twits

  1. I’m so in love with your new Roald Dahl box set! I just love all the colors, and Quentin Blake’s illustrations are amazing. 🙂 I haven’t read a Roald Dahl book in a while, but I remember my favorites being Matilda, George’s Marvelous Medicine, and The Magic Finger. I do want to go back and read them again at some point, but I have a feeling that I’ll find the stories more disturbing now than when I was reading them as a kid, haha.

  2. I read my first Roald Dahl book last month (The Witches) and I loved it! I never had the opportunity to read him as a child. I really enjoyed your review of the first three books in the collection and can’t wait to hear more (and read more!) of his stories.

  3. After you’ve got to enjoy all the children’s books (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is my personal favourite), you should try his short stories for adults – macabre and disturbing they may be, but they’re absolutely brilliant, and very witty too! I think they’re called ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ or ‘Someone Like You’ – some of my favourite tales ever 🙂

  4. yes I recently went through a few roald dahl books. I loved Matilda’s intelligence. And the Witches still makes me nervous when the little boy gets stuck behind the curtain with the conference of witches. His language is amazing, and so whimsical. LOVE his books!

  5. The only book out of these three I’ve read is Matlida, but I’m definitely going to have to read Esio Trot and The Twits soon! I did recently read Danny the Champion of the World for the first time without any prior knowledge of it and it was really good. It also had a lot more decent adult characters than some of Dahl’s other books which made it even better.

  6. Oh I love this! You’ve made me want to go and read all my old Roald Dahl books now! I remember loving Fantastic Mr. Fox and I had an audio-cassette of The Witches which I used to play for hours. Back in the days when cassettes were used of course! I hope you enjoy your box set collection. 🙂

  7. Until recently, I was in the same case as you were. I’m looking forward reading “Matilda” now I’ve read your review about it.

  8. I really need to read his books. I have Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, so I should probably read it soon. Right?

    • I’m probably going to read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last, actually! I feel I know the story too well. I might be surprised. I think you’ll love Matilda, Laura!

  9. Love Matilda! And The Witches is fab, especially the Head Witch’s speech! You should also read Revolting Rhymes – hilarious rewritings of fairytales. Also your set of Dahl books is beautiful!

  10. The BFG – make time for it soon! It is the big favorite of EVERYONE in my house. You can’t go wrong with any Dahl. I read many as a child – James & the Giant Peach was my very favorite – and now that I have kids, I’m reliving the ones I already read and getting to read the ones I didn’t, like The BFG. We haven’t read “The Twits” yet. I’m putting it next in the rotation.

  11. Hanne on Cloud 9

    i’m with stacy: i think the BFG is one of the best ones in the best ones in the bunch, especially to read as an adult!

  12. So many good memories of childhood bedtime stories! Lovely set of books!

  13. I’m going to throw my vote in for Danny the Champion of the World. I’m a pretty indiscriminate Roald Dahl fan, but that one just has something extra special.

  14. […] Matilda by Roald Dahl Matilda was another book I was slightly nervous about reading. I knew I loved the film adaptation, but what if I didn’t love the book that everyone else loved? But reading Roald Dahl was one of the best choices I’ve made this year. (It even encouraged me to write about why you’re never too old to read children’s books!). I was surprised at how dark it was and of course I adored Matilda herself. I then went to see Matilda the Musical with a bunch of blogger friends, which we all loved. I urge you to pick it up if you haven’t yet! […]

  15. […] the challenge. I do tend to stretch the meaning of ‘classic’ – I’ve read Roald Dahl and Agatha Christie alongside Charlotte Brontë and Oscar Wilde. I’ve read non-fiction like […]

  16. […] Matilda by Roald Dahl for a magical tale about a genius, a horrid headmistress and a loving teacher, and the hopeful and comforting message contained in books: You are not alone. (Review) […]

  17. […] Matilda, Esio Trot, The Twits and The BFG by Roald Dahl have been, for me, an exciting journey into some of the most famous stories in children’s literature. I am currently working my way through my Roald Dahl box set and have enjoyed all four stories that I’ve read so far, with my favourite being Matilda, followed by The BFG. […]

  18. The Twits is definitely my top Roald Dahl book =)

  19. […] going to let you know what I thought of them! I’ve now read Matilda, Esio Trot, The Twits – which you can read about it here – The BFG, The Witches and Fantastic Mr. […]

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