Book Reviews

Book Review: The Big Friendly Giant by Roald Dahl

It’s Book Review Friday and we have a special one on our list for today.

What is it that makes this book special you ask?
Well, it’s a heartwarming book that will bring laughter to adults and children alike. It is indeed a book for kids, but it has a few deep messages hidden within it.  Roald Dahl wrote many interesting books for kids, but to be frank I find this one the most interesting.

This story begins one night, just as Sophie a little orphan girl watches the stars before her sleep. She tries to fall asleep in her cold bed, but the moon shines bright through her open curtains making it hard for the tired Sophie to fall asleep. The scared Sophie gets up and without making a noise she ties to close them, only to catch a shadowy colossal figure with huge ears, who appears to be holding a suitcase and a weird trumpet. She would never assume that this creature would bring a change in her life she never dreamed of. And the story starts, we are following their journey in this magical world of giants and humans.

It may be hard, although not impossible, not to fall for the lovable giant who speaks in a strange uneducated yet very amusing way or for kindness. You can just sink in and understand him even if he speaks like a broken machine.

My favorite part about this book would be through the humor, the brilliant range of jokes and gags that happen throughout the book. Things easily get out of hand during the humorous discussions between the BFG and Sophie, the little girl who saw him one night. The story follows her and BFG through their adventure to stop the other giants from harming humans, or as the BFG refers to them “human beans”.

One such misunderstanding is the following :

  “I’m not sure I quite know what that means,” Sophie said.

“Meanings is not important,” said the BFG.
“I can’t be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.”

The book is filled with language jokes like those that would make most of us giggle while reading them. It’s also fascinating that the story has some dark elements to it, which are represented by the evil giants. There is also a great discussion about the human race and murder between them, take a read if you would like if not just skip it:

“Giants isn’t eating each other either, the BFG said. Nor is giants killing each other. Giants is not very lovely, but they is not killing each other. Nor is crockadowndillies killing other crockadowndillies. Nor is pussy-cats killing pussy-cats.

‘They kill mice,’ Sophie said.

‘Ah, but they is not killing their own kind,’ the BFG said. ‘Human beans is the only animals that is killing their own kind.’

‘Don’t poisonous snakes kill each other?’ Sophie asked. She was searching desperately for another creature that behaved as badly as the human.

‘Even poisnowse snakes is never killing each other,’ the BFG said. ‘Nor is the most fearsome creatures like tigers and rhinostossterisses. None of them is ever killing their own kind. Has you ever thought about that?’

Sophie kept silent.

‘I is not understanding human beans at all,’ the BFG said.’ You is a human bean and you is saying it is grizzling and horrigust for giants to be eating human beans. Right or left?’

‘Right,’ Sophie said.

‘But human beans is squishing each other all the time,’ the BFG said. ‘They is shootling guns and going up in
aerioplanes to drop their bombs on each other’s heads every week. Human beans is always killing other human beans.’

He was right. Of course he was right and Sophie knew it. She was beginning to wonder whether humans were actually any better than giants. ‘Even so,’ she said, defending her own race, I’ think it’s rotten that those foul giants should go off every night to eat humans. Humans have never done them any harm.’

‘That is what the little piggy-wig is saying every day,’ the BFG answered. ‘He is saying, “I has never done any harm to the human bean so why should he be eating me?'”

‘Oh dear,’ Sophie said.

‘The human beans is making rules to suit themselves,’ the BFG went on. ‘But the rules they is making do not suit the little piggy-wiggies. Am I right or left?’

‘Right,’ Sophie said.

‘Giants is also making rules. Their rules is not suiting the human beans. Everybody is making his own rules to suit himself.”

The thing that fascinated me the most about the character BFG is that he is a monster amongst everyone. Like a giant he is feared by humans, as a none human-eating giant he is mocked and hated by the other giants, so he is a soul between two worlds where no one likes him that much. Left out of everything would be the right term to describe him, which is, I am sure, not the best situation to find oneself in. I wouldn’t wish that for my worst enemy since this is one of the hardest things to go through, feeling alone but not being alone.
Yet this book, this books message is to not judge a book by its cover. As scary as or as strange someone may look you may never know what he/she or it is actually like before you get to know them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: