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Roald Dahl: unexpected tales to read now

ottobre 20, 2017

Roald Dahl: unexpected tales to read now

If there is an author who has accompanied me through the various stages of my life, that is Roald Dahl. Mostly known for his children’s books but not so much for his adult ones, he was a witty author with a very distinct and brilliant (black) humor.

I think the first book I read by him was The BFG. I then read The Witches, Matilda, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, The Twits, Boy: Tales of Childhood and a few others. I believe I’ve never read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! How bizarre!!! I was and still am fascinated by his stories: from the beautiful illustrations by Quentin Blake to Dahl’s wild imagination,  I am mesmerized by his fantastic stories.

When I was older I read Going Solo which recounts Dahl’s experience in Africa as a RAF pilot during World War II. Years later, while going through my dad’s books, I found two collections of short stories by Roald Dahl that he had bought when he was about my age, in London. The books in question are Over To You and Kiss Kiss.


They’re among my most prized possessions. Both collections include 11 short stories, my favorite being “The Landlady” which can be found in Kiss Kiss. If you’ve only read his children’s books, you will discover a new side to the author: more sinister and with plenty of black humor.


During his life Roald Dahl has written over sixty short stories that have been published in various anthologies so it’s not uncommon to find different ones online or in book shops. A couple of years back, while browsing through a local book shop, I found another collection of his short stories which I added to my library. The book actually included two separate collections: Tales of the Unexpected and More Tales of the Unexpected. I wasn’t disappointed! Roald Dahl had such a brilliant humor: his books are always captivating and entertaining at the same time.

By now you might have guessed it: Roald Dahl is among my favorite authors! So, when Amazon, “knowing me” so well, suggested I’d buy a collection of new books by him I couldn’t resist. I’m not sure whether this Penguin collection has a name… Anyway, the series includes eight separate books titled as follows: Fear, Innocence, War, Deception, Cruelty, Madness, Lust and Trickery. In this series Roald Dahl delves into human nature, emotion and behavior, exploring people’s desires and drivers. The collection includes stories from different stages of his life as well as ghost stories. These books are supposed to “entertain, amuse and shock readers” and, apparently, that’s exactly what they do! I just received them so I haven’t read them yet but I surely hope they’re as nice and pretty in the inside as they are on the outside! Charming Baker’s illustrations are amazing and haunting at the same time, conferring a sense of melancholia: they definitely caught my eye when I first saw them.


On top of this series I also bought Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories. Penguin describes it as “Fourteen terrifying ghost stories chosen by the master of the macabre, Roald Dahl”. I am looking forward to reading all of these books!!!


What about you, have you read any of Roald Dahl’s work? Let me know!

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for more inspiration on what to read, check out the reading section of this blog 😉

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