George's Marvelous Medicine

George's Marvelous Medicine - Quentin Blake, Roald Dahl

I recently received a box of books that my daughter had shipped to me for safe keeping and nestled in amongst all those text books on economics, environmental studies and globalization was this little paperback, one that I’d never read before. That would never do – I’m a sucker for kid’s books and love all things Dahl – so immediately I dove into it.


Eight year-old George has a problem – his Grandmother is a cranky, “selfish old woman with pale brown teeth and a small puckered up mouth like a dog’s bottom. Four times a day she takes a large spoonful of medicine, but it doesn’t seem to do her any good. She’s always just as poisonous after she’s taken it as she was before” and bosses him mercilessly, so much so, he envisions her exploding away so that he can live in peace. On the day his parents go out for the morning and leave him in charge of making sure Grandma takes her medicine on time, he puts his plan into action, and brews his own medicine for her instead with marvelously outrageous results.


I had to laugh at all the ingredients used and his reasoning behind each one chosen, from toothpaste, shampoo, horse pills, gin, engine oil, brown paint, flea powder and so much more. Laugh, then give thanks she got it instead of me.

Which reminds me of the time my daughter, very kindly I originally thought, made a tuna fish sandwich for me, then seasoned it with liquid dish detergent, and sat back to see how I would react. I spent the next hour hugging the toilet bowl as the detergent did it’s work! I don’t remember being even mildly that ill since. I still think the weakened state I was left in was the only reason she got to celebrate her next birthday. Oh the joys of motherhood!


Getting back to the book, while I liked it, it just didn’t appeal as much as some of his other books, like Matilda or The Witches. Perhaps I took it took it just a little too personally.


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