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Original book cover of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator with illustrations by Joseph Schindelman
|Illustrator||Joseph Schindelman (1st U.S. ion)|
Faith Jaques (1st UK ion)
Michael Foreman (2nd ion)
Quentin Blake (3rd ion)
|Publisher||Alfred A. Knopf|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|ISBN||0-394-82472-5 (first ion, hardback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.D1515 Ck3|
|Preceded by||Charlie and the Chocolate Factory|
|Followed by||Charlie in the White House (unfinished)|
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is a children's book by British author Roald Dahl. It is the sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, continuing the story of young Charlie Bucket and chocolatier Willy Wonka as they travel in the Great Glass Elevator. The book 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.
Although the original book has been filmed three times—for the big screen in 1971 and 2005, and as an animated direct-to-video-crossover with Tom and Jerry in 2017—The Great Glass Elevator has never been adapted on a visual medium; however it was adapted for audio by Puffin Audio Books starring Neil Answych as Charlie Bucket and Gordan Fairclough as Willy Wonka and Netflix is working on making an animated series based on the novel to be directed by Taika Waititi. Dahl began writing a third book in the series, titled Charlie in the White House, but did not complete it.
The story picks up where the previous book left off, with Charlie and family aboard the flying Great Glass Elevator. The Elevator accidentally goes into orbit, and Mr. Wonka docks them at the Space Hotel USA. Their interception of the hotel is mistaken by approaching astronauts and hotel staff in a Commuter Capsule and listeners on Earth (including the President of the United States) as an act of space piracy and they are variously accused of being enemy agents, spies and aliens. Shortly after their arrival, they discover that the hotel has been overrun by dangerous, shape-changing alien monsters known as The Vermicious Knids. The Knids cannot resist showing off and reveal themselves by using the five hotel elevators (with one Knid in each of them) and spell out the word "SCRAM", giving the group time to evacuate. As the group leaves, a Knid follows the Great Glass Elevator and tries to break it open, but to no avail, which results in the Knid receiving a bruise on its backside and hungering for payback.
Meanwhile, with the Great Glass Elevator's passengers gone, the President allows the Commuter Capsule to dock with the Space Hotel. Upon entry by the astronauts and the Space Hotel staff, the Knids attack by eating fourteen of the staff, prompting an immediate evacuation by the rest of the group. The Great Glass Elevator comes back just in time to see the entire Knid infestation coming in on the attack, bashing the Commuter Capsule to the point where the retrorockets can't be fired to initiate immediate reentry and the communication antenna can't keep the astronauts in communication with the President. Charlie suggests towing the Commuter Capsule back to Earth, and, despite a last attempt by the Knids to tow the two craft away to their home planet Vermes, in the process the Knids are incinerated in Earth's atmosphere. Mr. Wonka releases the Commuter Capsule, while the Elevator crashes down through the roof of the chocolate factory.
Back in the chocolate factory, three of Charlie's grandparents refuse to leave their bed. Mr. Wonka gives them a rejuvenation formula called "Wonka-Vite". They take much more than they need, subtracting 80 years. Two become babies, but 78-year-old Grandma Georgina vanishes, having become "−2". Charlie and Mr. Wonka journey to "Minusland", where they track down Grandma Georgina's spirit. As she has no physical presence, Mr. Wonka sprays her with the opposite of "Wonka-Vite" - "Vita-Wonk" - in order to age her again. Mr. Wonka admits that it is not an accurate way to age a person, but the spray is the only way to dose "minuses". Upon leaving Minusland, they discover that Grandma Georgina is now 358 years old. Using cautious doses of Wonka-Vite and Vita-Wonk, the three grandparents are restored to their original ages.
Finally, the President of the United States invites the family and Mr. Wonka to the White House to thank them for their space rescue. The family and Wonka accepts the invitation (including the grandparents who finally agree to get out of their beds) and prepare to leave.
A follow-up to the book was planned, called Charlie in the White House. Charlie's family and Mr. Wonka are invited by President Gilligrass to have dinner at the White House, as thanks for rescuing the spacecraft from its attack by the Vermicious Knids. Dahl only wrote the first chapter, which is on display at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden.