I LOVE Roald Dahl’s stories, and it always gives me such a thrill to read them. It is a pity that I discovered him only as an adult, but then, I am glad I at least found this fantabulous author! It is no wonder that I was over the moon when I recently got my hands on a copy of Roald Dahl’s Danny: The Champion Of The World.
Danny: The Champion Of The World is the story of Danny, a little motherless child who lives in a caravan with his father. The father is a wonderful person, who is brimming with creativity and fun and friendliness, and Danny thinks the world of him. Danny does not really mind not having a mother and having to live in a ramshackle caravan, as he is having way too much fun with his father. Danny’s perception of his father changes when he learns that he has been indulging in an illegal activity – not that Danny loves his father any less after knowing this, but it makes him less of a superhuman in his eyes, and more of a person. Together, Danny and his father try to pull off a big job, something that is as exciting as it is scary and dangerous.
I liked the experience of reading this book, as I always do with Roald Dahl’s books. I LOVED the character of Danny’s father – always up to something – sometimes making a kite, sometimes making a fire balloon for his beloved son.
The character of Danny, though, seemed to me to be too mature for his age, which made me sad.
I wouldn’t place this book on the same level as the other Roald Dahl books that I have read and enjoyed so far, like Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and The BFG. Danny: The Champion Of The World is slightly less as compared to all these books, largely because I felt that Danny did not have much of a voice of his own. He seemed to be overshadowed by the character of his father, and I would have loved it for him to be a more enthusiastic, quirky, energetic boy. However, that could be only me. Now, this is what happens when you read children’s books as an adult! Too much analysis!
As always, in Danny: The Champion Of The World too, Roald Dahl writes of teaching adults a lesson in mischievous and innovative ways, throwing caution to the wind, and of not being afraid to mess with the law. All is said in a humorous vein, and I am sure the author did not mean to instigate children, but I don’t think I would feel comfortable about a kid reading this book. (Note to self: Maybe you are going to be one of those over-cautious parents who scan everything thoroughly before giving it to your children? Please to refrain!) If you are a kid in adult clothing, like me, do go on and read this book – I am sure you will not be disappointed!