A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{December 8, 2012}   The Twits by Roald Dahl

The-Twits-24ssvc8Plot: Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the most horrible, dirty, mean old people you shall ever meet. They spend their days playing pranks on each other. In their yard they keep a cage of monkeys who they force to do everything upside down. And every Tuesday they capture birds for their pie. But the monkeys and the birds have had enough and they have a plan to turn the tables on the Twits.

The Twits combines the mischievous animals of Fantastic Mr. Fox and the pranks that made Matilda so fun to create a silly, irreverent tale.

The story is divided into two parts: a first in which Mr. and Mrs. Twit keep one upping each other with terrible pranks and a second in which the monkeys and birds join forces to teach the terrible Twits a lesson in true Dahl fashion. I wouldn’t have minded a book of nothing but the Twits’ mean-spirited pranks; they had me chuckling quietly to myself. But I suppose a book needs a plot. As the narrator puts it: “But that’s enough of that. We can’t go on forever watching these two disgusting people doing disgusting things to each other. We must get ahead with the story.” p.32 (I do rather like the narrator, he has a snide voice.)

The transition between the two halves isn’t exactly smooth as you can see above but you soon forget as you get up in the plight of the monkeys and birds. The monkeys (who are as adorable as the Twits are gross in Quentin Blake’s illustrations) of course serve the Twits a bit a poetic justice. Because it wouldn’t be a Dahl book if the unbelievably bad didn’t get exactly what they deserved in the end.

Also, if the beginning of this book doesn’t turn you off beards, I don’t know what will. *shudder*

My next Dahl book shall be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

2012 (#112)


[…] beginning of the novel reminded me a lot of Roald Dahl’s novel The Twits. There is a clear comparison to be made between the description of Mr. Twit’s revolting beard […]

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