“Danny, The Champion of the World,” by Roald Dahl

“Danny, The Champion of the World,” by Roald Dahl is a novel about a young boy who lives with his mechanic father in a gypsy caravan.

Danny has always enjoyed his life. Not only does Danny live in a fascinating gypsy caravan, but his father has taught him to work on automobiles. But one day, Danny discovers a surprising secret about his father, something that he has kept hidden for years.

Danny's father loves to poach pheasants. As Danny comes to learn more about the illegal art of poaching he discovers that just about everyone he knows likes to poach, even otherwise upstanding citizens such as the doctor that makes house calls on Danny and his father, the local reverend, and the policeman that Danny has been frightened of for years. All these people have one thing in common, they steal pheasants at Hazell's Woods, a forest owned by Mr. Victor Hazell, a local rich brewery owner, and owner of a huge flock of game birds.

No one likes Mr. Hazell, and they all want to do something to put him in his place, even if it means stealing from him. That's when Danny comes up with the ultimate plan. If they can just pull it off correctly, then Danny and his father should be able to steal every last one of Mr. Hazell's pheasants.

To be honest, I found “Danny, The Champion of the World” to be a surprisingly disappointing book. Roald Dahl's other books typically teach good lessons, though they sometimes have satirical aspects to them. In “Danny, The Champion of the World,” however, Dahl glorifies poaching, which is really nothing more than stealing. Perhaps everyone that Danny knows is a poacher, even the local policeman and reverend, and Mr. Victor Hazell may not be a very nice man, but that still doesn't make stealing from him right.

“Danny, The Champion of the World” shows no consequences of stealing. In the end Danny and his father get away with it completely, and I find that very disturbing. As a consequence I would not recommend this book.

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Inkweaver Review 2009-08-25T14:49:00-05:00

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