The Gremlins: A Royal Air Force Story (The Lost Walt Disney Production)
by Flight Lieutenant Roald Dahl
The Gremlins is the first book in my Roald Dahl reading marathon. It is an old-fashioned, cutesy kind of story. It starts with an R.A.F. pilot involved in a firefight with a German aircraft. The pilot happens to look starboard, and there he sees a gremlin standing on his wing, drilling holes. Later, while drinking in the mess with some other pilots, he tells the story about the gremlin and the others don’t believe him. The gremlin suddenly appears and introduces himself. From that point on, the gremlins don’t bother to hide their activities, and the pilots try to train the gremlins out of their destructive ways.
I didn’t love the story. It found it simplistic and somewhat silly. However, it’s not bad for a first effort. When I think back on my own first novel (written for NaNoWriMo several years ago), The Gremlins actually looks pretty darned good by comparison. Also, this “Lost Walt Disney Production” edition has wonderful illustrations, plus an introduction by Leonard Maltin that explains how the story came about and why the intended Disney movie was never made. While I didn’t love it, I think The Gremlins might be a fun read for a child who likes airplane stories, and the background information might add interest for the adult who wants to read along.
P.S. Female gremlins are called “fifinellas.” Baby gremlins are “widgets.” “Spandules” are a breed of high-altitude gremlins that eat hailstones.