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Boy : Tales of Childhood -  Roald Dahl


Tales of Childhood

Paperback Published: 1st September 1988
ISBN: 9780140089172
Number Of Pages: 176
For Ages: 18+ years old

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Funny, irreverent and sometimes sad, here is the story of the early life of one of the world's best-loved authors. From the evocation of an enchanted boyhood spent in Wales and Norway to his unhappy experiences at an English public school, these sparkling memoirs are filled with wit, high spirits and more than a touch of the macabre. 'A shimmering fabric of his yesterdays, the magic and the hurt' – Observer. 'Brilliantly coloured, sometimes grotesque and sometimes magical' – Sunday Times. 'As frightening and funny as his fiction' – The New York Times Book Review. 'Superbly written ... a glimpse of a brilliant eccentric' – New Statesman.

About The Author

Roald Dahl was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He began to write after injury sustained as a pilot in WW2. As well as his phenomenally successful children's books, all of his highly acclaimed stories, including TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED, MY UNCLE OSWALD, and the autobiographies BOY and GOING SOLO have been bestsellers and translated all over the world. When he died in 1990, The Times described him as 'one of the most widely read and influential writers of our generation'.

Industry Reviews

In Boy Dahl gives us an autobiographical account of his early life, his childhood in Norway and Wales, and his fearful experiences at public school. As a very small boy at St Peter's, he was terrified of the matron (who, he tells us breathlessly, 'disliked small boys very much indeed'), and even more scared of her enormous bosom, which looked like 'a battering-ram or the bows of an ice-breaker or maybe a couple of high-explosive bombs'. In Going Solo he recounts his days after leaving Repton, his secondary school, when he joined the Shell Company. When he complained that Egpyt was 'too dusty', he was sent to East Africa, where he had the hair-raising adventures he had longed for, experiences that taught him 'how to look after myself in a way that no young person can ever do by staying in civilisation'. When the shadow of war stretched across Africa, he joined the RAF and became a daring fighter pilot across the Mediterranean. Dahl tells these tales of his youth with that strange blend of innocence and fascination for life's horrors which hallmarks his fiction. A thrilling read. (Kirkus UK)

Papa and Mamap. 11
Kindergarten, 1922-3p. 20
Llandaff Cathedral School, 1923-5 (age 7-9)
The bicycle and the sweet-shopp. 27
The Great Mouse Plotp. 35
Mr Coombesp. 38
Mrs Pratchett's revengep. 46
Going to Norwayp. 53
The magic islandp. 60
A visit to the doctorp. 68
St Peter's, 1925-9 (age 9-13)
First dayp. 75
Writing homep. 80
The Matronp. 85
Homesicknessp. 93
A drive in the motor-carp. 99
Captain Hardcastlep. 108
Little Ellis and the boilp. 123
Goat's tobaccop. 127
Repton and Shell, 1929-36 (age 13-20)
Getting dressed for the big schoolp. 135
Boazersp. 141
The Headmasterp. 144
Chocolatesp. 147
Corkersp. 150
Faggingp. 154
Games and photographyp. 160
Goodbye schoolp. 166
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140089172
ISBN-10: 0140089179
Audience: Children
For Ages: 18+ years old
For Grades: 4 - 6
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: 1st September 1988
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.68 x 12.7  x 0.64
Weight (kg): 0.12
Edition Number: 1

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Roald Dahl

About the Author

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