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Boy: Tales of Childhood [Paperback]

Roald Dahl
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Kindle Edition 2.99  
Hardcover 7.19  
Paperback 5.24  
Paperback, 27 Oct 2011 6.93  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged 6.49  
Audio Download, Unabridged 11.37 or Free with 30-day free trial

Book Description

27 Oct 2011

Boy is Roald Dahl's extraordinary glimpse into his childhood and early life.

'An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details. This is not an autobiography. I would never write a history of myself. On the other hand, throughout my young days at school and just afterwards a number of things happened to me that I have never forgotten . . .'

Boy is a funny, insightful and at times grotesque glimpse into the early life of Roald Dahl, one of the world's favourite authors. We discover his experiences of the English public school system, the idyllic paradise of summer holidays in Norway, the pleasures (and pains) of the sweetshop, and how it is that he avoided being a Boazer.

This is the unadulterated childhood - sad and funny, macabre and delightful - that inspired Britain's favourite storyteller and also speaks of an age which vanished with the coming of the Second World War.

'A shimmering fabric of his yesterdays, the magic and the hurt' Observer

'As frightening and funny as his fiction' The New York Times Book Review

'Superbly written. A glimpse of a brilliant eccentric' New Statesman

Roald Dahl, the brilliant and worldwide acclaimed author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and many more classics for children, also wrote scores of short stories for adults. These delightfully disturbing tales have often been filmed and were most recently the inspiration for the West End play, Roald Dahl's Twisted Tales by Jeremy Dyson. Roald Dahl's stories continue to make readers shiver today.

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Boy: Tales of Childhood + Going Solo
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (27 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241955300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241955307
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,872,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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


A shimmering fabric of his yesterdays, the magic and the hurt (Observer)

Brilliantly coloured, sometimes grotesque and sometimes magical (Sunday Times)

As frightening and funny as his fiction (New York Times Book Review)

Book Description

Roald Dahl's account of his childhood is now reissued in our beautiful hardback format, with - for the first time - Quentin Blake's stunning illustrations --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Author biography for young readers 10 May 2004
By Chrestomanci VINE VOICE
It’s an accepted fact that most young readers prefer fantasy to biography. If given the choice between the ‘Diary of Anne Frank’ or the latest J K Rowling or Jacqueline Wilson, few children would choose the biography, despite it being an essential addition to their library. However, Roald Dahl’s true-life stories of his childhood are the ideal cross-over, helping the young reader discover that truth can be as fascinating as fiction.
As always, Roald Dahl’s style of writing is highly accessible and great fun to read. Millions of children are familiar with his hilarious fantasy stories (Matilda, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, The Witches), so are more likely to read this slightly more serious book than they would other biographical material.
‘Going Solo’, Dahl’s sequel to ‘Boy’ is one of the most gripping little books I have ever read. I strongly recommend both books to children of all ages … adults too.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Boy by Roald Dahl 20 Nov 2005
By A Customer
Lots of people know Roald Dahl by his fantastic books of Charlie and the chocolate factory or James and the giant peach. If wanted to find information about his early life, this book would be the place to look.
The Boy is sort of an early childhood autobiography. He says this isn’t a biography but really it is. The story is told in time order. For example a story about Roald’s Dad is told before Roald Dahl being born. If you enjoy short true stories then this is the book to read.
The piece of text is in sections Starting Point, Llandaff Cathedral School, St Peter’s and Repton and Shell. The sections are then put into stories. For example The Great Mouse Plot or the First Day. It also tells us the years it happened like St Peter’s; 1925-1929 (age 9-13). There are a lot of real life photos of Roald Dahl and his family. There are also he own drawing in there. For example there is some of Mrs Prachett. The stories in the book might be real or might be fictionalised. I just don’t know because this book wasn’t written at the time it was happening it was written about memories and these memories might be wrong. This book can tell you what schools were like at the 20s and 30s.
This piece of text has lots of stories so you don’t need to have a lot of time to read a whole story. You also need to be able to read different kinds of stories with cruelty in. You can read these stories to people because they are very entertaining. I don’t think you could make a play out of it like Peter Pan.
I read the text by myself. I told one story to my brothers and they really enjoyed it. I suppose you can only read this book if you know who Roald Dahl is.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the wonderful story of boy 24 Nov 2005
By A Customer
"boy" by roald dahl is a truely wonderfully written book. the book reads more like a story than a biography but it still gives you an insight into the amazing imagination of roald dahl.i have been a fan of roald dahl since my childhood but this book and its companion biography "going solo" are my two favorite books by this magnificent author. i would highly recommend this book
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, funny book 2 May 2004
Roald Dahl was a big part of my life as a child, as his books sent my imagination out of control! Now i am 18 and i can still sit down with one of his books and be completely absorbed for hours at a time. I read 'Boy, tales of childhood' yesterday and couldn't put it down. I felt as if i was being taken on a journey with Roald Dahl, back to England in the early 20th Century, and to the beautiful sounding Norway. I cringed as he described the pain of the cane, and laughed at the 'Great Mouse Plot' of 1924. Roald Dahl was an extremely mischievous little boy, and this makes the book a thoroughly exciting read.
An interesting aspect of the book is that the characters Dahl describes from his childhood are often similar to the ones he later constructed in his wonderful children's books, showing how childhood had a big impact on his later life.
Roald Dahl was a wonderful writer, i personally see him as genius, he was my childhood hero and this book is a truly amazing read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious reading for all ages 25 April 2009
I read this and then my nine year old son read this and we both loved it. Roald Dahl wrote to his mother every week from boarding school and these letters are a source for this autobiography. His father died. His sister died. But Dahl is an English schoolboy capable of making the most sidelong references to his emotions. What he has aimed to do is pick out the most vivid and extreme incidents of his youth that have the ability to carry over time. The time he put a dead mouse in Mrs Pratchett's sweet shop jar and got whipped for it. Wonderful holidays in Norway. Having his adenoids taken out without anaesthetic. The injustice of being whipped at school for something he had not done. His love of photography. He conveys a sense that it is possible to overcome trauma by turning it into a funny story. And he made my son outraged about corporal punishment!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Okay 28 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think Ronald Dahl was a right character when he was younger and he gets up to tuns of mischievous things, like putting dead mice in sweet jars. I would really recommend this book to kids who like to listen to mischievous tales. It is a fantastic story and I think it it worth all the money that you pay. Fantastic for a bedtime story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My son loves it.
Published 8 hours ago by brian norman morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quick read
Excellent quick read, giving a enthrawling and humourous insight into Roald Dhal's growing up and what influenced him in his early years. Read more
Published 7 days ago by mr Arnold H Bergel
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST BOOK I'VE READ THIS YEAR
It is a great book about Roald Dahl's childhood. It is very interesting to find out how he lived because it is completely different to how we live today.
Published 9 days ago by Daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by wendy gulliford
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by Chas
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely caricatures
This is always a brilliant book to read aloud and the anecdotes are always amusing to listen to again and again.
Published 2 months ago by Loopy Lili
5.0 out of 5 stars Boy
Roald Dahl was a Norwegian author, born in 1916. In 1984, Dahl wrote a review of his childhood, called "Boy" in which he highlighted some memorable incidents of his school... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Anna Stafford
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
Really really great book, you must read it. What an amazing character - I want to know all there is to know and will be getting the next book very soon
Published 2 months ago by Anna
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A wonderful story about the childhood of Roald Dahl. I read this in a day- a real page turner. I intend to re-read all the books now.
Published 3 months ago by Jules
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for a younger audience
Slightly sickening details of children being caned. Interesting listening for older children or adults in terms of historical account. Wouldn't recommend for under 7s
Published 3 months ago by A R
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