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Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life : The Country Stories of Roald Dahl :  The Country Stories of Roald Dahl - Roald Dahl

Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life : The Country Stories of Roald Dahl

The Country Stories of Roald Dahl

By: Roald Dahl, John Lawrence (Illustrator)

Paperback

Published: July 1990
For Ages: 18+ years old
Ships: 7 to 10 business days
7 to 10 business days
RRP $28.00
$22.50
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OFF

Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life is a collection of seven hilariously creepy Roald Dahl stories published in various magazines and collections in the '40s and '50s, and gathered here for the first time. With the classic Dahl mixture of charm and charmingly perverse, these stories remind us that the mystery of life isn't always as sweet as it seems.

Dahl's first new book in eight years - a slender collection of the elegantly ironic stories that he does better than anyone else alive - is cause for celebration, even though the stories aren't among his best or most recent - or even new to his dedicated readers. All of the seven stories here, as Dahl explains in his Preface, were written in the late 1940's and inspired by his friend and neighbor Claud, who appears in several of these stories as Claud Cubbage, an inveterate schemer, poacher, and gambler with a gift for inventive cheats that somehow backfire - running and backing a faster greyhound in place of his slower double; poaching pheasants by feeding them Seconal-filled raisins; standing up to his girl's father by describing his dream of a maggot factory. In the remaining stories, Claud is joined by an antique-hunter (disguised as a person) who overreaches himself; a rat-catcher who's a little ratty himself; a lovable old drunk who goes to sleep in the wrong spot; and a farmer who knows the simple secret for insuring the sex of newborn cattle. Every story is funny/creepy in the way that made Dahl one of Hitchcock's favorite authors, though too many are reprints from his three earlier collections. Although there are 40 drawings by John Lawrence (not seen), this isn't on a par with the earlier anthology The Best of Roald Dahl (1978 paperback). Call it The Second Best. (Kirkus Reviews)

Roald Dahl

When he was at school Roald Dahl received terrible reports for his writing - with one teacher actually writing in his report, 'I have never met a boy who so persistently writes the exact opposite of what he means. He seems incapable of marshalling his thoughts on paper!'

After finishing school Roald Dahl, in search of adventure, travelled to East Africa to work for a company called Shell. In Africa he learnt to speak Swahili, drove from diamond mines to gold mines, and survived a bout of malaria where his temperature reached 105.5 degrees (that's very high!).

With the outbreak of the Second World War Roald Dahl joined the RAF. But being nearly two metres tall he found himself squashed into his fighter plane, knees around his ears and head jutting forward. Tragically of the 20 men in his squadron, Roald Dahl was one of only three to survive. Roald wrote about these experiences in his books Boy and Going Solo.

Later in the war Roald Dahl was sent to America. It was there that he met famous author C.S. Forester (author of the Captain Hornblower series) who asked the young pilot to write down his war experiences for a story he was writing. Forester was amazed by the result, telling Roald 'I'm bowled over. Your piece is marvellous. It is the work of a gifted writer. I didn't touch a word of it.' (an opinion which would have been news to Roald's early teachers!). Forester sent Roald Dahl's work straight to the Saturday Evening Post. Roald Dahl's growing success as an author led him to meet many famous people including Walt Disney, Franklin Roosevelt, and the movie star Patricia Neal. Patricia and Roald were married only one year after they met!

The couple bought a house in Great Missenden called Gipsy House. It was here that Roald Dahl began to tell his five children made-up bedtime stories and from those that he began to consider writing stories for children.

An old wooden shed in the back garden, with a wingbacked armchair, a sleeping bag to keep out the cold, an old suitcase to prop his feet on and always, always six yellow pencils at his hand, was where Roald created the worlds of The BFG, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and many, many more.

Visit Roald Dahl's Booktopia Author Page


ISBN: 9780140118476
ISBN-10: 0140118470
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: July 1990
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 17.93 x 11.58  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.11
Edition Number: 1