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Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Hardcover – Box set, August 12, 1972

4.1 out of 5 stars 280 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Charlie Bucket Series

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Hardcover, Box set, August 12, 1972
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Picking right up where Charlie and the Chocolate Factory left off, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator continues the adventures of Charlie Bucket, his family, and Willy Wonka, the eccentric candy maker. As the book begins, our heroes are shooting into the sky in a glass elevator, headed for destinations unknown. What follows is exactly the kind of high-spirited magical madness and mayhem we've all come to expect from Willy Wonka and his creator Roald Dahl. The American space race gets a send-up, as does the President, and Charlie's family gets a second chance at childhood. Throw in the Vermicious Knids, Gnoolies, and Minusland and we once again witness pure genius. (Ages 9 to 12)


"Dahl's phenomenal popularity among children speaks for his breathless storytelling charms."—Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 161 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394824725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394824727
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (280 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,286,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I remember in 2nd grade when our teacher read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the class. It had such an effect on us that when we spotted Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator in the school library, we were all scrambling over each other to get it (I got it first). Looking back, while this book is still good, it lacks the central focus and charm that the original had. I did not expect the focus to be on the chocolate factory, since the title clearly says 'Great Glass Elevator'. However, the elevator only features in the first-half the book when everyone gets launched into space. This might have been a good idea for another book, but here it seems odd and rather dragged-out. With the second part of the book, the gang returns to Earth and mess around with Wonka-vite, an age-restoring miracle drug that gets badly abused. This part is much better, since we get to learn a bit more about the factory. Overall, I would have been much more pleased if Dahl had made the book longer and divided it into several seperate short stories. Together, the two seperate plots don't connect at all. Grandma Georgina also proved to be a bitter character and not sympathetic at all. Also, I hope that there is a version out there that still contains the original drawings in the book. Nothing against Quentin Blake, but the original sketches were classic.
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A Kid's Review on December 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is the second book about Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This book is really different than the first one. This book has two journeys, instead of just one big one. This book also has chapters. The first book did not have chapters.

The main character is Charlie. He is a pre-teen boy. He helped Mr.Wonka many times. He is a very good person. I also think that he is going to be a good owner of the chocolate factory.

Charlie did not cause any of the problems that happened in the book, Mr.Wonka did. When Mr.Wonka went too high in the glass elevator, Charlie helped him press the right buttons in the elevator to come back down. Charlie did a lot of good things in the book and did a lot of saving.

Mr.Wonka also gave three of Charlie's grandparents too many Wonkavite pills that make people younger. The grandparents became 1 and 2 years old, and one grandmother was not even born yet and ended up minus land. Charlie helped to find her and bring her back. He also kept aliens from attacking a spacecraft.

I think that this is a very good book. It is strange, weird, and very interesting. It has some words that my dad could not even pronounce. I hope other kids will read it.
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Format: Paperback
After reading the delightful Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this sequel was an absolute let-down. The novel begins with the great Glass Elevator breaking through the ceiling of Charlie's (formerly Wonka's) chocolate factory and rocketing into orbit around the Earth. While beyond the reaches of Earth's atmosphere, our heroes---Charlie, Grandpa Joe, and Mr. Wonka---must deal with the malleable and voracious Vermicious Knids (pronounced "K'Nids"), aliens which resemble unfrighteningly hostile figs or turds with eyes. Far worse than these beasties, though, are the insufferable old folks whose twenty-year stint in their shared bed has made them less than useless. Charlie, Joe, and Wonka, with no help from Charlie's folks or other grandparents, save themselves and a US spacecraft from the clutches of the Knids and return to the Chocolate Factory, where the old timers stupidly overdose on youth pills, returning them to infancy or beyond. Charlie and Wonka race around trying to help these ancient parasites, who respond to this assistance with the thanklessness the reader comes to expect from these oldsters. At the end of the novel, the geriatric brigade finally leaves the bed when they have a chance to meet the President.

In short, these three are the most tedious, spiteful, unredeemable characters I've come across in children's literature and I hoped that they would be eaten by the Knids or the Gnoolies or even the Oompa-Loompas as I read this book. As it is, they (unlike the awful kids in the Chocolate Factory) learn no lessons and persist in their curmudgeonly parasitism from the first page to the last. Their presence throughout the novel rendered it a chore, rather than a joy, to read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read the positive reviews for this book, and I just can't understand them. It's fairly obvious to me what happened -- in 1972, with the success of the movie version (1971) of the first book, the author probably answered the call for a sequel to the 1964 classic. Too bad. While the original is a timeless and charming (with a thoughtful message), this book is choppy, disjointed, and poorly written. Worse, there's just no point to it at all. Pages and pages are devoted to a rather silly saga of the elevator in space, which perhaps would have been marginally interesting in 1972, but badly dated at this point. That's the first half of the book. The rest of the book is wasted on the grandparents getting younger, then older, then younger again, by means of Mr. Wonka's concoctions. That really is all that it is about. Does that sound interesting to you? Again, no point at all. It just rambles on page after page as if Mr. Dahl's advance were based on the page count. Mercifully, the book ends. Nothing about the factory. Nothing about Charlie growing up. Nothing about Mr. Wonka teaching Charlie anything. I suggest you avoid it.
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