The Twits ★★★★☆

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Title: The Twits
Authors: Roald Dahl
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Childrens Fiction
Pages: 69
Words: 9K



A hideous, vindictive, spiteful couple known as the Twits live together in a brick house without windows. They continuously play nasty practical jokes on each other out of hatred for one another.

They also keep a family of pet monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps. The Twits, who are retired circus trainers, are trying to create the first upside-down monkey circus, they will always leave the monkeys to stand on their heads for hours on end.

Mr. Twit has this glue call Hugtight in hopes of catching birds for Mrs. Twit to make into a bird pie. The monkeys try to warn the birds before they land on the tree, but the English-speaking birds do not understand the monkeys’ African language.

Once a week the Roly-Poly bird flies to visit the monkeys, to secretly save the birds by acting as an interpreter of languages. On a Tuesday night a group of four boys see the ladder next to this tree and they decided to walk up into it, not thinking or knowing that glue was on it. On the Wednesday morning Mr Twit sees that the boys have scared them away. Out of rage Mr Twit charged at them but they got away. Mr Twit tries several times to catch the birds, and tired of not getting anywhere Mr. Twit decides to go buy guns with his wife to kill them.

The Muggle-Wumps come up with an idea to use Mr. Twit’s glue to attach the Twits’ furniture to their ceiling. The birds came up with an idea to smear glue on the Twits’ heads. Shocked, the Twits rush into their home and see the mess. Mr. Twit suggests that they stand on their heads so that they are ‘the right way up’ The Roly-Poly bird then offers to fly the Muggle-Wumps all the way back to Africa and the Muggle-Wumps escape.

Hours later both Mr and Mrs. Twit are putting all their weight down on the heads and they catch the ‘Dreaded Shrinks’- their bodies compressing ‘downwards.’ Their feet shrink into their legs, their legs shrink into their stomach, their stomach shrink into their heads, and their head shrink into nothing but two pairs of shoes and old clothes. Mr and Mrs Twit are nowhere to be seen.

My Thoughts:

Ahhh, now this was some good stuff! Dahl can write the most horrible characters but unlike modern authors who revel in that disgustingness, he gives those revolting characters just what they deserve! The Twits are B-A-D people and they get everything coming to them.

At only 70’ish pages (and it would be quite a bit shorter without Quentin Blake’s absolutely wonderful illustrations), this is something that an adult can polish off in one sitting. It would also be a good starter book to introduce Dahl to younger readers who aren’t quite ready to sit down for a full hour or two.

Simply put, I like Dahl’s writing. He is funny and quirky and has the ability to write bad characters that are almost caricatures but don’t quite cross that line. He also infuses his childrens books with a child’s sense of justice and fairplay which I love.

Everything I wrote back in 2012 (when I first reviewed this) still stands.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

21 thoughts on “The Twits ★★★★☆

    1. You were definitely deprived.
      I’d see if there was some sort of compensation you can get from the gov’t for that deprivation.
      With your lawyer skills it should be a cinch.


  1. Dahl was not a part of my childhood reading, and as an adult the descriptions of his stuff just give me an unpleasant feeling.

    He did write that one story about the wife who killed her husband with a frozen leg of lamb, though, right?

    Liked by 1 person

            1. Well, they certainly ARE creeps, hahahahaa 😀
              With your continued quest for dark and dreary stories, I wonder if his adult stories would be up your alley now?
              Have you ever thought about trying him? Or do you have too much on your plate as it is?

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed quite a few of his books when I was in primary school. I remember being really taken with James and the Giant Peach. I read it again years later and it was great, as a children’s book of course. Looking back, The Twits was seen as a bit of a shocking book when me and my friends read it at school. My memory is hazy but I remember it being quite disgusting in parts, like we were reading it thinking I can’t believe our school got this book in! Because it was brilliant to us 9-10 year-olds!! Dahl really *got* children and the kind of things they loved. And the Twits deserved everything they got.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In other books, you’ll see the difference between Dahl and that series. Basically Unfortunate presents EVERY adult as either evil or totally incompetent, always to the children’s detriment. Dahl presents them as obstacles to be overcome and that they CAN be overcome.
      I’m not very enamoured of Unfortunate anymore. By the end of the series it was tough going.

      Liked by 1 person

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