Roald Dahl was one weird guy. You'd think that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a kids' book (given the title and all), and while it is
in some sense, it's also a pretty trippy psych (as in psychological or
I must have read this book over ten times as a child. Now, when I look back on it, I see it very differently. Of course the plot is fantastical and the ending is happy and yet twinged with sadness. But what I see most from Charlie now is how strange Dahl must have been to come up with such weird characters and plot ideas. The notion that Dahl probes dark human nature is certainly true, although I wouldn't read too much into this viewpoint.
What still troubles me the most about this book today is the glass elevator. Oh, the glass elevator. It was basically relegated to a cameo in Charlie, and I wanted to see a 12-hour 3-part epic... I suppose that's what Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is for.
In the end, it's easy to differentiate a Roald Dahl book from another kids' author: his are crazier, wittier, more satirical and ultimately better.