Book Review: Matilda

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Katelin Ross
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Book Review: Matilda

Postby Katelin Ross » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:25 am

Title: Matilda
Author: Roald Dahl
Series: No
Genre: Fiction

I never got around to reading Matilda for the book of the month, so I decided this would be the perfect time to re-read it. It has been a while since I have read the book, but I have also seen the movie several times. Before I move on, this review will use the spoiler tag for most of it, as I wanted to do more of a book and movie comparison. This book is a book of fiction and the author uses that genre to the extreme in this book.

Re-reading this book for the first time in quite some time, I found myself saying, "This wasn't how it happened in the movie, and the movie made this scene better." I do not say this much about the book to movie comparison, but the movie was definitely better than the book. The whole scene at the end of the movie where Matilda makes it look authentic in having her parents sign paperwork for her to officially be Ms. Honey's daughter was not in the book the way it was in the movie. I enjoyed the authenticity the movie showed. The book made it sound like all she had to do was ask. Secondly, I believe there was a scene in the movie where Matilda came home to find FBI watching the house and her dad becoming angry because she wasn't home to pick up the packages. We were hinted throughout that the dad was under surveillance, but in the book it didn't come across until the end. Lastly, the age difference from book Matilda and movie Matilda was quite different. In the movie she was a few years older than in the book, which made the classwork seem more realistic. I do not know a Kindergarten class that would be learning their multiplication facts or being allowed to wait outside without supervision. In all, I enjoyed the book even though it was over the top with its unrealistic reality, but I enjoyed the movie adaptation better.

I would recommend this to older elementary school aged children and older. It was a good read, and it was very interesting to revisit the book after so many years. I will definitely read this book again.
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Prof. Gustavo Flores
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Re: Book Review: Matilda

Postby Prof. Gustavo Flores » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:07 pm

I’m using Matilda as part of my Book Bingo Challenge! I read your review and I have to agree with you Katelin. I did enjoy the reading (even more this time than the first time I read it), but still I prefer the movie much more. In a way it is expected. It usually happens like that when children books are turned into movies, because the books tend to be too short or too simple, that it gives the movie directors and producers more freedom to portray their view of the story into a movie.

With Matilda, something like that happen. The movie brings me so many good memories because I loved it when I was kid and I used to watch it over and over again, so when I read the book I was expecting great things and I felt a little bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, I would happily read it again whenever I’m looking for something “light” to read, but still, I feel like the movie was more magical.

One scene that I really missed was when Matilda went with Miss Honey to The Trunchbull’s house to recover Miss Honey’s doll and then suddenly, Mrs. Trunchbull appears and realizes that someone had entered the house. That scene is full of action and tension, my favorite from the movie, and I was sad when I realized it didn’t appear on the book! I also think the movie portrayed better how Matilda started developing her powers. In the movie, Matilda had to practice to fully control them, while in the book it simply happened. I also liked that in the movie the friendship between Matilda and Lavender is better depicted. And finally, like you said, the last scene is better in the movie as well. I like that in the movie, Matilda’s mother even doubts about giving her girl up because Matilda is her ONLY girl, while in the book everything goes by so quickly.

All those details make the movie better for me. But the book was good also, just like anything written by Roald Dahl.
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