SOMEONE LIKE YOU Paperback – 1979
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Top Customer Reviews
The second story in this collection was by far my absolute favourite because it was shocking, yet also very clever. Very few of the other stories pulled me in to the extent of the second story. The second one is about a woman who kills her husband and then hides the body in the most shocking and clever way, which was also quite comedic. The ending was left open ended to an extent, but you didn't need anything more from the story. Every other story in the collection ended in a much more messy way, with some being left that open ended I felt that I had no closure at all. Another one of the stronger stories was about a machine that was created to write stories so that authors didn't have to, and how this machine was then used with greedy intent to try and corner the publishing world and make as much money as possible. Of course this is very clever and I am sure Dahl must have been using this as a possible prediction for the future, or else it may have represented some of his thoughts for how terrible the publishing world can be.
Many of the stories were also incredibly dull and I found it a challenge to make myself persevere with reading through them. One story was so long winded, I kept thinking that it would go somewhere, Roald Dahl is a genius of a writer so this has to be going somewhere.Read more ›
I've been reading many other books of that amazing, wonderful writer, but I have to say that it was one of my favourites.
Despite the fact that it isn't the fastest-moving book that I've ever read, the author mantains his intriguing, gripping style although it's a book of short stories.
In these fifteen narrations we can look deeply into the feelings of the ordinary people and try to understand their behaviour. You may think that the characters are quite old fashioned, but in fact, in some ways, we are like them. I guess that the differences are the situations that they have to overcome, because I'm sure that most of us would act in the same way.
You can also learn about different cultures, social classes, dressing, animals and even food!
I recommend this book to everybody, all ages and cultures, especially if you don't have enough time for reading or just if you hate boring, heavy-going stories. I would like to encourage everybody to have the opportunity to read this book, you won't regret it!
See, the stories are dark, and I like that – subject matter includes a bet in which a man could lose his finger, a man who’s almost driven mad by his sound machine (which records even the cries of plants and trees when they’re uprooted), and even a man who’s terrified that he’s about to be bitten by a poisonous spider. That story features some casual racism towards the end, but because it’s from a character and from a time when it was much more common, that’s Dahl forgiven.
Two other stories of note include The Great Automatic Grammatizator, a machine which resembles a giant computer and which can spit out short stories and novels at a speed and standard that no other writer could keep up with, and a longer set of stories which are grouped under the title of ‘Claud’s Dog‘, and which are loosely linked together and which left me feeling a little confused, although the ending was fantastic.
Overall, then, this is not just one of the best books of Dahl’s short stories that I’ve read, but one of the best books of short stories in general. It’s worth tracking down a copy for your collection.
There is great variety in terms of setting and technique but two common themes are gambling and cheating. Often these are combined: a bet will be placed and one, or both, of the parties to the bet will try to manipulate the result by underhand means. Like a murder mystery, the set-up of a bet, whose result will be revealed by the end, is a reliable method of creating narrative tension. Nearly all the stories are engaging.
In some tales there is a sense of anti-climax: the fuse burns but the firework fails to explode. In others the ending is entirely satisfactory. My favourites in this collection were Dip in the Pool, which concerns a bet on how long a cruise ship will take to arrive at its destination; the Galloping Foxley, which makes use of Dahl's schooldays at Repton; and The Great Automatic Grammatizator, an irresistable tale about a machine which writes stories mechanically.
(A curious footnote in literary history: the great English writers Roald Dahl and Denton Welch both attended Repton in the 1930s. Entirely predictably, Dahl bullied Welch.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What's not to like about Roald Dahl stories. As it is difficult to find a narrator who will please everyone the use of different voices is a good way round this potential problem.Published 7 months ago by SEB
People who remember Roald Dahl as merely the nice man who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would no doubt be in for a bit of an unpleasant surprise were they to pick up... Read morePublished 7 months ago by girlwithherheadinabook
Great book, would make a lovely stocking filler for a teenager (or adult). One tends to think of Roald Dahl as writing for little children, but this is a delight to read. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Angie
it was not for me. it was a replacement for one the dog ate. condition was good and it came promptlyPublished on 21 Nov. 2013 by Linda Martin
Dahl was probably the first author I really loved, could not get enough of him as a kid. Now am older is fun reading his adult stories, though these would probably be suitable for... Read morePublished on 20 Oct. 2013 by Shinigami Sam
Several mysterious and gruesome stories by Roald Dahl which will keep you guessing until the end.I really like the way these collection of short stories were written.Published on 9 Feb. 2013 by Maylo B
I recently purchased "Someone Like You" to read for my local book club and everyone in the group seemed to have a different reaction to this strange and slightly disturbing... Read morePublished on 18 Jun. 2012 by bookgeek85