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Book Report: James and the Giant Peach

Your Humble Blogger had forgotten how short James and the Giant Peach is. That's not bad, actually; I prefer a skimpy book to a padded one. Other things I had forgotten about James include the Cloud Men (who take up three or four chapters), the Glow-Worm, the bunch of lies James tells in New York, and the nastiness of the squabbling between the Earthworm and the Centipede. I did remember, well and vividly, loathsome Aunt Sponge and detestable Aunt Spiker. Somehow, I particularly remembered Spider's grandfather being stuck to the ceiling with paint, and the family bringing him fresh flies from the web, although the occasion for the anecdote was the Cloud Men throwing paint at the Peach Gang after they smashed the rainbow, and I had totally forgotten the Cloud Men.

I wonder whether what I remembered and what I forgot was influenced by the brilliant movie version. The book is better, of course, and more ... booklike. I read the book umpty-'leven times as a child, and adolescent and a grown-up before seeing the movie, so it would be odd and disturbing if my memory of the movie replaced my memory of the book. I'm aware it did to a certain extent. The little man at the beginning who gives James the crocodile tongues looks in my mind like Pete Postethwaite, rather than like the bald, bearded, pointy-eared fellow in the Nancy Ekholm Burkert drawing. The rhinoceros that kills the Trotters looks like the mechanical rhinoceros from the movie. That's more or less OK with me; the visuals matter a lot less than the plot. It's much more troubling if the plot from the movie (mostly the same, but without the Cloud Men and with undead pirates) took over my head.

Still, it's a great movie, and a great book. And that ain't bad. chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek,

Post Script: Sorry about the lack of link, Gentle Readers, but I'm in Dial-up world for the nonce.


Wow, I both read it umpty-'leven times and saw the movie at least once, and I remember neither the Cloud Men nor the pirates, not many of the other details. Giant peach, check. Nasty aunts, check. Plot device rhino, check. Earthworm versus Centipede, check. New York City, check. But that's about all I could tell ya today! Ah well, I guess I should just take that as an excuse to reread it.

Well, and by pirates, it should be clear that we're talking about undead undersea pirates; in fact, I suspect that the undead undersea pirate scene in Pirates of the Caribbean may be a steal from James.
The point, though, is that you should really take any excuse to reread the book, and if you have some time left over, to watch the movie again.

Huh, never saw the movie, though did read the book the requisite umpty-leven times as a kid. I would not have remembered the Cloud Men but once you mentioned it I remembered it--they damage the peach so it's dripping juice, didn't they? or was that the sharks in the ocean?

i hate this book it is sooooo werid

I love this book it is sooooo weird

this book is cool and very awsome! i love it so much!

OK, that's strange. But welcome Marli (and Micaela) to this Tohu Bohu. Any guesses why people would wind up at this note when looking for places to express their opinion of this fine book?


I imagine Your Gracious Host could check the logs and tell you the referrer address for those visits (which is almost certainly some kind of Google search -- a quick "link:" search doesn't show any other sites linking directly to that entry).

your book report is soooooo bad

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