First Lines: What a lot of hairy-faced men there are around nowadays. When a man grows hair all over his face it is impossible to tell what he really looks like.
A few weeks back, I was asked if I’d like to participate in a blog tour for the beloved Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday occurring this week and of course I said yes. As a kid, I fell in love with so many Dahl stories. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, and yes, The Twits. So I reread The Twits to celebrate.
This is the story of Mr. and Mrs. Twit, the smelliest and ugliest people in the world. They hate everything and everyone–but they love to play pranks on each other and catch birds to put in their Bird Pie. But after years of harassing their pet monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, the Muggle-Wumps have had enough. And they’re out for revenge.
Is this a classy, sophisticated story? No. But is it still funny and charming? Yes. Definitely yes. It weaves the art into the story so there’s something on every page. You don’t just get descriptions of the ugliness of Mrs. Twit, but you get to see her transformation from somewhat-pretty to ugly. It’s just good fun.
And truly, those pranks that they play on each other are just silly fun. I can vaguely remember being a kid and finding them hilarious. Perhaps that’s where my sense of humor came from…
True, this isn’t one of the best known Dahl stories. Most people know more about Charlie Bucket and Matilda than they do about the Twits. And that’s fine. This may not be his best story. But it’s so definitely Dahl’s style and I will be passing these stories on to my own kids whenever that happens.