Roald Dahl’s life is almost stranger than his fiction. Interestingly, he fell into writing totally by accident. He spent his early years at boarding school, and immediately afterwards began working for Shell Oil, which gave him the opportunity to travel the world. When war broke out, Dahl signed up to the Royal Air Force; in this time he was involved in a bad plane crash. Bored during his recovery, he turned to story-writing. If you haven’t read Boy or Going Solo, Dahl’s autobiographies, give them a go – they’re so engaging!
Roald Dahl has been one of my favourite authors since I was very small, starting with the easy-to-read Esio Trot and Fantastic Mr Fox, and moving onto The BFG and Matilda. In fact, I thought I was Matilda! I still haven’t found another character who loves books quite as much as she does! Roald Dahl’s books are a necessity in every bookcase. His heroes are intelligent and resourceful, though not always very nice!
Because of Dahl’s centenary, there have been many new additions to his works. There’s the absolutely whoopsy-flunkers (fantastic) Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary, with definitions for all of the weird and wonderful Gobblefunk language Dahl uses in his books! The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl combines previously unpublished letters, artefacts, and editing notes from Dahl himself. It’s a fantastic companion to Roald Dahl’s stories, adding a whole new layer to his enjoyable worlds.
Do you think you’ve outgrown Roald Dahl? You couldn’t be more mistaken!
Adults will relish Dahl’s short story collections. They’re a bit naughty, definitely NOT appropriate for children. Dahl’s witty banter and his incredible imagination extends far beyond the realm of children’s fiction. The best (in my opinion) is Lamb to the Slaughter, a wonderful piece of dark humour involving a murder, and the policeman eating the evidence! If you prefer non-fiction, read Love from Boy: it is an impeccably curated collection of Roald Dahl’s letters to his mother.
Celebrate with us, and let us know what your favourite Roald Dahl book is in the comments below!