Wednesday, June 15, 2016

George's Marvelous Medicine

George's Marvelous Medicine. Roald Dahl. Illustrated by Quentin Blake. 1981. 89 pages. [Source: Library]

This was my first time to read George's Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl. My expectations were perhaps a little too high? I'm not sure. I do know that I didn't care for it as much as I'd hoped.

The premise. George HATES his grandmother who lives with them. Every Saturday, he's left to tend to his Grandmother while his mother goes out to do errands. He has to remember to give her her medicine. As I said, he hates, hates, hates her. And it's more mutual than not. The Grandma is depicted as being rude, snappish, unkind, mean. So the premise. One Saturday he decides to substitute a medicine of his own making for her real medicine. I'd say about 90% of his ingredients would have warning labels on them that they are not to be taken internally, that they are dangerous, poisonous. In they all go. George is reckless in his mixing to say the least.

Will Grandma still be breathing by the final page of this one? That would be a NO. Did George's medicine kill her? Essentially yes. Do all the characters rejoice at her death? Again the answer is YES. It is the celebration of recklessness, carelessness and shortsightedness that bothers me. The way George's father WANTS him to make more, more, more so that he can FEED it to all the farm animals and thereby introduce it to the POPULATION. (George's father doesn't think about that at all. That what you feed chickens and cows and pigs MATTER.) I think there are real-life cases where this kind of wacky science has been encouraged and applauded.

Dahl's silliness--wackiness--is fun in other books. This one that essentially ended up in murder with no consequences, in fact ending up with a PARTY of sorts, really unsettled me.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Cee Arr 8:36 AM  

This was one of my favourites as a kid! I loved all the listing of ingredients; so simple, but I was utterly thrilled by it :) and the animals, and just how *horrible* grandma was... man, I loved this book.

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