Switch Bitch

( 7 )

Overview

Now back in print along with Roald Dahl’s My Uncle Oswald, a surprisingly naughty and hilarious adult book by the beloved children’s author

Great wit, melancholy, and a sense of the erotic that would make even a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey blush pervade this collection of four adult short stories by Roald Dahl. Included here are "The Visitor" and "Bitch," featuring the hilariously vivid exploits of the notorious Uncle Oswald, as well as "The ...

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Switch Bitch

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Overview

Now back in print along with Roald Dahl’s My Uncle Oswald, a surprisingly naughty and hilarious adult book by the beloved children’s author

Great wit, melancholy, and a sense of the erotic that would make even a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey blush pervade this collection of four adult short stories by Roald Dahl. Included here are "The Visitor" and "Bitch," featuring the hilariously vivid exploits of the notorious Uncle Oswald, as well as "The Great Switcheroo" and "The Last Act."

In these taut black comedies of human weakness and unexpected reversal, Dahl captures the delicious thrill of sexual triumph and the galling deflation of defeat.

These four stories are, by turns, funny, bawdy, touching, and outrageous. They are for lovers of tales that combine the macabre and the erotic with intriguing twists of plot.

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Editorial Reviews

New Statesman

"The four outrageous stories in Switch Bitch certainly do . . . In each case Roald Dahl sets up a realistic situation, then loads it with amazing and fantastic sexual possibilities. Then, somewhere this or the other side of pornography, he produces a denouement of the banana-skin kind--black banana-skin at that."
New Statesman

"The four outrageous stories in Switch Bitch certainly do . . . In each case Roald Dahl sets up a realistic situation, then loads it with amazing and fantastic sexual possibilities. Then, somewhere this or the other side of pornography, he produces a denouement of the banana-skin kind--black banana-skin at that."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780241955727
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 457,898
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


CHILDHOOD

Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Wales on September 13th 1916. His parents were Norwegian and he was the only son of a second marriage. His father, Harald, and elder sister Astri died when Roald was just three. His mother, Sofie, was left to raise two stepchildren and her own four children (Alfhild, Roald, Else and Asta). Roald was her only son. He remembered his mother as “a rock, a real rock, always on your side whatever you’d done. It gave me the most tremendous feeling of security”. Roald based the character of the grandmother in The Witches on his mother - it was his tribute to her.

The young Roald loved stories and books. His mother told Roald and his sisters tales about trolls and other mythical Norwegian creatures. “She was a great teller of tales,” Roald said, “Her memory was prodigious and nothing that ever happened to her in her life was forgotten.” As an older child, Roald enjoyed adventure stories - “Captain Marryat was one of my favourites” – before going on to read Dickens and Thackeray as well as short-story writer Ambrose Bierce.

His father Harald was, as Roald recalled in Boy, a tremendous diary-writer. “I still have one of his many notebooks from the Great War of 1914-18. Every single day during those five war years he would write several pages of comment and observation about the events of the time.”

Roald himself kept a secret diary from the age of eight. “To make sure that none of my sisters got hold of it and read it, I used to put it in a waterproof tin box tied to a branch at the very top of an enormous conker tree in our garden. I knew they couldn’t climb up there. Then every day I would go up myself and get it out and sit in the tree and make the entries for the day.”

Roald’s parents seem to have instilled in him a number of character traits. In Boy, he talks of his father’s interest in “lovely paintings and fine furniture” as well as gardening. In spite of only having one arm, he was also a fine woodcarver. Paintings, furniture and gardening would all be passions of the adult Roald Dahl. Similarly, remembering his mother, in Roald Dahl’s Cookbook, he recalls “she had a crystal-clear intellect and a deep interest in almost everything under the sun, from horticulture to cooking to wine to literature to paintings to furniture to birds and dogs and other animals.” Roald might very well have been describing his adult self.

SCHOOL

Roald had an unhappy time at school. From the age of seven to nine, he attended Llandaff Cathedral School. His chief memories of this time, as described in Boy, are of trips to the sweet shop. The seeds of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were already being sown as young Roald and his four friends lingered outside the shop window, gazing in at the big glass jars of sweets and pondering such questions as how Gobstoppers change colour and whether rats might be turned into liquorice. Sherbert suckers were one of Roald’s favourites – “Each Sucker consisted of a yellow cardboard tube filled with sherbert powder, and there was a hollow liquorice straw sticking out of it… You sucked the sherbert up through the straw and when it was finished you ate the liqourice… The sherbet fizzed in your mouth, and if you knew how to do it, you could make white froth come out of your nostrils and pretend you were throwing a fit.”

Boarding at St. Peter’s prep school in Weston-Super-Mare, from 1925-9, proved less of a sweet experience for Roald. He was just nine years old when he arrived at St. Peters and had to contend with the twitching Latin Master Captain Hardcastle, the all-powerful Matron - a dead ringer for Miss Trunchball, who “disliked small boys very much indeed” and the cane-wielding Headmaster. Not surprisingly, Roald suffered from acute homesickness. At St. Peter’s, Roald got into the habit of writing to his mother once a week. He continued to do so until her death 32 years later. Later, when his own children went to boarding school, Roald wrote to them twice a week to brighten up the drudgery of their school days.

Roald was thirteen when he started at Repton, a famous public school in Derbyshire. He excelled at sports, particularly heavyweight boxing and squash, but was deemed by his English master to be “quite incapable of marshalling his thoughts on paper”. Whatever else he was forced to endure, there was one huge advantage to going to Repton. The school was close to Cadbury’s, one of England’s most famous chocolate factories and one which regularly involved the schoolboys in testing new varieties of chocolate bars.

Dahl’s unhappy time at school was to greatly influence his writing. He once said that what distinguished him from most other children’s writers was “this business of remembering what it was like to be young.” Roald’s childhood and schooldays are the subject of his autobiography Boy. WAR & ADVENTURE

At 18, rather than going to university, Roald joined the Public Schools Exploring Society’s expedition to Newfoundland. He then started work for Shell as a salesman in Dar es Salaam. He was 23 when war broke out and signed up with the Royal Air Force in Nairobi. At first, the station doctor balked at his height (6ft 6in or 2 metres) but he was accepted as a pilot officer and was trained on the birdplane Gladiator fighters, mainly in Iraq. He then flew to join his squadron in the Western Desert of Libya but crashed en-route.

Dahl’s exploits in the war are detailed in his autobiography Going Solo. They include having a luger pointed at his head by the leader of a German convoy, crashlanding in no-man’s land (and sustaining injuries that entailed having his nose pulled out and shaped!) and even surviving a direct hit during the Battle of Athens, when he was sufficiently recovered to fly again – this time in Hurricanes. Eventually, he was sent home as an invalid but transferred, in 1942, to Washington as an air attaché. It was there that he would meet an important writer who would set him on the path to a new career.

THE FIRST CHAPTER: ROALD BEGINS TO WRITE

In 1942, during his time in Washington, C S Forester, author of Captain Hornblower, took Roald to lunch. Forester was in America to publicise the British war effort and hoped Roald would describe his version of the war, which Forester would write up for the Saturday Evening Post. Roald chose to write down his experiences. Ten days after receiving the account, Forester wrote back “Did you know you were a writer? I haven’t changed a word.” He enclosed a cheque for $900 from the Post. The piece appeared anonymously in August 1942 under the title “Shot Down Over Libya”. Roald’s career as a writer was underway.

Roald Dahl’s first book for children was not, as many suppose, James and the Giant Peach but The Gremlins, a picture book published in 1943 and adapted from a script written for Disney. Walt Disney had invited the 25 year-old Roald to Hollywood, given him the use of a car and put him up at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The story of The Gremlins focused on the mischievous spirits that, according to RAF legend, cause aircraft-engine failures. In the end, the project to make a movie version was abandoned but the book was published. Roald was never very keen on The Gremlins and didn’t really think of it as a children’s book. Nevertheless, it caught Eleanor Roosevelt’s eye and Roald became a not infrequent guest at th

Biography

"I have never met a boy who so persistently writes the exact opposite of what he means," a teacher once wrote in the young Roald Dahl's report card. "He seems incapable of marshaling his thoughts on paper." From such inauspicious beginnings emerged an immensely successful author whom The Evening Standard would one day dub "one of the greatest children's writers of all time."

Dahl may have been an unenthusiastic student, but he loved adventure stories, and when he finished school he went out into the world to have some adventures of his own. He went abroad as a representative of the Shell corporation in Dar-es-Salaam, and then served in World War II as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. After the war, Dahl began his writing career in earnest, publishing two well-received collections of short stories for adults, along with one flop of a novel.

The short stories, full of tension and subtle psychological horror, didn't seem to presage a children's author. Malcolm Bradbury wrote in The New York Times Book Review, "[Dahl's] characters are usually ignoble: he knows the dog beneath the skin, or works hard to find it." Yet this talent for finding, and exposing, the nastier sides of grown-up behavior served him well in writing for children. As Dahl put it, "Writing is all propaganda, in a sense. You can get at greediness and selfishness by making them look ridiculous. The greatest attribute of a human being is kindness, and all the other qualities like bravery and perseverance are secondary to that."

In 1953, Dahl married the actress Patricia Neal; two of his early children's books, James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) grew out of the bedtime stories he made up for their children. Elaine Moss, writing in the Times, called the latter "the funniest children's book I have read in years; not just funny but shot through with a zany pathos which touches the young heart." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a colossal hit. A film version starring Gene Wilder was released in 1971 (as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), while James and the Giant Peach was made into a movie in 1996.

Dahl followed his initial successes with a string of bestsellers, including Danny, the Champion of the World, The Twits, The BFG, The Witches and Matilda. Some adults objected to the books' violence -- unpleasant characters (like James’s Aunts Sponge and Spiker) tend to get bumped off in grotesque and inventive ways -- but Dahl defended his stories as part of a tradition of gruesome fairy tales in which mean people get what they deserve. "These tales are pretty rough, but the violence is confined to a magical time and place," he said, adding that children like violent stories as long as they're "tied to fantasy and humor." By the time of his death in 1990, Dahl's mischievous wit had captivated so many readers that The Times called him "one of the most widely read and influential writers of our generation."

Good To Know

When Dahl was in school, he and his schoolmates occasionally served as new-product testers for the Cadbury chocolate company. Dahl used to dream of working in a chocolate manufacturer's inventing room. He wrote in his autobiography, "I have no doubt at all that, 35 years later, when I was looking for a plot for my second book for children, I remembered those little cardboard boxes and the newly invented chocolates inside them, and I began to write a book called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Dahl's first book for children, The Gremlins (1943), was a story about the mythical creatures that sabotaged British planes. (Dahl claimed for most of his life that he had coined the term "gremlins," but it had been in use by members of the Royal Air Force for years.) Walt Disney planned to use it as the basis for a movie, but the project was scrapped, and only 5,000 copies of the book were ever printed.

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

Table of Contents

The Visitor 7
The Great Switcheroo 55
The Last Act 81
Bitch 112
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Great Book

    Treat yourself to a good laugh!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Dahl for Adults

    Until recently, I didn't realize that Roald Dahl -- the famous writer of such children's classics as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and the Fantastic Mr. Fox -- wrote adult-oriented stories as well. It was probably as surprising as when I found out Judy Blume wrote novels like Wifey.

    I decided to see what these stories were like and ordered SWITCH B*TCH. SWITCH B*TCH is a collection of four short stories of Dahl's. While I enjoy and appreciate the short story form, I typically don't read short story collections because too often I feel a bit cheated. I invest my time in getting to know the characters, begin to like and understand them, and then before I know it, the story ends and the characters are gone. Forever. This is not a reason to not read (or write) short stories, but it can sometimes be disappointing to a reader to get involved again and again with different characters so quickly.

    The title of this short story collection comes from combining the titles of two of the included short stories: "The Great Switcheroo" and "B*tch." Also included are "The Visitor" and "The Last Act." "The Visitor" and "B*tch" are stories about the fictitious oversexed Uncle Oswald. Apparently, Dahl wrote a lot of short stories involving this character's travels and exploits. "The Great Switcheroo" involves something of a Twilight Zone-like story where two men plot to have sex with the other man's wife without her knowledge. "The Last Act" involves a lonely widow who tries to move on after the death of her beloved husband.

    There are consistent themes throughout the four short stories included in SWITCH B*TCH. Each of the four short stories included in this collection have a bit of suspense to them. It's not in a thriller sort of way, mind you, but once I read one story and realized the technique Dahl was using to write each story, I found myself a bit hooked, very curious, and rushing toward the end to see what happens. Additionally, each story has a twist at the end, and I found myself trying to guess what was going to happen, much like an O. Henry short story. Lastly, each story introduces some sort of scientific theory that is relevant to the story. Whether they're true or not is anyone's guess, but they're interesting enough to believe for the sake of the plot.

    Ironically, the introduction says that these short stories were originally published in -- of all places -- Playboy magazine; however, details of the sexual encounters are glossed over, and the narrator always says, "I won't bore you with the details..." or "I'm sure you can guess what happened next..." Hello, it's Playboy! I guess now I can honestly say that I read Playboy just for the articles.

    I was quite entertained by Dahl's short stories in this small collection. So much so, that I'll probably look into buying and reading more. They really held my attention and seem to withstand the test of time.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2002

    This was the funniest book I've ever read!

    Roald Dahl knows how to grab a reader into a story by creating a dramatic and rather interesting plot that accelerates until it reaches a climatic ending that ends in a twist. Dahl brings back a short story of Uncle Oswald's adventures along with three other titles that are imaginative and well developed. This is a must read!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Swichbich

    Its gay

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    Fucking stupid

    I am so disapointed i cursed. And i usually dont do that. Roald Dahl you need to stock to children books. I absolutely do not recomend this book for you. I thoughtvit would be naughty and nasty by the title but as i aid in the begining i am very disopointed.

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Austin &hearts tarah

    Idk why i got locked out.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    ?!

    I was just looking at books by this author like when I read when I was younger and was like wtc! when I saw this. He should really stick to childrens books cause if people are looking for books from their childhood they will not be happy to see this!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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