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VINE VOICEon 25 July 2014
The Roald Dahl stories still speak to adult kids like me. However, I've noted that this sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the only weak link in his otherwise excellent corpus of children's books.

I will just offer my brief impressions of this book.

This story is made up of two halves. The first half focuses on the journey back to the factory. The Elevator links up with a space hotel and Mr Wonka and the Buckets are chased by Vermicious Knids. Once they are back at the factory the story changes gear to talk about the abuses of Wonkavite by the grandparents. The Elevator links both halves of the book because it is used for all the journeys that Charlie makes. However this does not disguise the fact that this book has two distinct halves that do not cohere together.

Given Dahl's constant striving for excellence and perfection in his other stories, the writing style is laboured here and lacks freshness. Also, the jokes come off as lame and feeble. Only Willy Wonka holds the book together.

As such, this book is not quite as compelling and coherent as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
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on 9 July 2013
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator leaves you cold. We ploughed through the fabulous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with my son barely containing his excitement every night. This took us ages as he kept wanting to read other things instead. I didn't blame him. The plot has no real point and most of the characters spend most of the time shrieking at everything. Don't bother with it. Just leave the chocolate factory at its peak.
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on 27 January 2015
I think we must have and love every other book by Roald Dahl but the magic is missing from this one. Dahl takes the dullest bit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and drags it out for a book. And that's on top of a whole chapter being dedicated to casual racism.
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on 1 September 2011
The number of positive reviews (4 or 5 stars) that have previously been posted for this book really surprises me. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is a true children's classic which weaves a fantastic and magical tale, adding in a few lessons along the way, that so many children love. In contrast, this book tends towards bland, disjointed, drawn out and unremarkable. In my experience it is a significant disappointment for children (or adults) expecting a genuine continuation to the Chocolate Factory story.
The story follows on immediately from the end of the Chocolate Factory, with the book covering two very different story lines in sequence. The Elevator in space, and then the return to the Chocolate Factory. While each of these ideas could have opened up so many opportunites, Roald Dahl - for once - sadly seems to have been devoid of any real imagination and both story lines are claustrophobic and tedious. The Elevator in space revolves around a U.S Space Hotel (making fun of the US Space Program, President, Chinese etc. along the way); the return to the Chocolate Factory around the Wonka-Vite pill and it's affects.
The book does have its positive moments, and there are a few laughs to be had, but all in all there is little that could justify a recommendation. It is, in my view, the weakest of Roald Dahl's work by a long way. If this were a music album, it would be "for collectors only".
Apparently Dahl completely rewrote Charlie And The Chocolate Factory after his nephew read a draft and said, "Unlce Roald, I don't like it at all." If only he had read the draft of this...
Three stars - it's okay and nothing more.
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on 20 January 2014
Although its predecessor was wonderful, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is an unconvincing sequel to one of the greatest children's novels ever written. It's worth reading, but only if you really loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Still, at least it contains some of the same characters that we know and love from before, including Charlie Bucket and his grandpa and the erratic Willy Wonka. Here, they blast off in to space in the great glass elevator in the Wonka factory, and the book covers their adventures as they make their way back to earth.

What is cool, though, is that Dahl originally planned to write a sequel - called Charlie and the White House, it was supposed to tell the story of young Charlie's escapades in the home of the American president. Only one chapter was ever written, and judging from this story, that's probably a good thing - it's tragic when Dahl disappoints.
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on 6 April 2014
I read all Dahl's books as a boy but had no memory of this one. After reading my 5 year old boy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and us both enjoying it immensely this seemed like the obvious choice to follow it. Even the boy is bored. I am dumbfounded at how poor this book is. It must surely be Dahl's worst. Not looking forward to bedtimes at all at the minute.

If you want to know what's wrong with it then read the three star reviews and remember that they only gave three stars because of who the author is.
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on 27 January 2013
Honestly, skip the first half of the book; it is awful. A grudging fulfillment of a contractual obligation? If you insist, I'd suggest you listen to the Lou Reed classic, Metal Machine Music, instead. That said, the second half of the book is much better. The Elevator returns to earth and a trip to minusland begins. Great stuff. If this is the first Dahl book you read, it may stop you reading his other works, which would be a right shame.
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Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka are back in another fun read that will delight children. At the end of the first book ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, Willy Wonka, Charlie, his mum and dad, and his grandparents were all in the glass elevator riding up higher in the sky. We continue on from there.

Mr Wonka wants to gain a good height so that when he descends he can come down at a colossal speed and break through the roof of his chocolate factory. But breaking through the Earth’s atmosphere they also decide to take a look at the new unopened Space Hotel USA. It is then that adventures start. Not only are they racing the staff to be first in the hotel but when they get there there are some nasty surprises. With adventure in space there is then comic mayhem, which continues on Earth when they are back inside the chocolate factory.

Illustrated throughout by Quentin Blake this has a bit of sci-fi, a bit of fantasy and loads of comic fun and mayhem, where we also meet the US President and his staff. It has been years since I last read this novel and I had forgot how entertaining it was, although when I was little I remember that I read both the Wonka books quite often. With quite a bit of verse here this is ideal to keep younger ones interested and reading away.
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I had forgotten how great Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Penguin Modern Classics) is when I read it to my two boys. They loved it and were happy to have more. So I bought this, the sequel.

Don't bother. Honestly it is just not the same. Going into space, endless dialog with the US president and odd aliens are so inconsistent with the first book that it makes no sense. Which would be fine if it was funny or interesting but it's not. It's boring.

Choose a different Roald Dahl instead - there are SO many good ones to choose.
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on 5 January 2015
Having read other Roald Dahl's this was extremely disappointing! It felt like the story was going no where and all the "joke" were just ridiculous rather than actually funny. We didn't finish it.
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