Author: Roald Dahl
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Jonathan Cape (original), Penguin Books (current)
Publication Date: 1982
Cost: Rs. 203 (Kindle Edition)
The ‘BFG’ or Big Friendly Giant is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It is lucky for Sophie that he is not one of those man eating giants; because had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the ‘Bloodbottler’, or any of the other giants rather than the BFG, she would have soon become their breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to wallop a few nice little children, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!
On the surface, it may seem to be a fantasy novel meant for children; but it talks about various objectives like how one treats his/her own species. It also talks about dreams and aspirations.
It positively influences a child’s psyche, for it discusses about good vs evil. If one is to dissect the relationship between the big friendly giant and Sophie under a microscope, one can relate their bond to that of any father-daughter relationship.
The bond between these two many characters evoke many emotions, however the author has never tried to show any mellow, emotional conversations between the two. All that could be felt is through the interactions with each-other.
Everything from small exclamations such as -
"by gum frog!" to alterations in usual phrases like "Let’s wait for the gun and flames to begin!"
makes ‘the BFG’, both unusual yet delightful piece to read on!
The ending in which the army follows the BFG to Giant country to catch the nine wicked giants while they are sleeping worked well with the readers. It felt like the necessary conclusion that the story needed. Dahl's language and momentarily humour is wonderful. All of the giants, but in particular The BFG himself speak in an unusual fashion, using a variety of invented words, solecism and plenty of wordplay.
- On 25 December 1989, ITV broadcast an animated film based on the book and produced by Cosgrove Hall Films on television, with David Jason providing the voice of the BFG and Amanda Root as the voice of Sophie.
- In 2016, a theatrical film adaptation was produced by Walt Disney Pictures, directed by Steven Spielberg, and starring Mark Rylance as the BFG.
Milestones of the Book:
- The BFG has won numerous awards including the 1985 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis as the year's best children's book, in its German translation Sophiechen und der Riese and the 1991 Read Alone and Read Aloud Bilby Awards.
- In 2003 it was ranked number 56 in The Big Read, a two-stage survey of the British public by the BBC to determine the "Nation's Best-loved Novel.
- The U.S. National Education Association listed The BFG among the "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children" based on a 2007 online poll.
About the Author:
Roald Dahl was a British novelist, writer of short stories, screen writer and fighter pilot. He was born in Wales in 13th September 1916. Before writing he also served in the Air Force and fought in the World War two.
Dahl’s first book, The Gremlins (1943), was written for Walt Disney but was largely unsuccessful. His service in the RAF influenced his first story collection, Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying (1946). Dahl’s books involve imagination and fantasy and they were humorous too. His first book for children was ‘The Gremlins’. His book most loved by children is ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. This was made into two films; one was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ in 1971 and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ in 2005. Another famous work is ‘Matilda’ published in 1988 which was made into a movie in 1988. Some other books of Dahl are Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970) and the movie in 2009, ‘The Minpins’ (1991), ‘The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me’ (1985). Some short story collections are ‘Roald Book of Ghost Stories’ (1983), ‘Two Fables’ (1986), ‘The Roald Dahl Treasury’ (1997).
Roald Dahl died on 23rd November 1990 due to a blood disease in Oxford, England. There is a Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery opened in his honour.