It's Roald Dahl Day today

Sure, he thought Hitler didn’t pick on Jews for no reason, but did write great stories for kids and plot twists for adults.

What’s your favourite?

Well, nothing quite compares to his real life:

Favorite Dahl? I’d go with the obvious “Lamb to the Slaughter,” but I think my favorite of his was “Bitch.”

I guess I’ll be serving lamb for dinner.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” was the first “real” book I ever read; I was six years old. Just for that, I’ll always think of it as my favorite.

James and the Giant Peach is one of the first books I remember reading and it is still a favorite.

I love
The Landlady


The Way Up To Heaven

Both (non spoiler) tales of quiet murder.

Danny Champion of the World. I love the relationship Danny has with his dad and the plot is pretty fun too.

Dahl will always be one of my favorite writers. Lamb to the Slaughter is one of my favorite of his short stories. Classic ending.

My favorite is a short story called “Beware of the Dog” which was used as the idea for a movie, 36 Hours.

Matilda. She was the first fictional character I really related to (because of the bookwormishness, not because I was horribly neglected by my parents or bullied by my teacher!)

I remember reading “Danny Champion of the World” as a very young child - it was one of the first things I ever read. It wasn’t until years later when I found it in a collection did I connect it to Dahl. I then when on a huge Dahl tear, realizing how many of the books he had written that I had loved as a child.

I think my favorite short story is “Parson’s Pleasure”.

I heartily recommend Dahl’s Memoirs Boy & Going Solo.

I also heartily recommend The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar And Six More. His story “Lucky Break” tells of his almost accidental break into writing and getting published. In a nutshell, after Dahl recovered from his plane crash, he was sent to work at the British Embassey in Washington DC. On his third day there, while he was wondering what he was supposed to be doing, a small man with thick glasses walked into his office. Dahl thought maybe he was going to ask for a job.

Little Man: Are you Roald Dahl?
Dahl: Yes.
Little Man: I am C. S Forresster.

Dahl writes that he nearly fell out of his chair. Turns out Forresster had been commissioned by the Saturday Evening Post to write a story on airplane fighting in the war and had been referred to Dahl. The two men went out to lunch, and Dahl offered to write up some notes based on his experiences. When he went home, he sat down at 7:00 with a glass of brandy and spent five hours writing his “notes.” He took them to work the next day, had them typed, sent them to Forresster and forgot about them.

Two weeks later, he got a letter and a check for $900 from Forresster, stating “I asked you for notes, not a finished story. I was bowled over. This is the work of a gifted writer.” Forrester had given the story to his agent, who sold it to the Post for $1,000, and took 10%. Dahl thought “$900. And they are going to publish it? It can’t be that easy.” But it was (Yesh, right. That easy if you name is Roald Dahl).

His next story was about Gremlins on British planes, thus introudcing the word into the English language.

That has to be one of the single most bizarre things I’ve ever read about another human being.

In the Ruins. Very short and very disturbing.

plus one.

There is a book that came out a few years ago called The Irregulars. It’s about British spies during WWII, who were spying on the U.S. Government.

Roald Dahl was one of them.

After I read the *The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar * as a kid, I spent weeks staring into candles. It didn’t work for me and I still feel cheated. I loved the story of the Fingersmith too.

ArchiveGuy did not mention that at the time of Dahl’s father’s death, his mother, who had just lost a daughter and a husband, was saddled with a stepson and daughter from her husband’s first marriage, her three remaining children, and she was seven months’ pregnant!

Instead of going home to her family in Norway, she stayed in Britian because Dahl’s father had wanted him to have a British education, then considered the be in the world.

I would love to write a biography of her. What inner fortitude she must have had to deal with those circumstances.

Going Solo is one of my all-time favorite books ever.

I followed the link for Lamb to the Slaughter and started to read. About two paragraphs in I started thinking about a wonderful short story I remembered reading many years ago. It was about a wife who killed her husband with big piece of frozen meat and then cooked it and fed it to the police officers who investigated the murder. I wondered if it would be possible to find that story and reread it. I guess the answer to that question would be a yes. I guess the title of the story was enough to rekindle the memory of the story, as I couldn’t imagine that the first few paragraphs were enough to do it. I don’t know that I ever knew that it was Roald Dahl who wrote it.