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4.8 out of 5 stars1,702
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Quite understandably, David Walliams is the number one bestselling children's author in the United Kingdom. He has been hailed as the heir to Roald Dahl, but for my money he leaves Dahl in the dust.

While I have always appreciated and admired Dahl's books, there is an astringent and slightly nasty undercurrent in some of the books that just leaves me a little bit off, even as I'm enjoying them. I have no problem with the books being unsentimental, dark and a bit macabre, but there's often a hint of contempt or thinly veiled anger that just doesn't quite fit in with everything else. That said, I'll take Dahl over antiseptic cutesy any day.

And that's where Walliams comes in. Just as macabre and grotesque, just as committed to portraying the triumph of the good, young and kind over the old, greedy, and wicked, a Walliams book is sustained by the cheerful, fundamental goodness of his young characters. Just as was the case with Dahl, the stock setup involves adult villains who mistreat children, at least one good adult to help the child heroes, a few completely ineffective adults, and then child heroes who persevere and save the day. The plots are bizarre and extreme, the villainy is outrageously exaggerated, the violence is cartoonishly grotesque, and anything that happens happens to excess. There is child-sized nastiness, farting, tooth-pulling, and icky grossness.

But, Walliams mixes in sweetness, (hero Alfie and his Dad share scenes of heartbreaking tenderness), and a good deal of remarkably restrained deadpan humor. So, manic chase scenes are still loaded with dead funny and crisp throwaway lines and observations. The conversations between Alfie and his compatriot friendgirl Gabz are gems of finely crafted timing and emphasis. Certain set scenes, (Alfie's being comforted by the friendly newsagent Raj after his first dentist visit), are perfectly paced and balanced.

All of this is brilliantly served by the illustrations of Tony Ross, who complements Walliams in the same fashion that Quentin Blake elevated Dahl's work. Ross's drawings capture the moment and advance the story without at all cluttering the text or slowing the narrative, and they fit exactly with the reader's own mental pictures of the characters.

So, whether you call the books clever or funny or zany, or even darkly comic or macabre, they are so well conceived and well executed, and feature such winning child heroes, that you owe it to your child reader to try one on. (Although if you aren't quite sure where your child falls on the ick-tolerance scale you might consider a book like "Ratburger"before this one, which does have a lot of scary demon dentist stuff in it. "Ratburger" just has, well, ratburgers.)

Please note that these books are finally coming up for sale in the U.S., (at least as Kindle books), but I received a free advance ecopy of this particular book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
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Having enjoyed Gangster Granny and Billionaire Boy, my eight year old boy and I decided to try Demon Dentist. To be honest we stopped reading about halfway through. It gave him bad dreams. If your child is not a fan of dentists, this book certainly isn't going to help. In one scene Alfie is strapped down in the dentist chair and wakes up to find all of his teeth have been forcibly removed. Now that's nightmare material for me and I'm thirty-nine. Finding out that your Dentist is actually a witch with hollow black eyes, that hides under your bed and leaves eyeballs under your pillow was frankly too much for my eight year old. Ultimately you all know your own children. If your child is likely to be disturbed by either of the things I've mentioned, I'd give this one a fairly wide berth. If you think your child is a little more stoic (we have read all of the How to Train Your Dragon books without a single bad dream) then they may well thoroughly enjoy this. It's got all the standard Walliams hallmarks and Raj - the popular newsagent - has a starring role.
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on 18 April 2015
This is another fantastic book from David Walliams but most definitely one of his darker works.
As mentioned in several other reviews sensitive and younger children will likely find the dentist absolutely terrifying.
I actually soldiered on through the chapter when Alfie is trapped, restrained and tortured by the dentist inwardly preying and expecting for the funny stuff to happen to balance things but it just didn't, she rips all of his teeth out with horrifically described torture instruments and he escapes with no teeth at all.
It IS a funny story (in places) with some great characters as usual, Raj the newsagent is a big favourite of ours but I would definitely NOT recommend this for kids under 10, and especially not for any kids who have the slights fear of dentists!!
We really enjoyed it and It is a good theatrical read to treat the kids to if you still enjoy reading to them as I do.
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VINE VOICEon 26 September 2013
Short little book featuring 12 year old Alfie who lives alone with, and is sole carer for his wheelchair confined Dad after his mother died in childbirth. Alfie loves his dad who affectionately calls him 'Pup'.

Alfie hasn't been to the dentist since he was six with the toothache. And I cant blame him considering the ancient dentist diagnosed a rotton tooth, tied dental floss around dental nurse Mrs Prigg waist, the other end on forceps attached to his poor tooth .. and then .. jump out of the window !

I liked the style, I liked the introduction to all the charactors at the start, inparticular Mr. Grey the timid headmaster ( I wondered what inspired this choice of name). And of course texting boy, the boy that 's always texting.

And I liked the warnings of made up words like ' yankers' the human chain trying to yank out the tooth. I loved the relationship with Alfie and his dad and there 'multi coloured world of make believe'.

Has a sinister Dentist the children have to call Mummy, and a curios chaptor 38 called 'Mummus going to eat you'. The book is written in a comical way and this does make the scary bits easier but I would not really recommend for younger children. 9+
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on 15 October 2013
Would you like to have a dentist that is literally white from top to bottom? Have a read about Alfie's life then you will know what it's like...

Alfie has a sort of normal life....although his dad cannot breathe properly, there is a new dentist in town and things are about to get strange...

Alfie and his `girlfriend' Gabz discover that instead of a shiny coin, the children in the town find, much to their surprise, gruesome gifts like a badger's paw, a snail, hundred of tiny little bugs crawling all over the poor children's bed.

How would you feel if this happened to you? This amazing novel by the fantabulous David Walliams will make you sneeze with laughter!!!

It is packed full of action, humour and lots of suspense. The book has lots of brilliant pictures, illustrated by Tony Ross, and has not so many words on a page so it is good for young readers and is very easy to read.

I hope if you do read this brilliant book you will love it just as I did!!

I gave it a........5 star rating!!!!!!

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on 13 June 2015

It is a place no one
can share,
That single place,
a dentist chair.
Here they all come,
young and old,
The shy, the timid,
and the bold.

The dentist is a
patient man,
Makes it painless
if he can.
Yet your mind is
full of fear,
As in your mouth
he bends to peer.

A little hole you
cannot see,
Although it’s
really very wee.
Can plunge your
heart in deepest
Then grunts and
gurgles fill the

Sweating palms
are rubbed
Head held upright
on the leather.
Half your face put
right to sleep,
Come now, little
one, mustn’t weep.

All over now, a
shout of joy,
Of those silly fears
we now are coy.
Now all this should
not have been,
Had you kept your
teeth nice and

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on 1 October 2013
I loved this book. I gave it for stars because it is limited to a certain age. I would recommend it for ages 10-13. It is only really suitable for this age because any one younger would find too scary because it would give you nightmares. And it wouldn't be suitable for older readers because they would find it boring or predictable. But for my age group it was thrillingly interesting. Loved it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 October 2013
Bought by my 10 year old daughter. She's a huge David Walliams fan and has read all his other books including Ratburger and Billionaire Boy.

Demon Dentist is quite a dark tale and like all of Mr. Walliam's books his story telling is so colourful that the horrors of some of the things going on almost leap off the page right at you.

My daughter was hooked on this book from the moment she opened the cover. And she took great delight in reading to me some of the more gross or scray passages, just to see how my reaction. She loved it! And her younger brother can't wait until he can read it all by himself.

There's no doubt in my mind that David Walliams is one of the best children's authors out there today, giving us books of universal appeal and enjoyment whether you're a girl, a boy, aged 10, 20, 30, 40 or more.

Recommeded reading for child aged 8 and beyond!
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on 7 November 2013
'Demon Dentist' is an amazingly fantastic book. The main plot is about a boy called Alfie and his friend Gabz, who try to defeat the tooth witch. She takes teeth but leaves things so horrible they are unmentionable... This novel is told in the third person. 'Demon Dentist' is funny, scary, and at the end a little sad. There are quite a log of made up words e.g. yankers. Read it if you dare! Oh yes, one more thing: BE PREPARED TO LAUGHT YOUR HEAD OFF!
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on 11 February 2014
This was a present for my 10 year old Grandson who hasn't stopped talking about it since he got. We have also bought him other titles by the same author with the same result. Highly recommended by a very happy 10 year old boy.
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