- 1 Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Audiobook
- 2 Plot summary: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Audiobook
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Audiobook
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Audiobook is a children’s Audiobook by British author Roald Dahl. It is the sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Audiobook, continuing the story of young Charlie Bucket and eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka as they travel in the Great Glass Elevator.
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Audiobook was first published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in 1972, and in the United Kingdom by George Allen & Unwin in 1973.
Unlike its predecessor, this Audiobook has never been adapted to film. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Audiobook (1971) disappointed Dahl to the point that he refused to have a film version produced. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have announced that they have no intention of producing a sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Audiobook (2005), although elements from Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Audiobook are seen at the end of the film.
Dahl had intended to write a third book in the series but never finished it.
Plot summary: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Audiobook
The Audiobook commences with the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Audiobook: Willy Wonka has just given Charlie the ownership of his chocolate factory, and they crash through the roof of Charlie’s family’s house in a flying elevator to inform his family of the good news. Charlie’s grandparents (except Grandpa Joe, already mobile), after twenty years in bed, refuse to leave it, and the bed is carried in the Elevator itself. At a critical moment during the return trip to the factory, a panicking Grandma Josephine draws Wonka from the controls, and the Elevator is sent into an extra-atmospheric orbit, wherein it circles the Earth until Wonka sees the chance to link it with the newly launched ‘Space Hotel’: a luxurious hotel with five hundred rooms commissioned by the United States government.
In the White House, President Lancelot R. Gilligrass, Vice President Elvira Tibbs, the president’s best friend, chiefs, and the U.S. Cabinet see the Elevator dock with the Space Hotel, and fear it contains hostile agents of a foreign or extraterrestrial government, while the space shuttle containing the hotel staff and three astronauts approaches the Space Hotel. On the Hotel, Wonka and the others hear the President address them across a radio link as Martians, and Wonka therefore teases Gilligrass with nonsense words and grotesque poetry. In the midst of this, the hotel’s own elevators open, revealing five gigantic amoeba-like monsters, which change shape: each forming a letter of the word ‘SCRAM’. Recognising the danger, Wonka orders everybody off the Space Hotel. These shape-changers, Wonka tells the others, are predatory extraterrestrials called Vermicious Knids, waiting in the Space Hotel to consume its staff and guests. Wonka also explains that the Knids have tried to invade Earth and consume its inhabitants like they have done with many other planets (Mars, Venus and the Moon, among others) but are always incinerated because of the atmosphere protecting the planet.
Upon the Elevator’s departure, the staff and astronauts go aboard, and the Knids consume twenty-four of the staff, while the others escape. Capable of flying in space at improbable speeds, the Knids dive-bomb the shuttle’s engines and hull, destroying the rockets, the cameras, and the radio antenna, apparently dooming the occupants to a lifetime stranded in space. Seeing all this from the “Knidproof” Great Glass Elevator, Charlie suggests that he and his companions tow the shuttle back to Earth. In agreement, Wonka pilots the Elevator into range, whereupon Charlie’s Grandpa Joe connects the two vessels by means of a steel cord. The Knids change into living segments of a towing line, with which to capture the two spacecraft, while a single Knid wraps his body around the Elevator to provide an anchor for this operation; whereupon Willy Wonka returns the Elevator to Earth, and the Knids are incinerated in the atmosphere. At the right moment, Wonka releases the shuttle, which floats safely home. The Elevator then crashes back down through the roof of the chocolate factory, but thanks to Mr. Wonka’s expert piloting, the hurtling Elevator perfectly engages inside another of the same shafts that it had exited from in the first book, and rolls smoothly downward to a normal stop inside the factory.
Though requested by Charlie, his grandparents Georgina, George, and Josephine still refuse to move out of their bed, and Wonka prescribes a rejuvenation formula, called ‘Wonka-Vite’. The three bedridden recipients take much more than they need, and lose eighty years: making George one year old, Josephine three months, and Georgina absent altogether (Due to her being only seventy-eight and thus reverting to an ‘age’ of minus two). Accordingly, Charlie and Wonka journey in the Great Glass Elevator to ‘Minusland’ (a limbo containing those subject to Georgina’s transformation, discovered by Wonka when his initial experiments to create Wonka-Vite were too powerful), where Wonka restores her with ‘Vita-Wonk’, a sprayable compound that makes people older. Upon her return, Georgina has become 358 years old, and her memory entails a long history beginning with the voyage in the ship Mayflower and ending in the present moment. Using a more cautious dose of Wonka-Vite, her companions restore her correct age of seventy-eight; and with this done, Charlie and Mr. Wonka recall Josephine and George their original age.
Immediately afterwards, the Oompa-Loompas tell Wonka a helicopter has landed near the factory and give him a letter from President Gilligrass, in which he says he now realizes Willy Wonka was responsible for the rescue as radar tracked the elevator to his factory, and the space shuttle made it back to Earth with 136 souls on board. The President congratulates the occupants of the Great Glass Elevator on saving the lives of the shuttle astronauts and hotel staff and invites them as the guests of honor to the White House for dinner. Charlie says it is too bad his family is bedridden, but the three grandparents leap out of bed, not wanting to miss this unique invitation. As Marine One takes off with Wonka, Charlie, his parents and the four grandparents, they suddenly realize too late they are in their pajamas! The story ends with Marine One flying to a big city and landing atop a department store, whereas the grandparents are being outfitted with appropriate formalwear for their big visit.
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