I've not read any Roald Dahl in a very long time. The best part of two decades I reckon. But like a lot of people I remember the wretched foils who peppered the pages of his most notable stories. The dad in Matilda, those incestuous twins who ate birds, the witches who plagued my young mind with fear.
In fact, Roald Dahl's books were often fucking horrifying, so it's little wonder these villains have clung to the recesses of my vulnerable brain. In my opinion, Veruca Salt, from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, reigns supreme as Dahl's nastiest little fucker.
When you're young, confused and slowly learning the moral boundaries that will come to define you as you move up in years, Veruca Salt was a figure a young child could easily label 'bad.' She was the spoiled shit who had the newest Tamagotchi at school and never gave you a turn. That unpleasant turd who would eat the yoghurt that came in a tube during lunch, and threaten kids with the ol' 'I'll get my dad to beat you up' when they crossed them.
Looking at this new Penguin Classics cover for Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, I don't think of Lolita or anything like that (you sick freaks). All I see is a haunted, petulant brat with zero boundaries. The kind of kid that rumbles through their formative years on a current of hate and poor parenting. Seeing as CATCF primarily deals with the value of a moral upbringing, I think it's perfect.