The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl

Most of us have grown up on Roald Dahl’s books. I remember watching Matilda when I was in school and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will probably forever remain every child’s ultimate fantasy. So when I came across a this short story collection needless to say I was sufficiently curious.  But nothing could have prepared me for the dark twisters they were.

Roald Dahl’s vicious sense of humour in full attendance in this book. The tone of darkness is set just right with The Landlady and her hapless tenants, leaving you with the right amount of anticipation. And it’s more than justified with the successive stories. Another one of my favourites would have to be Switch Bitch, a sadistic take on one man’s meat with a bitter end that will leave you strangely satisfied.

There are also tales from his time in the Air Force during the war which are frequently dry and break the mood set by the rest. They say the landscape will inspire your tale but while Dahl’s stories do capture the dry and arid Africa of his stories, it doesn’t quite have that tone and whimsy That notwithstanding, the book is full of gems of storytelling you wont regret reading over and over and over again.

I’d give this book a 5; dry African stories notwithstanding.


2 thoughts on “The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl

  1. I found it so interesting when I discovered ‘the dark side’ or Roald Dahl. After reading his children’s novels I was so intrigued to see his humour and imagination applied in a more adult context – definitely a bit jarring at first, but such an inspiring discovery. Have you read ‘Skin’? It’s another collection of very disturbing short stories with lots of Dahl-esque surprises. What I like best is that he takes the whimsical imagination he uses with younger audiences and applies it in a more twisted way to darker stories. Love him!


    1. I have to agree. And I love the way karma neatly sums up to zero at the end of his stories. The way it all inexorably comes “back around”. Almost with a Hannibal-ish relish! I remember this one story about the narrator’s uncle and his decadent life and how he has the strangest encounter with a woman in the middle of a desert! So deliciously dark it makes you want to rub your hands and chuckle! Lol! I will definitely look around for Skin. 🙂


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