George's Marvelous Medicine

by Roald Dahl

Paperback, 2007



Local notes

PB Dah




Penguin Young Readers Group (2007), Edition: Reprint, 112 pages


George decides that his grumpy, selfish old grandmother must be a witch and concocts some marvelous medicine to take care of her.


WAYRBA: Western Australia Young Readers Book Award (Winner — Younger Readers — 1984)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

112 p.; 7.75 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member StormRaven
George, the central character of George's Marvelous Medicine, is unusual for a Roald Dahl protagonist. He's not an orpphan, nor is he impovereshed. His parents even seem to be fairly normal, caring people. He only really has one problem - his grandmother is not a praticularly nice person. In fact,
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we are told, she is mean and evil, although the evil she displays in the book amounts mostly to bossing George around.

In response, George decides to replace his grandmother's normal medecine with his "marvelous" concoction. He wanders about the house when his parent sare away pouring everything he can lay his hands on, from toothpaste and shampoo to animal pills, hot peppers, and motor oil, into a single pot, which he cooks up with a helping of brown paint to make the brew look like his grandmother's usual brown medicine. (Oddly, the one thing he doesn't add to his recipie are the pharmaceuticals intended for humans in the medicine chest, on the grounds that that would be dangerous). He then feeds the result to his grandmother.

As this is a Dahl book, the mess doesn't kill her immediately, but rather makes her grow ridiculously tall, and farm animals grow to champion size, which pleases George's farmer father immensely. George can't remember the recipie, so once they have used it making animals on the farm huge, he has to try to make more. After a couple experiments, George's gigantic grandmother grabs a batch and shrinks to nothingess. And the story ends.

Of all the Dahl stories, this is one of the weakest. George's animosity for his grandmother seems out of proportion to her actions. Although she is bossy, obnoxious, cranky, and even downright mean, shrinking her to nonexistance seems to be a bit over-the-top as a response. The concoction itself seems to be little more than poison, and no explanation is given why this would work, or why George would think feeding his grandmother antifreeze laced medicine would do anything other than kill her.

While most Dahl books involve outrageous stuff, the trouble with this book is that everything seems entirely out of proportion to the provocation, Unlike The Witches, where the witches want to turn all the children in England into mice, or the evil giants in The BFG, where the man-eating giants run off to eat a couple dozen people every night, the nasty nature of George's grandmother seems tame. Also in most of Dahl's books, the silly plans to counter the villans are usually backed up by some sort of explanation, even one as simple as the bag of magic the kicks off the action in James and the Giant Peach. In George's Marvelous Medicine, George simply decides to wander around the house one day mixing all the household chemicals he can get his hands on to feed to his grandmother.

The story has moments such as the silly reactions that some of the animals have to George's later efforts to recreate the medicine. These keep the book from dropping below merely average, but the weakness of the story prevents the book from rising above that mark.
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
There is something about Raold Dahl's books that are delightful, and yet sinister in an awkward kind of way. George's Marvelous Medicine is one of those works. Dahl's story contains a single child George acting in a mean spirited manner to a family member he doesn't like.

Giving his nasty, selfish
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grandmother a brewing concoction of medicine, she grows to un-heavenly heights and then using marvelous medicine number four, George and his father shrink granny out of existence.

Interestingly, dad helps to get rid of maternal granny while mommy looks on asking "Where is she?" "I've lost her!" "Hooray" says Mr. Kranky. Daddy teaches George that when people are grumpy and nasty spirited, you simply poison them.

I don't particularly like the moral of the story.
But, I will continue to read Dahl's books because some of them are so creative.
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LibraryThing member AoMizuno
I was surprised because George's imagination was great. He even added things that are not real food to make his grandma's medicine! And what happened to her was awesome. I really enjoyed reading this book.
LibraryThing member MaheenA
In George's Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl, George is a little boy who's grandma always tells him that he's growing too fast. He couldn't help growing too fast and that's why he really hates his grandma. George makes a medicine to try to fix his grandma but it doesn't go as planned. It's a really
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nice book and it's funny reading about what actually happens to his grandma after George secretly gives the medicine to his grandma. It's a very funny and unusual book and I definitely recommend reading it if you like unusual things happening in a story. I absolutely love the books by Roald Dahl!
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LibraryThing member MuuMuuMousie
Well this is a weird little book.

I know Dahl has written a few disturbing stories in his time, but this one has to be right up there with the disturbing-est of them. I’m not comfortable rating it at this time, mostly because it’s entirely possible that kids would like this book more than
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grownups. I don’t know what kid-me would have made of this, but grownup-me isn’t impressed.

Even the premise is wacky. There is a boy, George, who lives with his parents and his grandmother. The grandmother is old and sick, and because of this, she isn’t always very pleasant. (That seems fair . . . It’s hard to be cheerful when you don’t feel good.) One day, in a moment of either mischief or senility, she mentions that she has certain powers, and the boy gets a little bit scared of these alleged witchy powers that, as far as I can tell, she doesn’t even really have.

So he disposes of her medicine and replaces it with his own concoction, which, wouldn’t you know it, actually has real, non-alleged witchy powers.

Despite being super-gross and potentially lethal (I mean, come on, it’s got antifreeze in it, along with a bunch of other household chemicals), this potion actually puts her in a good mood. Unfortunately, it also alters her physically, and permanently. I won’t spoil too much here, except to say that things don’t end well for her, but nobody else seems to care. Well, the mom cares, a little bit, at first, but she gets over things speedily enough. Old people are a burden anyway. Hooray!

I mean, really? What on earth did I just read?

It’s too disturbing to be funny, it’s too bizarre to be scary, it’s too much of a downer to be whimsical, and the protagonists are too callous for me to enjoy the adventure. There’s one other thing, too. It may be that I’m reading too much into this, but I am irked at the unspoken implication that a woman who isn’t constantly cheerful isn’t worthy to live. Between this and The Witches, in which the magical forces preying on children are always female, I’m a bit disappointed. It’s hard to come to grips with the idea that this came from the same author who wrote such a wholesome adventure in James and the Giant Peach, and who gave us such a calm, dignified, and self-possessed heroine in Matilda. This just feels like a vindictive kid who takes his frustration out on an old, sick, feeble relative.

Again, I’m not exactly the target audience, and I recognize that my adult perspective may be hindering me from appreciating Dahl’s intent.

Still, wow. Not my cup of tea (er, I mean, medicine).
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LibraryThing member soliloquies
Quite possibly my favourite Dahl book - he was such a genius at knowing just how children's (and adult's) minds work. Genuinely hilarious as George concocts a medicine to cure his repugnant Grandma of her grumpiness with unexpected results.
LibraryThing member brakketh
Re-read this book after talking about childhood authors and thoroughly enjoyed it again.
LibraryThing member autumnreads
What more can I say other than Roald Dahl is a writing genius! Again, Dahl delivers a fun, humorous and creative story spun with magic and wonder. If only I could tap into his writing muse and channel his creativity my way. The characters are fun, simple yet memorable. The descriptions are
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carefully crafted and consistent with Dahl's collection of colorful stories. This book is yet another example of how Dahl takes the time to include the simplest detail in which helps the reader to imagine the characters so alive and in color. This book is silly, gross, fun and simply wonderful! If you want to have some fun with kids, read this story.
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LibraryThing member aliciamay
When George's parents are away for the day, George is responsible for giving his Grandma her dose of medicine. But the medicine never seems to do his horrid, grouchy grandma any good, so he decides to mix up a batch of his own that will either make her nice or disappear. Throwing in a little or a
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lot of most household stuff he can get his hands on makes for a marvelous medicine.

I had read George's Marvelous Medicine as a kid and I must say the rereading didn't disappoint. The writing was charming and lyrical and the artwork was fun. Several of the descriptions made me laugh out loud - like George's grandma is a grizzly, grumpy, selfish old woman with pale brown teeth and a small puckered-up mouth like a dog's bottom. I did read it a little different as an adult; I was thinking about how much the medicine was costing as George kept dumping perfumes and animal pills in the pot. And all the ideas this could give a kid!
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LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
When George's horrible grandmother crosses the line, George makes a new medicine for her with everything from shampoo to flea powder to motor oil. When she takes the medicine, it has surprising and hilarious results. A great audiobook for family listening. The narrator does great voices, especially
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the grandma voice and Dahl's hilarious story will have the whole family giggling.
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LibraryThing member EmScape
I don't think I would recommend this book to the youngsters for which it was written. George spends the day making a concoction of every conceivable substance in his home, intending to feed it to his grandmother and make her explode. The consequences are not as disastrous as they would be if one
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performed this stunt in real life, and are in fact rather, well, marvelous. My fear would be that kids would definitely try this at home, resulting in deceased pets, local wildlife, and possibly grandmothers.
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LibraryThing member kellyholmes
Not my favorite Dahl book, but still a cute, quirky read.
LibraryThing member tripleblessings
This edition, "Geordie's Mingin Medicine" is a translation into Scots dialect of Roald Dahl's humourous fantasy tale for children, "George's Marvelous Medicine".
From the jacket notes on the Itchy Coo edition, "Geordie's Grannie wis a grabbie crabbit ault wumman wi peeliewally broon teeth and a wee
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snirkit-up mooth like a dug's bahookie. She wis aye compleenin, girnin, greetin, grummlin and mulligrumphin aboot somethin or ither. She wis a meeserable auld grumph." And so the story continues, in the vernacular Scots dialect which is seldom heard now except when speaking to elderly Scots in certain regions.
Best enjoyed when read aloud by a Scotsman or woman who can go with the flow, make the most of the dialect, and enjoy the wild exaggerations and hilarious events of the story.
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LibraryThing member eboutin
The main character of the book is George and he tries to get rid of his grandma by making a medicine of everything he can find. This story is funny because he gets every thing he can and puts it in the medicine pot. You would like this story if you like funny books and weird ones too.
LibraryThing member keatkin
Classic, zany fantasy story from the incomparable Roald Dahl. Children will squeal with delight and groan with disgust as George raids every room in the farmhouse to create his crazy medicinal concoction for grandma. Quentin Blake's whimsical drawings are perfect, as always, but the real standout,
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is Dahl's use of language and how he skillfully deploys his trademark sequences of synonyms - not only to provide humour, but to extend and expand the reader's or listener's vocabulary. An all-time favorite for both children and adults. Makes a great read-aloud or Readers' Theatre production.
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LibraryThing member The_Hibernator
George’s Marvelous Medicine is a Roald Dahl classic. It is cute and funny but not one of my favorites of Dahl’s (I tend to prefer his books for older kids). I also got a little queasy at the idea of encouraging kids to mix household cleaners and motor oil together as a medicine. Most children
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will realize that it’s just humor, but this book is written for a rather young audience and some kids may still be adventurous enough to try something similar themselves. In short, make sure you know what your kid is reading, and have pertinent discussions about truth and fantasy. In the unlikely scenario that you don’t know anything about Roald Dahl: he has a dark (and gross) sense of humor. His books tend to be a bit silly plot-wise, but children just gobble them up. Dahl is a great writer for getting kids interested in reading. He has written a range of books for younger and older kids, and this book is for perhaps 6-8 year olds. If you don’t mind a bit of gross yuckiness and a wide range of purposefully unlikable adult characters, Roald Dahl has written some great ones!
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LibraryThing member ywoo
George is alone in the house with grandma who is most horrid, grizzly old grunion grandma ever.George think she needs something stronger than her usual medicine to change grandma.And George started to make the medicine...
LibraryThing member PSequeira
Great humorous and creative book for children of all ages. Currently reading as a read aloud with my students. Really captures children's imaginations and influences them to use all their senses while listening to George's "marvelous concoction" for grandma. Suggest having students discuss the
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real-life effects of putting random ingredients into a medicine concoction (i.e. Would this be safe in real life? What do you think might have really happened?)
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LibraryThing member hannm
george's marvellous medicine is yet another classic by road dahl... hes a well good author! Its about this boy who hates his Grandma. She has a puckered up nose like a dogs bottom! Whenever she takes a spoonful of medicine shes just as worse as before! So when George is left alone one morning to
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look after her he gets just the chance ....

Get it to find more!
P.S. There's a funny ending!
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LibraryThing member Nikkles
This is one of my favoirte of Roald Dahl's books. It is inventive, clever, with a slight hint of malice, which is what I love about Dahl's books. A very funny book that has the main characteristic of all Dahl's books that the children are brilliant and the adults all slightly dumb and daft.
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George's marvelous medicine is fun for all ages as most of Dahl's books are. Its also fun to read aloud if your teaching someone to read.
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LibraryThing member aethercowboy
When George Kranky is left alone with his vicious maternal grandmother, and he gets the notion in his head to poison her, things get a little weird. Wavering between wanting to kill her and wanting to just knock her socks off, he blends all manner of ingredients whose warning labels typically say
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“In case of accidental ingestion, contact the poison control center.” The end result, though, is his marvelous medicine, which, instead of killing his grandmother, gives her great height. When his parents notice that it also increases the size of the family’s farm’s livestock, George’s father demands that George reproduce the wonderdrug. However, George is not a big pharmaceutical company with rigorous quality control and confguration management practices, so he spends the rest of the book trying to re-create his marvelous medicine.

I found this book to be one I would hesitate reading to a child. While it has the strong message of “stay the heck out of the medicine cabinet,” it does nothing to counteract the message of “poison the elderly.” I’d be too afraid of a child taking this book to heart, and getting a chemical cocktail for breakfast (or even worse, them creating chlorine gas by accident).

I’m sure the book can be read in good fun, but the general theme seems like one not best delivered to children, unless they’re smart enough to realize that such a thing wouldn’t happen. This book probably should have the poison control hotline’s number printed on the back or something.

As far as the prose itself goes, I found the story to be a bit dull and at times excessively dark. George is certainly no Charlie or James. In my mind, this goes up there with other misses by Dahl, which sad to say, has been roughly 50% of the books of his I’ve read.
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LibraryThing member rata
A fantastic use of words that allow the younger reader to engage in a short, humourous read.
LibraryThing member michcall
I love this story although it is actually twisted. It makes me wonder what was going on in Dahl's mind.
LibraryThing member Lauramatarau
Why did i pick it up: i usualy like to rad Roald Dahl books and this one was one i hadn't read yet. I think it was wone of the first ones i read

Why did i finish it: i was interested to see what was going to happen in the end and there was no boring parts, it flowed nicely

Who would i recommend this
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to: ages 9+, its good for young kids but ad
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LibraryThing member joannas433
This book is about George's marvelous madicine.
He made a medicine but it make you tall and short and so on... This book is very fun to read.. I promise you that you will love this book.

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½ (1078 ratings; 3.8)
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