I had been reading Roald Dahl’s Matilda off and on for some time, and finally finished it yesterday. As always, Roald Dahl was witty and delightful.

Matilda is the story of a little girl Matilda, whose parents absolutely do not care for her. They are totally unaware of the great talents that Matilda possesses, and ignore everything that she has to say. In fact, they are perfect examples of how parents should NOT be.  Matilda, being the wise girl that she is, decides to ignore them entirely, and teaches herself to read and write and count, in spite of the fierce disapproval of her parents. She is phenomenally intelligent, and begins to read classics even before she joins the first form at school.

Her teacher in first form, Miss Honey, recognizes that Matilda is a child prodigy, and brings this fact to the notice of the school headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. Miss Trunchbull, sadly, is an ill-natured female who hates children, and disbelieves what Miss Honey has to say about Matilda. I won’t tell you what happens after that, for that would be spoiling the book for you. I would just say that Miss Honey is in awe of Matilda’s capabilities, and soon something happens that changes life for both of them.

I learnt that Matilda, the book, was once banned. I could see why. The parents could set really bad examples for kids, with their instructions to Matilda to see the TV instead of ‘having your nose buried in a damn book’, and quite fearsome descriptions of Miss Trunchbull’s atrocities on the children. Matilda’s little tricks to avenge the injustices her parents do to her – like filling her father’s hat with strong glue – are something kids would be better off not knowing.

I found Dahl’s writing in Matilda to be a little more mature, more adult-like, as compared to his other books that I’ve read so far. That said, Dahl is no less witty or humourous in this book than his others. This one too is just as beautifully written, just as charming, and as much a pleasure to read.

Have you read Matilda? How did you find it? If you haven’t, do grab a copy soon!



Filed under Reading Ramana

20 responses to “Matilda

  1. Hi, haven’t you see the movie Matilda based on this book. You will definitely like it. I have seen the movie many time and loved every time the tricks and pranks Matilda do. Grab hold of a DVD and watch it when u find time.

    • priyaiyer


      I haven’t watched the movie yet, but would definitely love to. I usually read the book before watching the movie. 🙂

  2. I have read it – but a long while ago. I love Roald Dahl. I started Roald Dahl as a child, and loved his style! Absolutely love his books 🙂 Maybe I should re-read some now 🙂

    • priyaiyer


      I don’t know how I missed Dahl books as a kid. I recently started reading him, and am hopelessly in love with his books. They’re a pleasure to read, honestly. 🙂

  3. Swaram

    I so wanna read this again. Long time since I read this book 🙂

  4. Ava

    I have seen the movie. Didnt know it was a book to begin with. I must read this author.

    • priyaiyer


      Yes, the movie is based on Roald Dahl’s book. You SHOULD read Dahl, if you haven’t yet. He’s absolutely scrumdiddlyumptious. 🙂

  5. I havent read the book,though i loved the movie. Surprised it was banned- there is no objectionable material in there ..

    • priyaiyer


      I am yet to see the movie. I liked the book quite a bit, and do want to see the movie badly.

      There is a bit of cussing in the book, which, coupled with the bad influence that Matilda’s parents can have on kids, might be the reason for it being banned…

  6. Veens

    I have seen the movie and it wonderful!! The girl who plays Matilda is so cute 🙂
    I hope you love the movie as well.

  7. Watched the movie and read the book and I agree, Roald Dahl books are very interesting and humorous too.

    Came here for the first time and enjoyed reading the posts.

  8. Anu

    I have seen the movie and loved it!

  9. Another great review. I did not enjoy his book, “Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life,” but loved “Charlie and Chocolate Factory” series. I am going to add this book to TBR list and hopefully I will get to it soon.

    • priyaiyer


      Thank you!! 🙂
      I think Ah, Sweet Mystery Of Life is more of an adult book. I’ve not read any of Dahl’s adult books, and I’m not sure I’d enjoy them as much, too.

      But I sure am loving the books he writes for kids! 🙂

  10. RustyN

    Have seen the movie and agree with all others above! Delightful.
    But reading a book is altogether a different experience and I shall borrow this from the library soon.

    I recently read ‘The Reader’ by Bernard Schlink – a thought provoking book and thoroughly enjoyable. Have you read the book by any chance? The end was so unexpected – I have not seen the movie and I am dying to watch it..

    • priyaiyer


      I am yet to catch up with Matilda – the movie, but I sure loved the book. It was absolutely delightful. Do check out the book. I’m sure you’ll love it too. 🙂

      I have heard a lot of good things about The Reader, but haven’t read it yet. Saw a copy at a used book store recently at a throwaway price, and was tempted. But somehow, I did not pick it up. Felt it might be too heavy a book. What is it about? Is it like a classic – language wise – or a simple read?

      BTW are you in Bangalore or elsewhere?

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