James and the Giant Peach

James and the Giant Peach.
JamesAndTheGiantPeach.jpg
First edition (US)
AuthorRoald Dahl
Illustrator
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
GenreChildren's novel, Fantasy
PublisherAlfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Publication date
1961
Media typeHardcover
Pages160
50568125
[Fic] 21
LC ClassPZ8.D137 Jam 2002

James and the Giant Peach is a popular children's novel written in 1961 by British author Roald Dahl. The original first edition published by Alfred Knopf featured illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. There have been reillustrated versions of it over the years, done by Michael Simeon for the first British edition, Emma Chichester Clark, Lane Smith and Quentin Blake. It was adapted into a film of the same name in 1996.

The plot centres on a young English orphan boy who enters a gigantic, magical peach, and has a wild and surreal cross-world adventure with seven magically-altered garden bugs he meets. Roald Dahl was originally going to write about a giant cherry, but changed it to James and the Giant Peach because a peach is "prettier, bigger and squishier than a cherry."[1][2]

Because of the story's occasional macabre and potentially frightening content, it has become a regular target of censors.[3][4] The actors Jeremy Irons, Andrew Sachs, and Julian Rhind-Tutt provide the English language audiobook recordings.[5]

Summary

James Henry Trotter is a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a house by the sea. When James' parents are killed by a rhinoceros, the orphaned James is forced to live with his two abusive aunts, Spiker and Sponge. They treat him badly, feed him improperly and force him to sleep on bare floorboards.

One day, after an argument with his aunts, he meets a mysterious man who gives him green beans and says that if he would drink it his life would be full of adventures. While going to his home he falls and the beans spill on a peach tree which produces a single peach and it grows to the size of a house. Spiker and Sponge build fences around it and earn money by selling tickets to tourists and they get to see the peach. But James is locked in his house and sees the peach through the bars of the window.

James is assigned to clean the trash and finds a tunnel in the peach and goes through it and meets Centipede, Miss Spider, Old Green Grasshopper, Earthworm, Ladybug, Glowworm and Silkworm who become his friends.

The next day, Centipede cuts the stem of the peach which rolls down and kills the aunts and reaches the sea. Sharks surround it. James uses Miss Spider and Silkworm to make threads. Then he uses Earthworm as bait and draws 500 seagulls near the peach and ties the threads on their necks. Then the peach starts flying and Centipede falls down but is later rescued by James. The peach goes into the clouds and meet cloudmen demons. Then Centipede mocks them which makes them angry and they start throwing hailstones at the peach. James manages to pull the peach down on the lower part of the sky and realizes that they have reached New York City. People think it was a bomb and warn the others to evacuate.

Then officers and firemen arrive and see the peach and some faint. Then James comes and tells the whole story and becomes friends with many children in New York and they eat the peach and James and his friends get their own jobs.