The Best of Roald Dahl

In Short Stories on December 27, 2004 at 2:39 am

bestdahl.jpgThe Best of Roald Dahl
by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl is the author of my favorite book from childhood Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the book that wonderfully wicked children film The Witches was based on. I didn’t know he’s also famous for writing short stories for adult. This volume collects 29 stories from his career spanning from 1940s-1980s. They are mostly wicked stories about grotesque people and horrifying scenarios that are also disturbingly humorous. Most of the stories have nasty twist endings, I have to fight urges not to cheat by skipping ahead. Most are not big-bang type of surprises, but subtle and creepy revelations. He’s amazing in building up suspense and tantalizing the reader Hitchcock-style: we knew something is not right but the characters were unaware of the danger they’re heading onward. That’s why it’s a thrilling ride, like watching a train wreck and how human failings (greed, lust) lead to their own demises. A lot of the stories also have the “story within a story’ structure.

Like I said in the The Witches entry, my suspicion of Roald Dahl’s misogyny tendency seems right on. The females are always portrayed as these deceitful, lecherous, scheming, murderous scorpions trapping innocent men. The story “Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat” started off with ‘America is the land of opportunity for women’, where they’re ambitious in marrying and divorcing poor overworking and honest-living husbands repeatedly to suck them dry monetarily. The story is basically about a cheating wife being humiliated and defeated. ^^;; Another story “Georgy Porgy” is a very disturbing story about a priest who had a traumatizing childhood which led to his great fear of woman. His vivid descriptions on threatening lecherous women are just, wow. The ending was…mindblowing! 😀

“The Landlady” is reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Psycho, but with much more subtlety hence more creepy.

My most favorites are:

  • Man From the South
    A great thrill read, the ending twist made me sick…
  • Skin
    This one is famous, the story sound so familiar
  • Lamb to the Slaughter
    Simple, wicked
  • Georgy Porgy
    Great to be made into a film.
  • Royal Jelly
    The most frightening one.
  • Pig
    This one is just…brutal…and brutally funny.
  • The Visitor
    This one gave me the goosebumps and nasty shock~~
  • The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
    The only feel good and uplifting story but still very fun to read
  1. […] of the favorite Childhood authors, who also have amazing adult works. One of my favorites is Roald Dahl’s short stories. He used to write for Playboy starting in the 60s, and one story has the subtle title of  Bitch. […]

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