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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Alfred A. Knopf
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First UK edition, first printing of the great chocolatier fantasy of desire fulfilled.
Dahl's Dickensian tale of a good-hearted waif rescued from poverty by literature's most stylish factory owner, drawing powerfully on the author's remembered childhood miseries and later post-war deprivation. Charlie's wish for a Golden Ticket, more than the uncomplicated greed animating the book's less virtuous children, is an unfathomable longing for sweetness, for a taste of wonder in a grey and oppressive world.
Meanwhile, Wonka's chaotic energy drives the story to its greatest heights. As the walled chocolate garden's grotesqueries reward a child-reader's basest narrative instincts, each unworthy child is punished according to his or her character and just desserts, in sequences as merciless as a medieval morality play. For these disquieting episodes, and for the sheer material lavishness of Charlie's ultimate reward, the novel was derided by Eleanor Cameron as "one of the most tasteless books ever written for children, no better than a television show"; Ursula Le Guin concurred, likening its effects to "a tiny psychological fugue, very like that provided by comic books." Children continue, lawlessly, to adore it.
This first UK edition features illustrations by Faith Jaques instead of the US version's from Joseph Schindelman. A much nicer copy than typically seen, with laminate entirely intact.
Spine faintly soiled.
Light marginal toning to leaves.
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