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Going Solo

Going Solo

4.4 25
by Roald Dahl, Dan Stevens (Read by)

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“Roald Dahl sometimes shared a tonal kinship with Ogden Nash, and he could demonstrate a verbal inventiveness nearly Seussian…[His] stories work better in audio than in print.” –The New York Times

Superb stories, daring deeds, fantastic adventures!

Going Solo is the action-packed tale of Roald Dahl's exploits as a


“Roald Dahl sometimes shared a tonal kinship with Ogden Nash, and he could demonstrate a verbal inventiveness nearly Seussian…[His] stories work better in audio than in print.” –The New York Times

Superb stories, daring deeds, fantastic adventures!

Going Solo is the action-packed tale of Roald Dahl's exploits as a World War II pilot. Learn all about his encounters with the enemy, his worldwide travels, the life-threatening injuries he sustained in a plane accident, and the rest of his sometimes bizarre, often unnerving, and always colorful adventures. Told with the same irresistible appeal that has made Roald Dahl one of the world's best-loved writers, Going Solo brings you directly into the action and into the mind of this fascinating man.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The esteemed novelist, short-story writer, author of children's classics and screenplays presents a sequel to Boy, his first book of memoirs, published as a children's book. Now 70, Dahl chronicles events of his youth, when he worked in Africa and garnered material for his chilling tales about lethal snakes and other perils. The autobiography dwells mainly, though, on Dahl's experiences in the British Royal Air Force and on his comrades during World War II. Appealingly illustrated, this second volume contains copies of the author's letters to his mother and ends with their joyful reunion. The book is exciting, touching and graced by Dahl's incomparable sense of humor: a standout. 20,000 first printing. (October)
Library Journal
In this book, Dahl (author of Kiss, Kiss and popular children's books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) continues the autobiography he began in Boy. Here he offers his impressions of Tanzania, where he sailed to work for the Shell Oil Company in 1938. At the outbreak of World War II, he volunteered for the RAF and trained as a fighter pilot. Posted to his squadron in Greece, Dahl was chagrined to learn he was one of only 14 pilots who made up the RAF in that theater. He describes the attempts of this small group of British pilots to survive both the Luftwaffe and their own superiors. For appropriate collections. George F. Scheck, Naval War Coll. Lib., Newport, R.I.
School Library Journal
Gr 7-12-Roald Dahl was Going Solo (Puffin, 1999) when he left England to work for the Shell Oil Company in East Africa. In this sequel to his earlier autobiography, Boy (Dec. 2002, p. 71), the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory details his adventures in Africa and later as an RAF pilot during World War II. Dahl is occasionally tongue-in-cheek as he recalls a few highly dangerous snakes and an inordinately gentle lion during his travels around the African countryside. When war was declared, Dahl helped to round up German ex-patriots, and then he went off to a desert outpost to learn how to fly fighter planes. His wartime experiences in North Africa, Greece, and the Middle East included suffering a serious head injury in a plane crash and shooting down enemy planes. His descriptions of war are occasionally horrific, but there are also frequent injections of ironic humor. Though the thoroughly British pronunciation of some words may be unfamiliar to American listeners, Derek Jacobi's narration is well paced and splendidly balances the comic and serious elements of this memoir. The sound quality is good and, despite the fact that the cardboard case will not circulate well, both it and the cassettes provide useful information. This recording's straightforward recounting of war will appeal to Roald Dahl fans and World War II air buffs, and is most suitable for upper middle school and high school audiences.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library. Rocky Hill, CT Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 5.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by The Saturday Evening Post, and so began a long and illustrious career.

After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant PeachMatildaThe BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site: www.roalddahl.com

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 13, 1916
Date of Death:
November 23, 1990
Place of Birth:
Llandaff, Wales, England
Place of Death:
Oxford, England

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Going Solo 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 The book Going Solo by Roald Dahl  was a very interesting read about a pilot that goes to war and encounters problems along the way.  The book is about World War II and Roald is in his young years and he is a pilot. He goes from Africa to Greece, also to Europe. He also  gets to battle verse the Germans from his plane. I enjoyed this book because I never wanted to put the book down and the obstacles he  had to face were thrilling. I recommend this book for teenage boys because there is information on World War II that boys love. There is  also intense action between the U.S. and Germany. On the other hand there was a harder vocabulary to understand the book. Overall it was great book and I am going to read the other books he has written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another great reading from Roald Dahl. This book gives you an idea of what it was like to be the author during the years of his young adult life. Very interesting tales.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading Boy, we quickly moved on to Going Solo. I read it aloud to my 10 and 12 year old boys and we all loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cool will read it soon
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jhawk1 More than 1 year ago
Wow. A great story that intrigues you and shows you the life of a great author who lived an adventure. Whenever I thought of the life of Roahld Daul I always thought it was just an ordinary plain life but boy I was wrong. Traveling throughout the world he went up against the african wildlife and the germans in an incredible story. Some way he managed to survive all of his encounters against all odds and the way he tells it makes you never want to put the book down. He survived plain crashes and fought against thousands of germans flying through the blue skies. Reading this book makes me want to try something new and take new risks to try to find something life changing. He never gave up in all of his struggles against all odds and he succeeded in coming home and accomplishing an incredible goal. When he is shooting through the skies in his plane surrounded by germans it is so exhilarating with bullets whizzing by the plane. You can hear the bullets fly by with the imagery he uses and the way he tells the story is spectacular. I never expected such a thrilling story and would recommend anyone to read it. What a book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The autobiography, Going Solo, is both entertaining and adventurous from cover to cover. Roald Dahl was far more than just an author and in Going Solo he tells his personal story about his experiences being a World War II pilot. Dahl takes his readers through his unforgettable journey around the world and the numerous flights he made, not knowing whether or not he would land alive. He started out in Africa with no major responsibility, but when duty called in Europe, he was put in a small group surrounded by Nazis. His group was largely outnumbered and their only goal was to survive. Going “solo” through many battles, pilot Dahl returned home safely. The book strongly emphasizes adventure as one of its main themes and how those years flying were the highlight of his life. Another of Dahl’s themes is that of bravery and perseverance, as not many would have the courage to stay and fight for their country, knowing that the moments of his next flight may be his last. The reason Going Solo stood out was that very few, including myself, would have guessed that Roald Dahl was a war pilot before becoming one of the most awarded authors of all time. Being a true story made the book all that more interesting. Also, Dahl tells his story in the same manner that he wrote his bestselling novels. This made his journey as a pilot feel like a fictional tale. I thoroughly enjoyed how Dahl described the setting, plot, and his emotions (especially when in flight), using powerful imagery. One should read this book because it was a short read, yet very entertaining and it has a remarkable story behind it. I would recommend Going Solo to anyone who is looking for a fun book to read and to all Roald Dahl lovers. If one likes this book, other Roald Dahl works are recommended including Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Hockeyian44 More than 1 year ago
“Going Solo” by Roald Dahl grabs your attention from start to finish. With its amazing scenery from Africa, to Greece, and all over Europe. The description in this book is second to none. It makes you want to go to the places that he travels. It is a good book, but not a tough read which is nice. You can understand and comprehend everything he says. It is a book of humor, adventure, and action, and I loved every minute of it. This book is about Roald Dahl in his younger years when he was a fighter pilot in World War II. He goes through great lengths to defend his country from going through boring repetitive flight classes, to almost dying in the desert. It’s an upbeat story the whole time and keeps you wondering what’s going to happen on the back of every page. I liked how it was about him and it was a real life story. Although it was a war book there were also some very touching moments included in this novel. I disliked the fact that it starts off kind of slow in the beginning. Once you get to the good part though, it’s good for the rest of the story. Roald Dahl never gives up on himself or his group during there fighting days, even though they were outnumbered about a hundred to one. That’s something to take away from this book is to never give up on yourself, no matter what the odds are. Always believe in yourself and you will succeed in one way or another. Anyone would enjoy this book, from kids to grownups, and men to women. It’s one of those stories that includes everything. If you get bored with one part of the book, I’m sure you’ll like the next part when it picks right back up or changes subjects. Roald Dahl is a great writer and I would recommend any of his books to anyone I know. I loved this book and would rate it a 9/`0. Great job Roald Dahl, hope to see more like this!
busterthebeagle More than 1 year ago
Fabulous book! This book was one of Roald’s best masterpieces yet! Going Solo is a book about Roald Dahl’s experiences in World War 11 as an aircraft pilot and other exciting parts of his adult life. The story mostly focuses on his wild adventures he gets to endure and the magnificent sights he gets to behold. And I do not think that you have to be a fan of books about war to enjoy Going Solo, I think that just about any person would find this book fascinating and learn so many things from it. I personally don’t usually enjoy reading non-fiction books, but Roald Dahl has such a way of writing that he actually made me forget it wasn’t a fiction book at times! The things he’s encountered and witnessed truly are extraordinary and thrilling things to have experienced. If you need a really great and interesting book to read, look no further, Going Solo is the book for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This place takes place during World War two. It's a biography about Roald Dahl. I loved this book! I loved how Roald Dahl depicted such serious events, in such a light toned matter. He made me think of how important it is to always have a positive attitude. He talks about his life as a World War 2 pilot. He talks about all of his adventures and journeys on the way. The only thing I didn't like very much was how short it was. He seems like such a fascinating guys, that I wish I was able to experience a little more of him. I think everyone needs to read this book. I love how he never says how important happiness is, but that's the vibe I got throughout this entire book. Even during the bad times he had to go through, he kept his head up high! They get to see firsthand what it was like to be part of the war, and what kind of people you see, but it shows us that there is always something good that comes out of a bad. My overall rating of this book would be a 9. There were times were it did get a little boring, but when the book picked up, I couldn't put it down. This almost had me hooked from the beginning. Other books that are a great read are Impulse, by Ellen Hopkins!
BATMAN- More than 1 year ago
Going Solo by Roald Dahl is the best nonfiction book I've ever read, and one of my favorite books in general. The book details his exploits as a World War Two fighter pilot in Greece. He also tells about his adventures in North Africa working for Shell. I loved this book, and I could go all day describing all the things I liked about it. I read many of Roald Dahl's books as a child, and expected Going Solo to be written in much the same style as The BFG or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but he changes his writing style noticeably for Going Solo. That sounds bad at first, because you want to read the same storytelling that you fell in love with years ago, but I think it is actually quite an improvement over his children's stories. Roald Dahl truly did an amazing job writing Going Solo. As for dislikes, I only have two, it ends too abruptly, and he should have written more books in this same style. The book goes from climax to end in only 1 or 2 chapters, and that was slightly disappointing. I would have enjoyed it if he had written another chapter or two talking about his return home. If you enjoy reading Roald Dahl, you should read this. If you don't enjoy Roald Dahl, you should still definitely read this book. In fact, if you are even remotely literate, you NEED to read Going Solo, it's just one of those books you need to read at least once in your life. Actually, never mind, you should read it over and over again and buy multiple copies. In conclusion, I love this book, and it is definitely worth purchasing or at least borrowing from your local library
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Roald Dahl's autobiography, Going Solo, depicts the beginning of the Dahl's adult life. He starts out by taking a "9000 ton ship" to Africa to work for the Shell Company, during which he has many great adventures such as encounters with the ever so scary "black mamba" snake and close calls with lions almost eating dear friends! Then, as a result of war breaking out between England and Germany, Dahl trains to be a pilot, resulting with many dangerous flights and new friendships along the way. For those debating on whether or not you should read this book, here are some aspects that I found help make the book excellent. First, Dahl doesn't just tell the story. He illustrates the setting of each individual story with such detail and imagery that you feel as though you are really up in a Hurricane jet fighting the Germans, or watching the waves roll to shore as you arrive for the first time in Dar es Salaam, Africa. Also, the stories he tells are amazing! I didn't feel like I was reading a non-fiction book, I felt like I was watching a really interesting movie! It had twists and turns and had you loving Dahl's character from start to finish. I have no dislikes about this book, but I have a lot of likes! I love how Dahl adds his letters to his mother in the book. It brings about a major theme of the importance of family. I also like how throughout the entire book, I was never bored. He definitely knew what stories to add and what to leave out. Another great thing about the book was his sense of humor and funny comments that make you laugh out loud! I have never laughed out loud when reading a non-fiction book before! Dahl makes reading a fun experience that I definitely enjoyed! Another major theme in the book is believing that you can do anything you set your mind to. This is made apparent by his ambition to become a pilot in a World War II and when he "goes solo" for the first time. (Going solo is when you pilot a plane for the first time without the aid of an instructor, which is also the inspiration behind the title). If you read the book Boy, which is also by Roald Dahl, I would recommend reading this book as well, as this book is the sequel for Boy. If you like books that are funny, exciting, and action packed, this book is perfect for you! To conclude my review, this book is fantastic and one of my favorite books of all time! It's a fun read and worth your money!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Roald Dahl's biography, "Going Solo" tells of his journeys while a 20 year old boy in Africa working for the East African Shell company and becoming a pilot during World War II, is one of Dahl's best books ever written. This book deals with his emotions from being away from home and his mother for so long to him being terrified during a dog fight against the Germans. The story tells how he became a pilot, and that it was basically "every man for himself" during the war. Dahl's genre usually is fiction. He wrote "The BFG," "Matilda," and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." These few novels were big hits with two of them becoming movies. But Roald made this non-fiction piece as exciting and enjoyable as any other of his other works. The amazing stories in the book get the reader hooked right from the beginning when he is on the boat heading to Africa and when he is in his plane. I never wanted to put the book down. The amazing detail also focuses the reader in to the exact thing that Roald Dahl is telling you about, like the time he saves his assistant in Africa from a black mamba, and when he explains his great shaking after the dog fight with the German Messerschmitts, Dahl explains it as if you were sitting in the cockpit with him, or you were in the room he was in while alerting his assistant about the deadly snake. This book is now my favorite book that I ever read. Dahl is an author that would suit anybody, so I recommend this book to anybody who enjoys a book with tons of adventure, because that is all that this book is about, and to anybody who just enjoys reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Going Solo was an enjoyable book. The story centered on Roald Dahl's journey in the British Air Force during World War II when England was battling against Germany. Going Solo had a well laid out plot, and it captivated me when I read it. I couldn't stop reading. The details in this book are great like when it described him crashing in his plane. I felt like I was right there with him when it was happening. This book was action packed, and on a few pages it had pictures from his journey which helped the reader visualize the landscape. As much as I liked the book, I was not pleased with the ending. It did not provide many details on how this journey affected his life. It was a rather boring ending in my opinion, which was surprising given that it was an exciting book. In some parts of the story Roald Dahl mentions a few interesting characters. He gives those characters personality and feelings. In some other parts of the story he mentions characters that are less engaging because he does not explain what they are like. The main part of the story begins when Roald Dahl is assigned to a British Air Force base. On his way to the new base his plane runs out of gas and crashes. He gets wounded which is a big part of the story. When he finally gets to the base there are few people there, and he does not get a very warm welcome. He tents with a man named David Coke. David becomes a good friend of Roald. When the base gets attacked by the enemy the pilots are forced to flee from the base to a secret location. When they get there it is not what they thought it was. They could hardly hide their planes under the olive tree branches. One day their new base gets bombed, and they are forced to leave again. The story continues with brief anecdotes of other experiences he had during World War II. The book ends when Roald Dahl is told he can't fly again because of medical conditions that he received from his crash at the beginning of the book. I believe that many people should read this book because it is a well written book with action and adventure. It is a good read for all ages and little kids would enjoy this book very much. The best part about this book is when he describes the aerial dog fights. Roald Dahl gets into many dog fights, and his plane sometimes takes a good amount of damage. I rate this book a 4 out of 5 because it was entertaining, and it had a few laughs thrown in. It also made me think what would happen if I was in the situation that Roald Dahl was in. If you try putting yourself in his shoes you might make some of the same choices that he made, and you might find that life is always an adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Going Solo by Roald Dahl is a very interesting book. It is full of adventure and makes one think of what one would do if in that same situation. The book is about a man who moves to Africa to work for the Shell Company. WWII starts and he decides to become a pilot for the British. He goes through this part of his life being tested not only physically, but mentally and morally. I truthfully had no dislikes about this book! Personally I enjoy books with adventures and journeys; if you are like me you would enjoy this book as well. Roald Dahl does a great job at displaying little details about the trials that he goes through as well as his thoughts in that situation. On top of it he includes pictures about the things he is talking about, which I enjoyed because it made it easier to imagine the story at hand. Great book! It gets all of my favor.
english-RS More than 1 year ago
The autobiography "Going Solo" by Roald Dahl is a wonderful intellectual book that has a great incite into the life that Dahl led that turned him into the re-noud author that he is known as today. This book tells the stories of Dahls life when he was in Africa working with Shell and of his life as a pilot in Greece during World War Two. Descriptive stories in the book tell of times that he was fighting off the much feared green mamba in Africa and stories of crashing his plane in the desert and after five months in the hospital getting back out there and fighting off many enemy Ju 88 planes. The lessons and stories that he picked up among his travels helped Dahl with the plots of his many stories. This overall was a very informative but also a very enjoyable book to read. It showed that you can really make your life worth something if you never give up and keep on fighting. The way Dahl wrote the book he did not drag on any one part for to long he described the situations just enough so that you understood what happened but not to long that the story lost interest. He added stories from his adventures that can make you laugh and stories that can make you cry. They are all very different but relate back to the events that make Roahl Dahls life so remarkable this is a great book to read for people interested in the Second World War. It is a different type of holocaust story; this book brings up a new side of the war that I did not know of before reading this book. This book is geared more toward the early teens and older because some of the descriptions of scenarios that take place in his life. This is defiantly a book that everyone should read in their life it has great lessons of never giving up because if you stick with something you can accomplish your goals, and help others do good in their lives and in others. It is also a great book to hear about all the hardships and events that Dahl went through throughout his life, most people just think of him as an amazing author but he is also a decorated war veteran that helped save the lives of many. If you enjoyed this book and have not read the prequel to this I would very much encourage reading "Boy" this is Roald Dahls first autobiography about his childhood. Also any others of his children books are very creative and fun to read. Overall I would say that this book is a very good read, it is interesting, funny, and informative.
willkris More than 1 year ago
Going Solo tells the action-packed story of Roald Dahl's eventful past, all told with the whimsical and illustrious flare, that Roald Dahl has come to be known for. For those who are not familiar with Roald Dahl, he is the man responsible for many famous works of children's literature, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The B.F.G and many more highly respectable stories. Before reading Going Solo I would recommend reading Boy, as it is the prequel to the story, describing his childhood events, and Going Solo takes off right where Boy ends. The first section of the book takes place during pre-war time, and tells the story of Roald Dahl's adventures in Africa as a worker for Shell Gasoline. In short Roald Dahl makes nearly daily business ventures, and runs into unusual situations regarding a friendly lion, deadly snakes, scorpions, naked runners, bald men, and various other situations that you might not expect. The second part regards Dahl learning to operate a plane for the war and his war time experiences. These include flying around the Middle East and fighting dogfights in Greece, with a severe plane crash and the traumas connected to it. At the beginning of the book Dahl promises "I have tried to be as selective as possible and have written about only those moments that I consider memorable" and Dahl certainly followed through. The story is action packed with battles and dangers, but is told so that even a child is able to read the story. Dahl kept things exciting without elongating gruesome events, which makes the story much more fun and delightful. Though Roald Dahl is typically more well know for children's books, this story will also suffice to an enjoyable read for an adult. Even in the slower sections of the book you find yourself on the edge of your seat, heavily interested by the eccentric style that Roald Dahl never fails to deliver. If you are looking for a book that is highly dramatic and emotional though, this book is probably not for you. It does have emotion and interesting character and character development, but it is not particularly life changing, or heart wrenching, and is anything but a tragedy. Going Solo takes a more optimistic and less serious outlook, which for some, may be a huge pro to the book. Sometimes autobiographies tend to be depressing and can drag on to what seems like endless lengths, but Going Solo is different. Roald Dahl makes his story fun and uplifting, making it a must-read for just about anyone seeking a fun and happy book, especially those who may be fans of this remarkable man. Going Solo is fun and exciting, and takes you into the mind of the amazing magician of literature, Roald Dahl. Going Solo easily stands next to all of his other works, and will not fail you. Happy reading and enjoy!
QMS More than 1 year ago
The book "Going Solo" is the second autobiography written by the astonishing and well known author Roald Dahl. in this book, Dahl recalls his experiences as an adult, unlike in the book "Boy"where he talksin extensive detail about his life as a child. he tells about his years as a Royal Air Force pilot for Greece during World War II where he was shot down in the Lybian desert and was miraculously saved by a medical doctor, and he talks about funny and serious charactors he met while living in North Africa. Unlike "Boy", this book is somewhat gruesome and is recomended for people in the age range of 9 and older.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lambikins More than 1 year ago
Road Dahl weaves an excellent story again, as he tells about his time in africa with Shell, and his experience as a fighter pilot in World War II. I read the book straight through once I started, because it was so well written.
youngcolton14 More than 1 year ago
Going Solo is a great book because it's a book about Africa. It is very interesting. The main character goes to Africa during World War II. I recommend this book to a person who likes books by Roald Dahl. I rate this book. 5 stars because it's great.
BettinaE More than 1 year ago
Everything this author writes is timeless. The second part to his autobiography is NO exception. I've read this book several times, and recommend to every other book lover I know - it has action, comedy, adventure, drama, everything you could want in a book! It will pull at heartstrings, and it will make you feel like you are right there with him. No one writes like this author! Every time I come back to "Going Solo", I am right at the edge of my seat, marveling at the pleasure of the words. He entertained me to no avail as a child, and continues to do so in my adulthood. What a beautiful life he lived, and I'm so glad he shared it with us!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THE BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!A MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a kid, I used to tell myself that when I grew up, I wanted to write stories like Roald Dahl. Now that I am a grownup (at least biologically), I tell myself that I wish I could have just BEEN Roald Dahl. Having read most of Dahl¿s fiction, give or take a few stories and articles, I long ago concluded that he must surely be in possession of the most intelligent, entertaining, sophisticated, imaginative, and just plain cool personality of anyone in the word business. How else could he possibly have written all those unique stories, with that combination of humor and horror? He was married to Patricia Neal, wasn¿t he? He hosted his own TV show, didn¿t he? And how many guys get to say that their book was used for one of the weirdest, most unchildish children¿s movies ever produced (no, not THE 5000 FINGERS OF DR. T)? Even a cursory look at Dahl¿s compiled body of work makes plain that this British-born son of Norway never lost his ability to think like a kid, despite his public school education, pukka sahib adventures in exotic countries, WW ll combat and injury as probably the tallest (6 foot 6 inches) Hurricane pilot in North Africa, and other emanations of serious adulthood that would have severely repressed, if not entirely eliminated, the child wonder in just about anybody. Want to hear how it was done, straight from the horse? Read GOING SOLO and BOY, volumes two and one respectively of Dahl¿s autobiography. GOING SOLO, Dahl¿s memoir of his years between school and war, is so good that I¿ve bought and given away 4 or 5 copies over the years just to make certain friends and family read it. Characteristic of all Dahl¿s nonfiction (and most of his fiction), his narrative is relaxed, urbane, extremely honest, and chock full of the most typically British-understated characters and situations, ranging from the utterly hilarious to the wrenchingly horrible. The pukka British couple who take early morning constitutionals on board ship, naked as jaybirds except for shoes. The bald salesman (his name is U.N. Savory, I kid you not) who maintains a wig collection and carefully dusts his shoulders with artificial dandruff to avert suspicion. A huge green mamba that soundlessly glides up the steps and into the open door of the house of a family Dahl is visiting. A native who borrows Dahl¿s antique Mameluke sword and goes hunting a very modern enemy. The hopeless, bloody sorties Dahl and his squadron fly against a far larger German Luftwaffe in the early days of the war. I read these memoirs, and I feel three things, in about this order: admiration, envy, and gratitude. For anyone who has ever enjoyed Dahl the man through his fiction, pour yourself a sundowner, sit down with this book, and enjoy him as he really was.