Sunday, 8 June 2008

The Twits

Peirce and I have been reading Roald Dahl's book, The Twits.

I think Roald Dahl is an interesting writer. I didn't realized that he was so recent. Apparently he died in 1990. This book was written in 1980. I never read it as a child. I would have been 13 at the time. I wish I had known about Roald Dahl back in the day - it would have been fun to have been anticipating each book as it came out. Kind of makes me sad that I could have experienced that but just didn't know. He wrote James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the 60's. Makes me wonder when they became popular.

The Twits is a book that I felt a little uncomfortable reading. Honestly, Roald Dahl's humor reminds me of what Jill's Grade Four teacher might think is funny (and he wasn't that nice). Hopefully he wasn't quite as nasty as I imagine a person would have to be to come up with such craziness...but apparently he wasn't the easiest to live with. His grand-daughter, Sophie, described him as "a very difficult man – very strong, very dominant ... not unlike the father of the Mitford sisters sort of roaring round the house with these very loud opinions, banning certain types – foppish boys, you know – from coming round."

The book starts off talking about Mr. Twit and his nasty beard. Apparently Roald Dahl really didn't like beards and this book was a bit of a vent for him. Mr. and Mrs. Twit have poor hygiene (to say the least!) and treat each other terribly. It says that Mrs Twit grew to become ugly because of her ugly thoughts. They're always playing mean tricks on each other and Mr. Twit drinks beer all the time - even for breakfast! It was interesting to me though that Peirce was not bothered at all by these details. It seems like kids don't have issues with such horribleness - it works quite well with their imagination I guess!

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