Review: Matilda by Roald Dahl

MatildaMatilda by Roald Dahl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.


‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl has touched my heart in all its deep dark corners and filled it with love, love, love! It has squeezed its way, yet again, onto my shelf of favourite novels and to-reread.
Roald Dahl’s writing can be easily compared and rivalled against Shakespeare’s. Ok. This may sound absurd to some of you. Or somewhat true for others. But Roald Dahl has brought and expressed his creative genius in a wonderfully poetic way that has filled – and continues to fill – the hearts of millions of children. Roald Dahl has managed to create worlds and stories that seem completely absurd and frightening but at the end of the day they are original and capture our world today with startling clarity.
‘Matilda’ is one of those novels about a very clever, a very gifted and very talented protagonists who often come to terms with a very unjust and cruel world around them. Yet with their wit and clever thinking they are able to outsmart their enemy – physical or metaphorical – and triumph in the end.
There was something – IS something – about Matilda herself that makes me love her and her story. Maybe it’s her clever thinking and the fact that she reads books by the pile. Maybe it’s her strong sense of justice and her lovely humbleness. Maybe it’s her loyalty to friends and ability to be extremely creative. Maybe it’s because she’s a child. But it’s definitely because Matilda is as real as the world around you and the ground you stand on. Matilda is as real as the trees, the sky, the ocean. And she’s a big breath of fresh air.
But it’s not just Matilda who’ve I’ve fallen in love with – or whom I’ve learned to absolutely dislike. All of Roald Dahl’s characters have evoked some sort of emotional response within me. He has managed to hook me in with the extravagance of some of his characters and the awfully accurate behaviour of adults in a humorous way.
I think what always surprises me about Roald Dahl, and specifically ‘Matilda’, is the proper English and grammar he uses. Whenever I pick up children’s novels, I always expect these really simple sentence structures and everyday words filling the pages. Most of the time that’s true. But with Roald Dahl…he doesn’t hold back. If he wants to say something and that includes a new and complex word which most young readers probably never even HEARD of, he will do it. And I love it. Reading his words allows you to learn something. Every book has a couple of new words that you’ve never come across before but which you look up in the dictionary, nevertheless.
This is a read that I recommend if you want something light-hearted and quick but also with a bit of meaning.
Oh, and I am SOOO in love with the new covers Dahl’s works have been given by Penguin Random House illustrators. Did you notice the little, yellow airplane on all of them?
Congratulations to Roald Dahl on his newly re-covered ‘Matilda’!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

View all my reviews


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