- Publisher: Vintage Books USA (1 April 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0394725492
- ISBN-13: 978-0394725499
- Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 2.5 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,104,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Amazon.co.uk Trade-In Store
Did you know you can trade in your old books for an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card to spend on the things you want? Visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details. Special Offer until June 30, 2013: Receive an additional £5 promotional Gift Certificate, when you trade-in at least £10 worth of books. Learn more.
This collection is awesome. Being a fan of the O'Henry style story and the Shirley Jackson dark humor, I enjoyed myself tremendously going through each story. The writing is very clean and plot driven, so you can literally lose yourself in his stories the moment you begin them. The excerpt from _My Uncle Oswald_ called "The Visitor" is especially devilishly delicious.
Dahl is one of my favorite writers, and I feel that this collection bears very well on the legacy he left us.
Dahl's interest is sometimes dark and off-colour, and his constant fascination with the morbid and ugly makes this book suitable only for mature readers. I personally found his frequent use of blasphemy rather disturbing, as well has his occasional interest in sexual exploits (evident in three stories where he deals with matters such as prostitution, wife-swapping, and sexual conquest). Despite this, the majority of these stories are unquestionably spell-binding. Dahl's short stories have the capacity to leave you breathless because they are entirely unpredictable. He has a love for unhappy, even horrible endings that shock and surprise, yet are incredibly satisfying because they are unexpected. His incredible ability to describe an evil or horrible scheme in rich detail is so riveting, that you are completely caught up in its authenticity and excitement. Just when you are at the point of rejoicing in its apparent success, Dahl takes the greatest pleasure in dashing all expectations to pieces, as the scheme ends in an astonishing failure. You are left with a wonderful blend of mixed feelings: disappointment at failure, yet satisfaction knowing that justice is done, albeit in a cruel or most surprising manner. His dark humor is completely captivating, and in certain respects Dahl can correctly be regarded as a literary genius.
Some of the highlights in my view are "Taste" (a delightful tale where a man lays his daughter on the line in a "sure" bet with a wine-taster), "Parson's Pleasure" (where an underhanded scheme to acquire the some of the world's greatest antiques for peanuts is chopped to pieces on the verge of its success), "Champion of the World" (a poacher's dream nearly comes true with an incredible scheme to steal birds), and "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar"(a remarkable but believable story about a man who develops an incredible ability to see through playing-cards).
But these favorites are just the tip of the ice-berg. This book boasts more than 500 pages, and contains nearly 30 of Roald Dahl's best short stories, selected from five of his published short story collections. Each makes a delightful 10-20 minutes read, and exhibits his superb skill as one of the most entertaining and ingenius story-tellers in the late 20th century. Recommended!
Well, hold on to your seats because you ain't seen nothin' yet!
This collection of 25 short stories (written for adults) spans his career up to 1986 and contains some of the most tantalizingly evil ideas I have read in a long time. What fun it was to visit this mind in all its incarnations. From a seemingly sweet landlady, to a seemingly benevolent preacher, to a seemingly innocuous wager. That is the pattern. Things are not what they seem and Dahl makes sure to throw in a one-two punch of surprises within.
To use a Hollywoodism, I would say this is like O. Henry crossed with Stephen King. So, if you like your short stories with pepper, you can do no better than to visit the twisted world of Roald Dahl.
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions