|Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator|
|Illustrator|| Joseph Schindelman (1st US edition)|
Faith Jacques (1st UK edition)
Michael Foreman (2nd edition)
Quentin Blake (3rd edition)
|Original Publication date||1972|
|Originally Published by||Alfred A. Knopf|
|Original ISBN||ISBN 0-394-82472-5 (first edition, hardback)|
| Preceded by|
Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970)
| Followed by|
Danny, the Champion of the World (1975)
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator 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 the preceding book, a film version of this book has never been produced. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (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 although part of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator are seen at the end of the film.
Dahl had intended to write a third book in the series but never finished it.
The book commences with the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Willy Wonka had just given Charlie the ownership of his chocolate factory, and they crash through the roof of Charlie'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 their return trip to the factory, a panicking Grandma Josephine draws Wonka from the controls, and the Elevator is sent into extra-atmospheric orbit, wherein circles the Earth until Wonka sees the chance to link it with the newly launched Space Hotel'U.S.A.': a luxurious hotel with 500 rooms commissioned by the United States government.
In the White House, President of the United States 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 in contains hostile agents of a foreign 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 elevator opens, revealing five gigantic amoeba-like monsters, which change shape: each forming a letter of the world "SCRAM". Recognising the danger, Wonka orders everybody of 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.
Upon the Elevator's departure, the staff and astronauts go aboard, and the Knids consume 24 of the staff, while the others escape. Capable of flying in space at improbable speeds, the Knids dive-bomb at the shuttle's engines and hull, destroying the rockets, the cameras, and the radio antenna. Seeing all this from the "Knidproof" Great Glass Elevator, Charlie suggests that he and his companions to 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 are incinerated in the atmosphere. At that right moment, g releases the shuttle, which floats safely home. The Elevator then crashes into the chocolate 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. Accordingly, Charlie and Wonka journey in the Great Glass Elevator to "Minusland" (a limbo containing those subject of Georgina's transformation), 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 78; and with this done, Charlie and Mr. Wonka recall Josephine and George to their original age.