Tuesday 25 August 2020

Book Review of 'William, the Dictator' by Richmal Crompton

The William series is one of the best light reads in between heavy classic ventures. I have enjoyed every one of them and this is another breath of fresh air amidst serious reading. 


Crompton's books reminds me of Ruskin Bond's work. They may be assumed to be children's literature but are perfectly feasible for adults. More so, because they get adults thinking about some serious lessons of life, spoken through the mouths of little children. They remind us of our own childhoods with a pang while opening our eyes to how much the process of growing up has transformed us for the worse.

William's innocence reminds us of R K Narayan's Swami of the Malgudi fame. The little tensions of everyday life of a child clubbed with fears and foibles of childhood that assume huge proportions for the child, make these books highly relatable to read.

How are adults any different from children? Adults are bored too, and more often than not they end up doing senseless stuff to while away their time. The children's real-time play activities make more sense in today's addictive environment of digital games and online studies. Besides, they are much more fun!

Crompton spares no opportunity to remind readers that parents easily forget their own eccentricities of childhood and mouth the same dialogues that their own parents had uttered, years earlier. 

And there in lies the timeless quality of the book. Beware though, you might not want to read this one in a public space, unless you don't mind the helpless guffaws that you may succumb to. Hilarious lines delivered in all ironic seriousness by William, elevates him as one of the most loved kid characters of the last century. 

This, and the typical twists in the tales that magically resolve all the ruination he causes, always for the better make each episodic chapter as lovable as the last one. The pictorial illustrations are charming and the expressions of  the characters in the images add to the hilarity of the stories.

Also, one can pick up the book and read any chapter without having to worry about continuity or memory issues.  Each chapter reads like a short story in itself, while contributing to the whole book as an important entity.


A most enjoyable read, don't miss an opportunity to revisit your childhood through William's antics. Pick up any book of the William series and lose yourself in his boyhood world. 

I rate this novel 4.8 out of 5. 

Hope you liked my review. Do let me know in the comments below. 

Happy reading and stay safe!

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