224 pp; paperback; ISBN 978-1-909907-89-8
Shortlisted ‘BOOK OF THE YEAR’
Nobody has seen Willy Wonka – or inside his amazing chocolate factory – for years. When he announces plans to invite the winners of five Golden Tickets hidden inside the wrappers of chocolate bars to visit his factory, the whole world is after those tickets!
Charlie Bucket and Oompa Loompas
The story was originally inspired by Roald Dahl’s experience of chocolate companies during his schooldays. Cadbury would often send test packages to the schoolchildren in exchange for their opinions on the new products. At that time (around the 1920s), Cadbury and Rowntree’s were England’s two largest chocolate makers and they each often tried to steal trade secrets by sending spies, posing as employees, into the other’s factory. Because of this, both companies became highly protective of their chocolate-making processes. It was a combination of this secrecy and the elaborate, often gigantic, machines in the factory that inspired Dahl to write the story.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is perhaps Roald Dahl’s best-known story. The story of Charlie Bucket, the five Golden Tickets, the Oompa-Loompas and the amazing Mr Willy Wonka has become firmly embedded in our culture since it was first published in 1964. Conservative estimates suggest the original book has sold over 20 million copies worldwide; it is now available in 55 languages.
Roald Dahl has delighted young readers since the 1960s with his irreverent stories of the idiocy, cruelty and strangeness of the adult world from the perspective of an intelligent child. Many of these are now available as Gaeilge: the Irish for the Oopa Loompas is “na nÚmpa-Lumpach”. “Monarcha” means a factory and is unrelated to the English word monarchy, although I’m sure someone somewhere is writing a thesis on the relationship between industrialization in Ireland and the interests of the royal family. — Darach Ó Séaghdha, thejournal.ie