Stig of the Dump Book Review

stig of the dump

Classics show us how a book from the 1960s can still be relatable a half century later. Stig of the Dump is an old classic, and the book’s entire premises follows two boys that were complete opposites of each other becoming friends.

Barney, a main character who doesn’t seem to pay attention to other people’s advice, seemingly finds the notion of not going down the chalk pit too tempting to resist.

After all, everyone is telling him to avoid the pit, but no one is truly elaborating on the matter. This is something, even as an adult, most people can relate to in life. There is something so tempting about an action you’re told not to do.

For Barney, this action is going down the chalk pit (the edge of the quarry).

On his way down, Barney finds something of interest. Looking around, he is shocked to find that there is a dilapidated house, more of a hut really. And like any young boy would do – or girl for that matter – Barney decides to visit the house.

And to his surprise, Stig is there.

Stig is the main character opposite Barney, and he isn’t quite an ordinary boy. No, Stig is different. Stig is a caveman.

Where most humans would run the other way in horror or turn the caveman into a science experiment, Barney befriends him. And Barney is the one who calls Stig, Stig for the first time. After all, Stig grunts, and the two make gestures to communicate.

Differences aside, the friendship prevails into a loving story where the two main characters prevail where others would falter.

A series of adventures begin that will change both characters’ lives forever. Oh, and a little bit on Stig before we go deeper. Stig, being a caveman, is short and hairy with black eyes that are said to sparkle. He also wears animal furs.

On the outside, the book is a mere children’s book, but there are a lot of lessons that really make Stig of the Dump a classic learning experience. The characters overcome many obstacles even adults face in life:

  • Lying
  • Inventions
  • Learning right from wrong
  • Language barriers
  • Bullying
  • Stealing
  • Adventure
  • Recycling

And these are just a few of the neat things that can be pulled out of the book. Stig, as creative as he is, has many creations that he made from junk. After all, Stig lives in a dump, so he has a lot of waste to work with.

Instead of saying “hey Stig you’re a little hairy, why not use a beard trimmer,” Barney really starts to become deep friends with Stig.

And everyone seems to think that Stig is just imaginary. Barney has fun with Stig: he helps him decorate his home, hunts with him, and even learns from him, too. Interestingly, only when he is at his grandparent’s home does he visit Stig.

Whether you’re an adult or a child, the book will bring you on a whirlwind adventure with a writing style that captures the imagination in a way that is best described as effortless.