Reviews for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

AudioFile Reviews 2005 August/September
Charlie Bucket's weird and wonderful adventures after finding a Golden Ticket in his Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgmallow Delight have entertained generations of children (and inspired two big screen adaptations). Eric Idle, of the Monty Python comedy troupe, fits like chocolate in a mold as he reads Roald Dahl's classic tale of a poor boy's visit to a fantastical candy factory. Idle becomes the munchie mogul Willy Wonka as he brings his nimble vocal talents to this novel. There are times when Idle is perhaps too nimble, particularly when he modulates his volume, rising from a quiet whisper to an ear-piercing yell. Haven't the directors heard of volume normalization or a stage whisper? The CD version is labeled as an enhanced CD, but the only enhancements are links to a Roald Dahl Web site and Harper Audio's own home page. Quibbles aside, listeners of all ages will find Charlie to be a delicious treat. S.E.S. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine

AudioFile Reviews 1996 June
Keep these readings by Roald Dahl of these favorite tales alongside E.B. White's reading of CHARLOTTE'S WEB. This is not a performance but the author sharing his books with the listener. His distinctive voice, with a slight lisp, reflects his thorough understanding and delight in the characters. With the current film, James is now a movie star, but the incentive to read or listen to these stories is only increased by this attention. More of Dahl's stories, THE WITCHES, DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD and MATILDA are also available from Harper Children's though we miss Dahl's narrative. R.F.W. Copyright 1999 AudioFile Reviews

Booklist Monthly Selections - # 2 April 2003
Gr. 3^-5. Three enjoyable audiobooks for Dahl fans. Idle's masterful reading and lively portrayals in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, together with whimsical music at the start and end of each tape, enhance the colorful story of Charlie Bucket's fantastic adventures inside Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Idle is a natural storyteller, and his British accent suits the text. In George's Marvelous Medicine, young George mixes up a special medicine to cure his grandma's grumpiness. Grant's gurgling, grunting vocalizations of the grandma character are a bit distracting, but these exaggerated interpretations may appeal to younger listeners, who will also enjoy his British accent and the musical interludes. Jacobi delivers a pleasurable performance in Going Solo, the continuation of Dahl's biographical Boy: Tales of Childhood [BKL Ja 1 & 15 03]. With perfect timing and accurate British interpretations, Jacobi balances Dahl's breathtaking experiences as a World War II aviator with more humorous episodes. The somber violin playing at the start and end of each tape provides appropriate accompaniment. --Anna Rich Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

BookPage Reviews 2006 August
Save your sanity with audio diversions for kids

When the kids are in car, one phrase you definitely don't want to hear is "are we there yet?" The sure cure for the travel blahs is a supply of entertaining audios to keep everyone happy, adults included.

A dollop of Dahl might be just the thing, and 18 Roald Dahl favorites are available now from HarperCollins, including Natasha Richardson reading The BFG, Lynn Redgrave reading The Witches and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, performed by Eric Idle. More Dahl audios are on their way. Copyright 2006 BookPage Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 December #2
In a sublime bit of casting, comedic actor Idle delivers an inspired rendition of Dahl's classic novel, available for the first time as an unabridged recording (an abridged Caedmon edition, read by Dahl, was released in the 1970s). Using expert timing and a seemingly strong familiarity with the material, Idle wrings every note of humor from the author's colorful behind-the-scenes look at Willy Wonka's world-famous chocolate factory. During the course of a factory tour (whose participants were determined by a contest), honest, humble Charlie Bucket beats out four bratty, selfish children to become the heir to Wonka's wonderland. Readers new to Dahl, as well as longstanding admirers of the book or even the feature film starring Gene Wilder, will not want to miss Idle's interpretation of Wonka's whirlwind energy and "high and flutey" voice. Ages 6-up. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.