Customer Reviews


160 Reviews
5 star:
 (104)
4 star:
 (48)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


93 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE this book BUT...
...I was so angry when I saw this new version that I sent off a letter to Random House, which I'll copy here since it clearly states my issue with the "new" version (and I also highly recommend that if you intend to purchase this book you find an "old" copy from the 60's):To Random House-I recently bought a few books I fondly remembered from my own childhood so I could...
Published on January 8, 2005 by Cat Rescuer

versus
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars HUMOR IN HIGH GEAR!
This book is perfect for your summer Escape into pure Fantasy--KID LITE enough to fly!!! This is a very special car--one of a kind both in chassis and heart--not to mention that it actually thinks, has feelings and gives orders to the driver when necessary. Yet totally unselfish--only with the owner's best interests in mind.
This almost-defunct car which barely...
Published on June 23, 1998


‹ Previous | 1 216 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

93 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE this book BUT..., January 8, 2005
By 
Cat Rescuer (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews
...I was so angry when I saw this new version that I sent off a letter to Random House, which I'll copy here since it clearly states my issue with the "new" version (and I also highly recommend that if you intend to purchase this book you find an "old" copy from the 60's):To Random House-I recently bought a few books I fondly remembered from my own childhood so I could introduce my friend's 9 year old grandson to some timeless classics. One of these books was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. When the copy I ordered from amazon.com arrived I open the package in breathless anticipation only to quickly descend into horrified shock at what I saw before me. The beautifully illustrated book I so fondly remembered was gone and in its place was paper with print, a hard cover, and a few pathetic, poorly drawn cartoons that serve only to disfigure, in an unimaginable and horrific travesty of art sense, what was once a gloriously illustrated treasure....The beautiful, original John Burningham illustrations were an integral and ***irreplaceable*** part of this book and without them you've destroyed what was a perfect marriage of art and story. ... This reissue is a miserable failure and a nasty insult to the readers who will never experience the true joy of what was once a perfect book...Needless to say, this "new" copy is going in the garbage and I've ordered a used copy from 1964.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely different, November 29, 2011
By 
Lost John (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
Most films derived from books tell a story that is at least somewhat different from the book; the film of this book is even more different than most. In the book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has the same name, a similarly successful racing career brought to an early end by a crash, is re-built by inventor Caractapus Pott, who has children named Jeremy and Jemima, and is revealed to have magical properties, including the ability to fly. Sweets that double as tuneful whistles, and music and dance in the sweet factory also feature in both book and film, but Truly Scrumptious, the eccentric Grandfather, Baron Bomburst and Vulgaria appear only in the film. However, the children in the book do have a mother, Mimsie Pott.

The setting is England. As a first drive in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the family set out for Dover beach, intending to picnic there. They soon meet the back of a long traffic jam. Whereupon Chitty Chitty Bang Bang reveals the first of her special features and they fly to spend a happy day picnicing and playing on a sandbank in the middle of the English Channel.

The sandbank is the notorious Goodwin Sands. Disaster almost strikes when the tide comes in, but Chitty Chitty Bang Bang gets them out of trouble, taking them to the French coast. There they discover and explore a deep cave, which proves to be an ammunition dump used by Joe the Monster and his criminal gang. I won't spoil the story by telling you all that happens, but the fast-moving tale quickly takes us to Calais and then - through Jeremy and Jemima being kidnapped and taken there - Paris.

Eventually, the story ends happily, thanks to the intelligence and gadgetry of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the cool nerve of Jeremy and Jemima, and also to Caractacus and Mimsie Pott, who are as interesting and helpful as parents as any child could wish. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is not quite as pretty as the car seen in the film, but is cleverer and has several features not seen in the film. She also has the registration GEN 11, which Jeremy and Jemima are quick to notice spells Genii.

The book has three separate chapter-adventures. It is a good, solid read for children aged 8 to 10, or it could be read to younger children. I strongly recommend the 1968 edition, illustrated by John Burningham, but for that you will have to buy a pre-used copy. In that edition, most pages have a picture to help things along; many in color. (John Burningham is also known for Mr. Gumpy's Outing, Mr Gumpy's Motor Car, Granpa, and more.)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars HUMOR IN HIGH GEAR!, June 23, 1998
By A Customer
This book is perfect for your summer Escape into pure Fantasy--KID LITE enough to fly!!! This is a very special car--one of a kind both in chassis and heart--not to mention that it actually thinks, has feelings and gives orders to the driver when necessary. Yet totally unselfish--only with the owner's best interests in mind.
This almost-defunct car which barely missed the wrecker yard shows its gratitude to the Pott family many times over, for she possesses Super-Mechanical powers which no one suspects. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (so named because of her unique starting up sounds) can even fly (just call her Aerocar) and hover over water with ease. Plus she knows when to give instructions (pull down, push up) to the driver, who admits that even he does not know what all the buttons on the dash do. When ignored, she flashes hints like "Idiot!", ensuring immediate results and prompt obedience. She even has built-in radar to track missing persons (she cares about).
One day Professor Caractacus (Crackpot) Pott finally invents something clever--a candy whistle--which he sells for enough British pounds to buy his dream car. After spending most of the summer tinkering and refurbishing the rare Panther, he unveils the automotive marvel to his adoring family: trembly Mrs. Pott (Mimsie) and the twins, Jeremy and Jemima. Chitty takes charge of their summer adventures from then on, obligingly transporting them to their own private beach when the coastal road is gridlocked--a distant sandbar no less. Barely escaping the encroaching tide, the car whisks them across the Channel to France, where they discover a cave which has mysterious warnings to would-be explorers. What secrets lie buried beneath the chalky cliffs? Possibly treasure?
This action-packed fantasy reads swiftly; chidlren will enjoy the way the twins outwit the badguys. Amidst all the humor and high-jinks Fleming offers pieces of scientific information gleaned during his career. He includes advice about the need for flotation de! vices in boats and other safety suggestions, but he slips them in slyly, like a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. A cute story (though my paperback version had disappointing b/w sketches) which will entertain elementary kids--a great summer read. Honk if you like kid and car heroism!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Ever, March 27, 2013
By 
Thom Mitchell (Providence, RI USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Like many people my first brush with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was via the movie version, and it was only after seeing the movie that I read the book. This 2013 edition with Ian Fleming's original text and Joe Berger's illustrations might be the best print version I've seen. Joe Berger's illustrations have a graphic novel sensibility which freshens up the book for today's children adding a bit of an edge to the fairy tale quality of the book.

In reading the book to my daughter what struck me was how timeless and exciting the book's story really is. My daughter kept laughing hysterically at certain scenes in the book because Ian Fleming really knows how to tell an engaging story. If you are looking for a good book to give to a kid to read to themselves or for a book to read to kids this is an excellent choice. The illustrations and drawings interspersed throughout the book help the young reader, or listener, by amplifying the excellent story. This is one of those rare books from one's childhood that is actually as good as you remember it being.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ingenious story for children, February 9, 1998
By A Customer
Proving he was much more than just an author of spy thrillers (and actually being a GREAT author of spy thrillers, by the way), Fleming succeeded in other genres' one-shots. In the documentary fashion, he produced the excellent "Thrilling Cities". In the suspense non-007 adventures, he wrote "The Diamond Smugglers". And for children, an inusual branch for spy-exploits writers, he created "Chitty-Chitty-Band-Bang", arguably the most notorious car in fiction. This tale is a masterclass in how to write a book for little readers, with direct fresh style and superb domestic use of English language (though his overly open descriptions can be disregarded as silly prose by some adults). The plot is a modern fable conceived (it seems) with a screen treatment in mind, as the inspired factory whistle-candy scene proves. The car itself, the family who owns it (or is it the other way around?), the peril at sea and the robbers are all delightful elements to remember. Walt Disney presented a funnily fatihful film version of this book in the sixties, starring Dick Van Dyke and produced by the same team of the 007 movies. This story is a wonderful gift for children and the little kid (or gal) inside everyone of us.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had such a car, April 17, 2002
"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" was my favorite movie during early childhood. I was pleasantly surprised that the book tells a different story than the movie, although it conveys the same sense of adventure. Ian Fleming wrote "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" in a different style than more current children's literature, something that may bring a change of pace to a young audience. I don't think the crude illustrations by Burningham would be received in the same manner.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Famous!, March 1, 2001
This is an exceptional book about a car that can run on its own. It used to be a famous race car, but then was thrown in the dumps. This eccentric yet ingenious man buys this car, and names it Chitty Chitty Bang Bang after the noise it makes (hence the title of the book). They soon find out that the car they bought is like none other. It had powers that no technology can exceed. The car saves their life by waking the family in time to get away from the water, for the tide was rising and rising. Then they go through a scary and creepy cave with skeletons hanging from the top, and they meet gangsters. They manage to get out of the cave alive, but not without fallimg (or almost falling) into a few traps which only the car can sense. The father discovers that the car has a mind of its own and can sense danger better than any of them. The big blow for the family comes in the end when their children are kidnapped by robbers. The clever children out-smart the gangsters. But their only hope is their very own car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Read the book to find out the rest of the story. For those who are interested, their is a movie based on this but has a different yet intriguing plot. That is a wonderful and I would recommend it. Cheers!!!!! : )
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very different from the movie. I want This car!!!, February 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I read the book after seeing the movie again ( one of my favorites as a boy), and feeling horribly disillusioned that I'd missed a key part of the movie when I first saw it---Disney's car doesn't really fly or go on the water. In the movie, the magic of the car is all in the tale Mr. Potts spins for his kids and Truly. But here, Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang IS a true car of mystery, good enough for Ian Fleming's other creation, James Bond. Mr. Potts doesn't understand what the buttons on his refurbished car's dashboard do--and they do some pretty wonderful things.

One of the challenges with reading this book is re-setting the story from the 1920's (Disney) to a much later date. The other for me was the illustrations, which ought to have been more mysterious. Apparently digital, the illustrations did nothing to add to the story for me--instead I found myself willing myself to not look at them and get them connected in my mind with the story.

It would make a great read-aloud.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition, February 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Kindle edition I bought today has a good selection of illustrations and is Whispersynced to an excellent Audible edition read by David Tennent of Doctor Who fame and a lovely voice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, December 13, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm nine years old and picked this book for a school book report. I thought this book was filled with adventure, plenty of action, and funny. It was a good read and kept me interested.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 216 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming (Paperback - January 1, 2007)
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.