Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

2007 Puffin Edition Shown

Published by Alfred A. Knopf

Copyright © 1972


“Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator” picks up where “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” left of, but if “’Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ is Dahl at his best…” then “Charlie and the great Glass Elevator is Dahl at his worst. However, children will still love the silliness of it all.


Charlie, Grandpa Joe, and Willy Wonka have picked pushed the remainder of the Bucket clan into the great glass elevator in order to take them back to the factory which Charlie will now help Mr. Wonka run. However, things go terribly wrong and instead of going back to the Factory they end up in space and under siege by the Vermicious Knids. When they finally make it back to the Chocolate Factory Grandpa George, Grandma Georgina, and Grandma Josephine all get a taste of Wonka-Vite and Vita-Wonk with (nearly) dire consequences.


The best way to describe “…the Great Glass Elevator” is clumsy and inane. The Big differences between  “Chocolate Factory” and “…Glass Elevator” is that  former is silly with a point and congruent within itself, and the latter is pointlessly silly and seems full of discrepancies. In “…Chocolate Factory” there was a clearly developed plot and moral in amongst all that silliness, but in “…Glass Elevator” I have no idea why it went the way it did. And even though this is supposed to be a sequel, I could be wrong but there seems to be a discrepancy in the age of the grandparents. In addition the story often doesn’t seem to jive with itself. Of course there is always the giant possibility that I was so utterly bored with this book that I didn’t catch everything.


Needless to say, young children, for whom this book was intended, will probably enjoy the silly imagination of this story, but adults like me probably won’t like it so much. I think I probably wanted more chocolate factory and less space nonsense.


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Filed under Adventure, Families, Fantasy, Junior Fiction, Science Fiction

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