The Twits was one of the very few books that I actually read as a young child (even if it was with the rest of my class). At the time, I thought it was absolutely hilarious. I came back to it again around the age of fifteen and that time it didn’t really do anything. It felt childish and infantile. Then, recently, I decided to read it again as an adult so that I could write a review of it… turns out my love for it had returned!
It’s a short and simple novel about two people (Mr and Mrs Twit) who are basically just really awful towards each other and all-round disgusting people. Many of the chapters are just about nasty things that they do to one another (for example, Mr Twit goes out of his way with an elaborate prank to make Mrs Twit think that she’s dying of a terminal illness) and it’s just so over the top and so absurdly ridiculous. I laughed out loud many times. The quirky illustrations from Quentin Blake certainly help in that department.
Later, you’re introduced to a character called the Roly-Poly Bird, who has been imprisoned by Mr Twit and this ultimately leads to a storyline about the Twits finally getting their comeuppance. The ending is comically bizarre, but I don’t think I liked it quite as much as the early chapters where the pair of them were just being awful people. It’s a book you’ll get through pretty quickly (easily finished in one or two sittings) and I think it’s likely to be entertaining to most people – particularly younger readers. Then as an adult it kind of has an extra layer of humour because you know that the things they do are actually really, really terrible (and it’s treated so casually). Though I can find Roald Dahl a bit hit and miss, this is definitely a hit.