I'm on a mission of mercy to this poor, neglected section of the forum! So many very cool children's books and so many threads with no posts on
So - I figured everyone out there MUST have read some Roald Dahl. (If you haven't, then you can confess here and we'll offer you counselling )
What's your favourite Dahl book? And which are you not so keen on?
We've been reading some lesser known ones recently, collected from the front of cereal packets, and Esio Trot was both surreal and lovely - a really sweet love story involving a shy man, his true love, a great many tortoises, and a very long metal grabber!!
Anyone out there NOT like Dahl at all?????
Claire 1st February 2006 04:12 PM
This is the first volume of Roald Dahl's autobiography - although he makes a big point of saying that it's not an autobiography, because they're boring, but it's just a few things that happened to him that he remembered well and thought were interesting.
I was nervous that it would be a bit boring compared to the magic of his books, but it was very good indeed. My only complaint was that it wasn't nearly long enough. I finished it in less than two hours and wished it was about 10 times the length. I look forward to reading the second (and third?)
Has anyone else read this?
And can anyone recommend a decent biography? I'd be interested to read more about him from a different perspective.
It occurs to me that autobiography isn't a genre of book that gets written for child readers. I wonder why that is? And does it matter? This is probably the first book I've come across that would fit that category.
Cathy 2nd February 2006 10:01 AM
Have you read Going Solo ? It follows on from Boy, can't remember enjoying it as much but I do remember his account of photographing the seven wonder of the world from the air and delivering oil for Shell in Africa.
Claire 2nd February 2006 05:57 PM
I haven't read it yet - but I intend to as soon as I see if at the library. At the very end of Boy, he'd just started working for Shell.
Flingo 2nd February 2006 07:06 PM
All the biographies I can think of are aimed at children too. One of my favourites of these is the "Dead Famous" series one - Roald Dahl and his Chocolate Factory.
I read Boy and Going Solo many times during middle and upper school. I remember reading, very clearly, his descriptions of being caned at school, and later in GS his experiences in World War II. An incredible achievement to write an autobiography that appeals to children in this way.
To the list of other autobiography written for children, would "My Family and Other Animals" count as well?
Claire 5th February 2006 04:47 PM
I guess I'd be more interested in an "adult" biography, as I'm interested in the side of him that wrote the adult horror stories as well.
Yes, My Family and Other Animals probably counts as child-friendly autobiography. I reckon I read it in my early teens or earlier. We all enjoyed the dramatisation of it over Christmas - and I remember enjoying the series a good few years ago, as well.
It's a shame there aren't more. There's something very compelling about the idea "This is a True Story, it Happened to Me and I'll Tell You about it". Straight biography doesn't grab you in the same way.
This collection of short stories shows the author at his worst. Superior, misogynistic, misanthropic, aristocratic and a right old bastard. How he ever got away with it I don't know. It's difficult to read them now without shivering, thinking how much I used to love his adult books (I don't recall reading any of his children's' books so I can't say how they have weathered).
I used to like Cornelius when I read the book years ago but now, it all seems so tacky.