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Book Forty Four - Danny The Champion of the World / James and the Giant Peach / The Twits – Roald Dahl

Children's, 8 / 10

Some more great books by Roald Dahl! Danny the Champion of the World tells the story of a boy and his dad who live in an old Gyspy caravan and own a mechanics near a huge wood which is full of pheasants. Danny and his dad have a wonderful life, with Danny learning so much from his father, about all kinds of things. Danny finds out that his father goes to the wood to poach pheasants from the horrible farmer who owns it, and they formulate a plan involving raisins and sleeping tablets to get all of the farmer’s pheasants before a big shoot. This book is wonderful as the relationship between Danny and his father is written really well, and they have a really strong relationship. Also the BFG makes an appearance at the beginning of the story as well! Such a lovely book.

James and the Giant Peach is about…well, a giant peach and a boy called James, basically! James lives a horrible life with his horrible aunts, until one day a man appears in his garden and gives him some magic worm type things in a bag. James trips and they go into the earth, and then next day a huge peach grows. James ends up crawling inside the peach, where he meets an assortment of insects who have, along with the peach, grown to many times their original size. The peach breaks free from the tree, and they manage, with the help of some seagulls, to fly across the ocean to America. This is a good book, but not quite so detailed as some of Dahl’s other books. I also recommend the Tim Burton film of this, as as far as I can remember it stays quite true to the book, and has some great characters in it.

The Twits is about a really horrible couple – they’re horrible in looks as well as in character! The description of Mr Twits beard and the food left in it, which is at the beginning of the book, is just so disgusting! The Twits use a very sticky glue to catch birds to put in their bird pie, so the birds stick in it when they come down to roost. However one day the monkeys who live in a cage in the Twits’ garden warn the birds off, and between the birds and the monkeys they begin to formulate a plan to teach the Twits a lesson! One of Dahl’s shorter books, the descriptions in this are just horrible, but great at the same time!

Book Forty Five - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K Dick

1001, 8.5 / 10

This book was much better than I thought it would be – and I’m beginning to wonder whether I do like sci-fi novels after all! It starts at the home of a bounty hunter, who is worrying about his sheep and whether others will know that it’s electric rather than real, as he can’t afford a real sheep. Some horrible nuclear war has occurred on earth, and most people have emigrated to Mars, but there are still some people who are still on Earth. Among these people is someone who I think didn’t meet the criteria for emigration, so still lives on Earth and works for a vets which repairs the electric animals. The main point of the story (I think) is that the bounty hunter is trying to destroy androids, and he finds himself falling in love with one and beginning to have some empathy with them, although they aren’t human. There are some interesting bits about how the androids have developed to be so human, and the tests which the bounty hunters use to find if they’re androids or human. I also really enjoyed the bits where he was worrying about what animals he could afford once he had been paid for his work, and how he kept checking up on how much the animals were worth in his catalogue. Unfortunately I would imagine that those bits have been taken out of the film (Blade Runner), as they don’t really fit in with an “action” film! This isn’t the whole story of the book, as his search for the androids gets more complicated towards the end, but it is good. I enjoyed it more than I thought, and would read more of his books, although I’m not sure if I want to see the film of Blade Runner!

Book Forty Six - Now We Are Sixty by Christopher Matthew

Poetry, 6 / 10

This is a little book of poems, “updated” from the “Now We Are Six” poems. Instead of being about a child with their nanny, its now about someone who’s sixty, living in the age of mobile phones and trains and computers. It was ok, but not as funny as I would have liked. I prefer the AA Milne poems!

Had a bit of a nightmare evening last night – my computer got a huge virus!! And it ended up only letting me go onto the internet, and if I tried to open anything else it said there was an error. My dad at first didn’t seem to believe it was a virus, which was really frustrating, as to me it was obvious! In the language of all the “alerts”, the colours, even the font of the programmes which were coming up. I took it into the computer shop this morning, and hopefully it will be fixed by tomorrow – when I told the man in the shop what it was he said that they are fixing about 10 of them each day, so I’m glad its not just me. I’m definitely going to get an external harddrive this weekend, just to put all my pictures, documents and music onto. I’m still a bit scared that it won’t be fixed…or I’ll have other problems with it or something! But hopefully not.
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