Written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake, The Twits was first published in 1980. A gruesomely, disgusting tale of a vindictive, spiteful couple known as the Twits, who live together in a brick house without windows. One of my personal favourites, that I still find funny to this day. The Twits are continuously horrible to one another. They keep a family of pet monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps and make them stand on their heads for hours on end so they can create the first even upside-down circus. If they fail to do that they are relentlessly punished.
Mr. Twit also covers the garden tree with a strong sticky glue in hopes of catching birds for Mrs. Twit to make into a bird pie. The monkeys try to warn the birds, but since the monkeys only speak in an African language, the English birds cannot understand them, as a result the poor birds end up in Mrs. Twit’s pie.
One week, the Roly-Poly bird flies in from Africa to visit the monkeys. Knowing English, he is able to save the birds by warning them not to sit on the tree’s branches. Getting annoyed, the Twits then decide to buy guns to kill the birds instead. One day, while the couple was out, the Mugle-Wumps with the help of the birds, use Mr. Twit’s powerful glue to attach The Twit’s furniture to their ceiling, to trick them into thinking that they are upside-down. The birds also smear glue on the Twits’ heads, which permanently fixes them to the ground so that they catch the “Terrible Shrinks”, resulting in them shrinking away into nothing, leaving the monkeys free to escape.
This is a great book no matter how old you are. Highly recommended for children who aren’t easily disgusted and get a kick out of gruesome tales. Recently attending Dinner at Twits, an adult adaptation of Roald Dahl’s work, brought back many fun, childhood memories.
Till next time…