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Boy: Tales of Childhood and Going Solo: WITH Tales of Childhood AND Going Solo Paperback – 29 Oct 1992


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Paperback, 29 Oct 1992
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New edition edition (29 Oct. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140156828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140156829
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,359,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

The son of Norwegian parents, Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916 and educated at Repton. He was a fighter pilot for the RAF during World War Two, and it was while writing about his experiences during this time that he started his career as an author.

His fabulously popular children's books are read by children all over the world. Some of his better-known works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, The Witches, and The BFG.

He died in November 1990.

Product Description

About the Author

From the publication of James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the 1960s to his death in 1990, Roald Dahl became the most successful children’s author in the world. Nearly twenty years later, a fresh generation of children seek out his work with instinctive fanaticism. His creations endure - through Hollywood movies, theatre adaptations and musical works, but still most potently of all through the pure magic of his writing upon the page.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By "mjparisi28" on 23 July 2003
Format: Paperback
I first read this book when I was about 10 years old. I had always been a fan of Roald Dahl and his stories and this was no exception.
I can honestly say I lost count of the amount of times I have re-read this book (I think last time was only last year and I am now 19!). It was an easy to read book that a child could manage, but it made me aware of some very adult issues - caning children, the birth of the motor car, the wonders of Africa and the shocks of War. At ten years old I knew nothing of these things apart from those which I read in this book. But these issues wern't boring to me, they were entertaining and funny and enjoyable to read.
The idea of Africa was the one which stayed with me. When I finished 6th form I decided to visit the Africa that was written about in Going Solo.
Although it wasn't the only factor, I think this book was the spark which set me on this idea and so I shall never forget it. Thankyou Roald Dahl!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By stacey.stamp@btinternet.com on 3 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
A funny, sometimes moving account of the childhood and later life of Roald Dahl.
For those of you who are huge fans of all those great characters such as Charlie, Matilda and the BFG, take a closer look at the heart and mind of their creator Roald Dahl.
Roald's biography unfolds in a intimate down to earth style which almost gives you the impression he is telling his story, off the record, just to you.
Boy/Going Solo is a book which will have you holding your breath, laughing out loud and reaching for the tissues before the last page is turned and will definitely leave you wanting to read more.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 April 2001
Format: Paperback
As it says on the book - "Roald Dahl's life was as funny, bizarre, fightening and exciting as the stories he wrote" This is 100% true. From being 6 at school to 10 at boarding school in Boy he goes onto being a Hawker Hurricane pilot flying in Greece and the Western desert in 1942. This is an amazing read and it is a book that you will read again and again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on 9 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
I expected a dull plod through the life of a writer - but no! this book is a wonderful, engaging, lively trip through the highlights and lowlights of a man who led an extraordinary life. He has a lovely style of phrase which is warm and engaging enabling the reader to clearly see and feel the events unfolding across the pages.
There are many memorable moments, but the one that has stayed with me long after I finished the book was his account of being a fighter pilot. None of the heroics that are usually found in war stories, but observations and comments that were very moving due to their honesty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 April 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book with High School pupils, of all abilities, to develop listening skills and to learn about plot structure, suspense and 'grip'. We all love to hear about the screeching Mrs Pratchett, and learn to fear loud, huge-bosomed Matrons in 'Boy'. In 'Going Solo', Dahl's account of the garden boy's encounter with the Black Mamba holds children rigid with suspense. These are stories which make teaching English really enjoyable. Also, these are among the most borrowed books in our library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read this book it is easy to see where Dahl got the more macabre ideas for his childrens books. Intensely readable and totally fascinating. His real life makes for a better story than any of the made up things he wrote. Although it is written for children it is never patronising and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone of any age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 April 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book with High School pupils, of all abilities, to develop listening skills and to learn about plot structure, suspense and 'grip'. We all love to hear about the screeching Mrs Pratchett, and learn to fear loud, huge-bosomed Matrons in 'Boy'. In 'Going Solo', his account of the garden boy's encounter with the Black Mamba holds children rigid with suspense. These are stories which make teaching English really enjoyable. Also, these are among the most borrowed books in our library.
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Format: Paperback
Very enjoyable edition of these two autobiographical memoirs of Roald Dahl's. 'Boy' covers his family background and childhood in Wales and summer holidays in Norway, followed up by his school days at public school in England and eventually his first employment working for Shell and being posted to East Africa in the late 1930s. There is much humour in these chapters and many a story which will ring familiar to any fan of Dahl's writing for children. He has a nice way with words that leads the reader to really get an impression of the moment, and want more of it. Very easy reading in which he shows some of the inane cruelties of the old English public school system and the 'masters' who staffed it. Despite this, one gets the idea that he had a generally happy childhood.

The second half of the book is where for me it really gets interesting. 'Going Solo' picks up where 'Boy' leaves off and Dahl's entry into the world of empire as an agent of Shell in the territories that would become Kenya & Tanzania. He recounts tales of snakes and Lions and 'sundowners' on the porch. The world is turned upside down in September '39 as war is declared and his first task is to assist the authorities in rounding up German civilians attempting to escape to neutral lands. From here, the pace quickens as Dahl joins the RAF in Kenya and becomes a fighter pilot. His adventures in the Western Desert campaign followed by the debacle in Greece are told at some length, and fascinating they are too. Unfortunately things seem to come to an abrupt end in 1941 and I would have liked to know what happened for the duration of the war at least.

All in all an easy and satisfying read in which the reader will feel by the end that they know a fair bit of the younger man who would go on to be such a succesful bestseller later in his life. Generously illustrated with amusing drawings, facsimiles of letters home, and later photographs of his adventures overseas.
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