Review: The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl

The Magic Finger was another of Dahl's books that never seemed to be around when I was a kid--I don't know if it was out of print, but I do know that my primary school library didn't have a copy and neither did our local council run library. Apparently, it was reissued with new illustrations in 1995, which would have been the exact point in time when I would have considered myself too old to be reading children's books and probably would have felt very grown up and sophisticated as I picked up a seemingly grown up novel by Christopher Pike instead. (Yeah, who?)

Anyway, I was a little surprised and a lot delighted when I found a copy of this one on sale for $4.99 at my local QBD. (Apparently it was surplus stock from a recent promotion by News Corp.) 

Anyway ...

The Magic Finger is a short, fun tale that tells the story of a little girl with a strong sense of justice and a finger that is able to perform powerful magic when she gets angry. And there is nothing that makes her angrier than seeing her neighbours, the boorish Gregg family, hunting and shooting defenceless animals for sport. And when she points her finger at the Gregg family, a powerful spell is unleashed, which turns the tables on them and teaches them a powerful lesson.

This one is an amusing tale with a strong sentiment about caring for, rather than hunting and hurting, animals. Like all of Dahl's tales, things get strange in the most amusing of ways, and there is a strong notion of people getting their just desserts. The story itself is very short--more of a short story than an actual novel. My copy also included a sample chapter from James and the Giant Peach. 

Lots of fun. Highly recommended.


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