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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

The Missing Golden Ticket...

The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets - Quentin Black, Roald Dahl

I love Willy Wonka. I've seen the original 1971 film more times than any other movie. I answer salutations and well-meaning questions with quotes from the film. I have collector's books about the film and have watched the director's commentary. I know the in-and-outs of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. And, to a lesser extent, I've love the many other incarnations of Charlie and Willy: Roald Dahl's original novel, as well as the sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, and the 2005 film. I was “born to be a Wonkerer.”

 

So I was excited when I came across this short ebook, The Missing Golden Ticket..., promising secrets and cut chapters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Yeah, I knew I'd be disappointed; clearly, as slim as this volume is, I knew I wouldn't find much here. Most of the book is filler (quizzes, recipes, etc). A considerable amount is recycled, primarily from Dahl's autobiographies. The few cuts from CatCF were minor, but still interesting. Did you know, for instance, that in earlier drafts there were ten children? They're all described. And there are a couple cut scenes from earlier drafts. Neither are particularly shocking or enlightening, but I'm glad to have been able to read them.

 

So though I learned some things, I wasn't overly impressed. But it doesn't matter. Because the next time I sit down with friends to watch Gene Wilder and Co., I'll have some new information to thrust upon my fellow viewers. “Did you know that Dahl originally intended for there to be ten children? One was named Herpes Trout...” And what better conversation starter is there than the name Herpes Trout?