Review: Esio Trot by Roald Dahl

Esio Trot was the very last Roald Dahl book to be published in the author's lifetime, and though a little short and a tiny bit sexist by contemporary standards, it is no less entertaining. Esio Trot which the author tells us is set some time ago, when anyone in England could go down to the local pet shop and buy a tortoise. Anyway, the story focuses on Mr Hoppy, a retired mechanic who spends most of his days pining for the lovely but emotionally unavailable Mrs Silver--while he really loves her, she only has eyes for Alfie, her pet tortoise. Mrs Silver, who would appear to know very little about the lifespan of a tortoise, wants little Alfie to grow and suddenly Mr Hoppy thinks that he might have a novel solution--and that he might just be able to find a way in to Mrs Silver's heart after all.

This was a quick and entertaining read. Though intended for children, this one is suitable for readers of all ages. Parts of the story are a little sexist (it seems a tad unbelievable that Mrs Silver could be quite so stupid,) but the whole thing is entertaining enough for the readers to look past its faults, especially when one considers that it was published in 1990. (Pleasingly, the film starring Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench addresses this problem in a believable and amusing way.)

Ultimately, this one is a lot of fun and the humour far outweighs its faults.

Highly recommended.


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