Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

March 2, 2017
By , Norridge, IL

Roald Dahl’s novel, Danny the Champion of the World, is a 1975, children’s book. It introduces a young English boy and his father who live in an old gypsy caravan behind a filling station fixing cars for a living. Danny was only 4 months old when his mother died and was left with his father to look after him all by himself. Throughout all his boyhood it was just him and his father, William.

There are many major characters in this novel. The first one is a boy named Danny. He has bright blue eyes, blonde messy hair and always a big smile on his face. In the novel, he appears very bright, cheerful, caring and also very adventurous. Sadly he doesn’t have a mom, but that doesn’t tear him down because he has an amazing father that looks after him. He has a life any boy would only dream to have. The second and last main character I will talk about is Mr. Victor Hazel. He enjoys bullying little kids and buying pheasants. He is often angry, pink-faced, and fat. He is also very rude, mean and at times silly. In addition to this, he is a snarky, rich man.

In the book, there were also many minor characters which added to the book in many ways. Mr. Rabbetts, Mrs. Clipstone, Doc Spencers and Sergeant Enoch Samsways are all examples. Mr. Rabbetts loves guarding Hazel’s woods. In the book, he appears mysterious, very suspicious and has a mean, insecure look on his face. Mrs. Clipstone looks after baby Christopher and delivers pheasants to people. She is a kind, friendly lady, who is quite happy. Doc Spencer's is the doctor in this novel. His passion is healing people. In this novel, he is very kind, gentle and smart. Lastly,  Sergeant Enoch Samsways. He likes walking through the village. He is a huge plump man with a black mustache. He is proud and always frightens Danny.

One night Danny awakes to seeing his dad gone. Anxious, because it’s his first time seeing his dad disappear like this, Danny waits for him and soon finds out that his dad has a secret that he had kept hidden from him for years. He learns that his dad is a pheasant poacher, and that Danny’s mother would join him on poaching nights when she was still present. And so, William introduces Danny to the world of pheasant poaching. Danny soon discovers that the whole town enjoys a spot of pheasant poaching! And starts to get drawn into it. He also comes up with an ideally clever poaching plan, a way to steal all one hundred and twenty birds at once, the same night Mr Hazell’s Shooting party arrives!

As this novel began to unfold in my fingertips, personally, I thought that it was more of a realistic story and had a different tone and feel to it compared to the classics, The Witches, and The BFG. It is written for children and has humor and lightness of spirit added into it, which I really loved about it. In keeping the story “real,” though, I love how Dahl shows just how fantastic or amazing our lives can be, without giants, witches, and other fantastical things. In my opinion, I  think that this book is amazing!

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