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One of the most beloved children’s stories of the 20th century, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl is a masterpiece of pure imagination.
Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, our hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!
First published in 1964, the dark humor and cheerful gruesomeness of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory immediately endeared the book to children, making it an instant bestseller. Rarely has a tale of morality ever been more deliciously entertaining to read, as Roald Dahl’s story warns children and adults alike of the dangers of bad parenting, spoiling children, and self-indulgence.
Dahl drew inspiration for the story from his own childhood. In the 1920s, chocolate makers in England would frequently send samples to school children in exchange for their opinions on new products. Two of the largest competing chocolate companies, Cadbury and Rowntree, would send spies posing as employees to discover the other’s trade secrets. As a result, the companies became highly protective of their chocolate making process. It was a combination of this secrecy and the elaborate, often gigantic, machines in the factory that inspired the author to write his story.
Roald Dahl’s classic tale has been adapted into two major motion pictures, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). In 1971, Dahl wrote a sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, published in 1972.
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