Roald Dahl

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Danny the Champion of the World

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Danny and his father who outwit their greedy, rich neighbour, Mr Victor Hazell.

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Dimensions (cm) :19.7 (H) x 12.7 (W) x 0.6 – 1.7 (D) x 0.21kg
ISBN :9780141322674
Author :Roald Dahl
Publisher :Penguin Books
Type :Paperback

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Danny, since his mother's death, has lived with his father in a Gypsy caravan, where the father operated a filling station and garage, which alone of the surrounding land is not owned by the unpleasant local landlord, Victor Hazell. When Mr. Hazell threatens Danny without cause, Danny's father refuses to serve him; whereafter several inspectors visit the station, presumably at Mr. Hazell's direction.

When Danny is nine years old, he discovers that his father has habitually taken part in poaching pheasants from Mr. Hazell's estate. Danny's father then reveals methods of poaching, by placing a raisin inside a "Sticky Hat" (a piece of paper rolled into a cone, with glue inside), so that the pheasant cannot flee, and by having a horse's tailhair, threaded through a raisin, cause the raisin (upon swallowing) to become lodged in the pheasant's throat. This in turn causes the pheasant to become preoccupied with trying to swallow the raisin, so that a poacher can easily catch it.

On one occasion Danny, waking up at around 2:10 a.m., discovers his father's absence, and fearing that some misfortune has befallen him, rides an Austin Seven motor car that his father has been repairing to Hazell's Wood, where finds his father in a pit-trap, victimized by a broken ankle, and brings him home. He is then treated by "Doc" Spencer, who is a friend of theirs and another poacher on Mr. Hazell's estate.

While Danny's father is recovering from his injury, they learn that Mr. Hazell's annual pheasant-shooting party is approaching, which he hosts to curry favor and prestige among the gentry, and decide to humiliate him by luring all the pheasants away from the forest, so there will be no pheasants to shoot. Danny suggests that they should put the contents of sleeping tablets prescribed by Doc Spencer inside raisins which the pheasants will then eat; his father dubs this new method the "Sleeping Beauty". Having poached 120 pheasants from Mr. Hazell's woods, they hide the drugged pheasants at the local vicar's house, while they take a taxicab home. The next morning, the vicar's wife delivers the sleeping pheasants in a specially-built oversized baby carriage. As she is walking toward them, the pheasants attempt to escape, but fall back. With the help of Sgt. Samways, the local constable, Danny and his father herd the groggy birds onto Mr. Hazell's Rolls Royce, where they scratch the paintwork and defecate on the car. When the pheasants have woken completely, they depart, and Mr. Hazell drives off in disgrace, his fancy car and shooting party ruined.

Danny is hailed as "the champion of the world" by his father, Doc Spencer, and Sgt. Samways, of whom most acquire several pheasants who had died of taking too many sleeping-pills. Danny and his father walk off toward town, intending to buy a new oven for cooking their pheasants. As they go, Danny dwells in narration (as he has often done in the book) on his father's imagination and vivacity.


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Danny the Champion of the World

Danny the Champion of the World

Danny and his father who outwit their greedy, rich neighbour, Mr Victor Hazell.

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