Where did Roald Dahl get all of his wonderful ideas for stories?
From his own life, of course! As full of excitement and the unexpected as his world-famous, best-selling books, Roald Dahl's tales of his own childhood are completely fascinating and fiendishly funny. Did you know that Roald Dahl nearly lost his nose in a car accident? Or that he was once a chocolate candy tester for Cadbury's? Have you heard about his involvement in the Great Mouse Plot of 1924? If not, you don’t yet know all there is to know about Roald Dahl. Sure to captivate and delight you, the boyhood antics of this master storyteller are not to be missed!
About 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 Peach, Matilda, The 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
Date of Birth:September 13, 1916
Date of Death:November 23, 1990
Place of Birth:Llandaff, Wales, England
Place of Death:Oxford, England
Read an Excerpt
The great and daring mouse plot
I kept to the rear of the group, and when I saw Mrs. Pratchett turn her head away for a couple of seconds to fish a Sherbet Sucker out of the box, I lifted the heavy glass lid of the Gobstopper jar and dropped the mouse in. Then I replaced the lid as silently as possible. My heart was thumping like mad and my hands had gone all sweaty.
“And one Bootlace, please,” I heard Thwaites saying. When I turned around, I saw Mrs. Pratchett holding out the Bootlace in her filthy fingers.
“I don’t want all the lot of you troopin’ in ’ere if only one of you is buyin’,” she screamed at us. “Now beat it! Go on, get out!”
As soon as we were outside, we broke into a run. “Did you do it?” they shouted at me.
“Of course I did!” I said.
“Well done you!” they cried. “What a super show!”
I felt like a hero. I was a hero. It was marvelous to be so popular.
Puffin Books by Roald Dahl
Boy: Tales of Childhood
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Danny the Champion of the World
The Enormous Crocodile
Fantastic Mr. Fox
George’s Marvelous Medicine
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
James and the Giant Peach
The Magic Finger
The Missing Golden Ticket
and Other Splendiferous Secrets
Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
Tales of Childhood
An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details.
This is not an autobiography. I would never write a history of myself. On the other hand, throughout my young days at school and just afterwards a number of things happened to me that I have never forgotten.
None of these things is important, but each of them made such a tremendous impression on me that I have never been able to get them out of my mind. Each of them, even after a lapse of fifty and sometimes sixty years, has remained seared on my memory.
I didn’t have to search for any of them. All I had to do was skim them off the top of my consciousness and write them down.
Some are funny. Some are painful. Some are unpleasant. I suppose that is why I have always remembered them so vividly. All are true.
THERE’S MORE TO ROALD DAHL THAN GREAT STORIES . . .
Did you know that 10% of author royalties* from this book go to help the work of the Roald Dahl charities?
Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity exists to make life better for seriously ill children because it believes that every child has the right to a marvellous life.
This marvellous charity helps thousands of children each year living with serious conditions of the blood and the brain – causes important to Roald Dahl in his lifetime – whether by providing nurses, equipment or toys for today’s children in the UK, or helping tomorrow’s children everywhere through pioneering research.
Can you do something marvellous to help others?
Find out how at www.marvellouschildrenscharity.org
The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, based in Great Missenden just outside London, is in the Buckinghamshire village where Roald Dahl lived and wrote. At the heart of the Museum, created to inspire a love of reading and writing, is his unique archive of letters and manuscripts. As well as two fun-packed biographical galleries, the Museum boasts an interactive Story Centre. It is a place for the family, teachers and their pupils to explore the exciting world of creativity and literacy.
Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity is a registered charity no. 1137409
The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is a registered charity no. 1085853
The Roald Dahl Charitable Trust is a registered charity that supports the work of RDMCC and RDMSC
Papa and Mama
My father, Harald Dahl, was a Norwegian who came from a small town near Oslo, called Sarpsborg. His own father, my grandfather, was a fairly prosperous merchant who owned a store in Sarpsborg and traded in just about everything from cheese to chicken-wire.
I am writing these words in 1984, but this grandfather of mine was born, believe it or not, in 1820, shortly after Wellington had defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. If my grandfather had been alive today he would have been one hundred and sixty-four years old. My father would have been one hundred and twenty-one. Both my father and my grandfather were late starters so far as children were concerned.
When my father was fourteen, which is still more than one hundred years ago, he was up on the roof of the family house replacing some loose tiles when he slipped and fell. He broke his left arm below the elbow. Somebody ran to fetch the doctor, and half an hour later this gentleman made a majestic and drunken arrival in his horse-drawn buggy. He was so drunk that he mistook the fractured elbow for a dislocated shoulder.
‘We’ll soon put this back into place!’ he cried out, and two men were called off the street to help with the pulling. They were instructed to hold my father by the waist while the doctor grabbed him by the wrist of the broken arm and shouted, ‘Pull men, pull! Pull as hard as you can!’
The pain must have been excruciating. The victim screamed, and his mother, who was watching the performance in horror, shouted ‘Stop!’ But by then the pullers had done so much damage that a splinter of bone was sticking out through the skin of the forearm.
This was in 1877 and orthopaedic surgery was not what it is today. So they simply amputated the arm at the elbow, and for the rest of his life my father had to manage with one arm. Fortunately, it was the left arm that he lost and gradually, over the years, he taught himself to do more or less anything he wanted with just the four fingers and thumb of his right hand. He could tie a shoelace as quickly as you or me, and for cutting up the food on his plate, he sharpened the bottom edge of a fork so that it served as both knife and fork all in one. He kept his ingenious instrument in a slim leather case and carried it in his pocket wherever he went. The loss of an arm, he used to say, caused him only one serious inconvenience. He found it impossible to cut the top off a boiled egg.
My father was a year or so older than his brother Oscar, but they were exceptionally close, and soon after they left school, they went for a long walk together to plan their future. They decided that a small town like Sarpsborg in a small country like Norway was no place in which to make a fortune. So what they must do, they agreed, was go away to one of the big countries, either to England or France, where opportunities to make good would be boundless.
Their own father, an amiable giant nearly seven foot tall, lacked the drive and ambition of his sons, and he refused to support this tomfool idea. When he forbade them to go, they ran away from home, and somehow or other the two of them managed to work their way to France on a cargo ship.
From Calais they went to Paris, and in Paris they agreed to separate because each of them wished to be independent of the other. Uncle Oscar, for some reason, headed west for La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast, while my father remained in Paris for the time being.
The story of how these two brothers each started a totally separate business in different countries and how each of them made a fortune is interesting, but there is no time to tell it here except in the briefest manner.
Take my Uncle Oscar first. La Rochelle was then, and still is, a fishing port. By the time he was forty he had become the wealthiest man in town. He owned a fleet of trawlers called ‘Pêcheurs d’Atlantique’ and a large canning factory to can the sardines his trawlers brought in. He acquired a wife from a good family and a magnificent town house as well as a large château in the country. He became a collector of Louis XV furniture, good pictures and rare books, and all these beautiful things together with the two properties are still in the family. I have not seen the château in the country, but I was in the La Rochelle house a couple of years ago and it really is something. The furniture alone should be in a museum.
While Uncle Oscar was bustling around in La Rochelle, his onearmed brother Harald (my own father) was not sitting on his rump doing nothing. He had met in Paris another young Norwegian called Aadnesen and the two of them now decided to form a partnership and become shipbrokers. A shipbroker is a person who supplies a ship with everything it needs when it comes into port – fuel and food, ropes and paint, soap and towels, hammers and nails, and thousands of other tiddly little items. A shipbroker is a kind of enormous shopkeeper for ships, and by far the most important item he supplies to them is the fuel on which the ship’s engines run. In those days fuel meant only one thing. It meant coal. There were no oil-burning motorships on the high seas at that time. All ships were steamships and these old steamers would take on hundreds and often thousands of tons of coal in one go. To the shipbrokers, coal was black gold.
My father and his new-found friend, Mr Aadnesen, understood all this very well. It made sense they told each other, to set up their shipbroking business in one of the great coaling ports of Europe. Which was it to be? The answer was simple. The greatest coaling port in the world at that time was Cardiff, in South Wales. So off to Cardiff they went, these two ambitious young men, carrying with them little or no luggage. But my father had something more delightful than luggage. He had a wife, a young French girl called Marie whom he had recently married in Paris.
In Cardiff, the shipbroking firm of ‘Aadnesen & Dahl’ was set up and a single room in Bute Street was rented as an office. From then on, we have what sounds like one of those exaggerated fairy-stories of success, but in reality it was the result of tremendous hard and brainy work by those two friends. Very soon ‘Aadnesen & Dahl’ had more business than the partners could handle alone. Larger office space was acquired and more staff were engaged. The real money then began rolling in. Within a few years, my father was able to buy a fine house in the village of Llandaff, just outside Cardiff, and there his wife Marie bore him two children, a girl and a boy. But tragically, she died after giving birth to the second child.
When the shock and sorrow of her death had begun to subside a little, my father suddenly realized that his two small children ought at the very least to have a stepmother to care for them. What is more, he felt terribly lonely. It was quite obvious that he must try to find himself another wife. But this was easier said than done for a Norwegian living in South Wales who didn’t know very many people. So he decided to take a holiday and travel back to his own country, Norway, and who knows, he might if he was lucky find himself a lovely new bride in his own country.
Over in Norway, during the summer of 1911, while taking a trip in a small coastal steamer in the Oslofjord, he met a young lady called Sofie Magdalene Hesselberg. Being a fellow who knew a good thing when he saw one, he proposed to her within a week and married her soon after that.
Harald Dahl took his Norwegian wife on a honeymoon in Paris, and after that back to the house in Llandaff. The two of them were deeply in love and blissfully happy, and during the next six years she bore him four children, a girl, another girl, a boy (me) and a third girl. There were now six children in the family, two by my father’s first wife and four by his second. A larger and grander house was needed and the money was there to buy it.
So in 1918, when I was two, we all moved into an imposing country mansion beside the village of Radyr, about eight miles west of Cardiff. I remember it as a mighty house with turrets on its roof and with majestic lawns and terraces all around it. There were many acres of farm and woodland, and a number of cottages for the staff. Very soon, the meadows were full of milking cows and the sties were full of pigs and the chicken-run was full of chickens. There were several massive shire-horses for pulling the ploughs and the hay-wagons, and there was a ploughman and a cowman and a couple of gardeners and all manner of servants in the house itself. Like his brother Oscar in La Rochelle, Harald Dahl had made it in no uncertain manner.
But what interests me most of all about these two brothers, Harald and Oscar, is this. Although they came from a simple unsophisticated small-town family, both of them, quite independently of one another, developed a powerful interest in beautiful things. As soon as they could afford it, they began to fill their houses with lovely paintings and fine furniture. In addition to that, my father became an expert gardener and above all a collector of alpine plants. My mother used to tell me how the two of them would go on expeditions up into the mountains of Norway and how he would frighten her to death by climbing one-handed up steep cliff-faces to reach small alpine plants growing high up on some rocky ledge. He was also an accomplished wood-carver, and most of the mirror-frames in the house were his own work. So indeed was the entire mantelpiece around the fireplace in the living-room, a splendid design of fruit and foliage and intertwining branches carved in oak.
He was 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. He wrote with a pen and although Norwegian was his mother-tongue, he always wrote his diaries in perfect English.
He harboured a curious theory about how to develop a sense of beauty in the minds of his children. Every time my mother became pregnant, he would wait until the last three months of her pregnancy and then he would announce to her that ‘the glorious walks’ must begin. These glorious walks consisted of him taking her to places of great beauty in the countryside and walking with her for about an hour each day so that she could absorb the splendour of the surroundings. His theory was that if the eye of a pregnant woman was constantly observing the beauty of nature, this beauty would somehow become transmitted to the mind of the unborn baby within her womb and that baby would grow up to be a lover of beautiful things. This was the treatment that all of his children received before they were born.
Kindergarten, 1922–3 (age 6–7)
In 1920, when I was still only three, my mother’s eldest child, my own sister Astri, died from appendicitis. She was seven years old when she died, which was also the age of my own eldest daughter, Olivia, when she died from measles forty-two years later.
Astri was far and away my father’s favourite. He adored her beyond measure and her sudden death left him literally speechless for days afterwards. He was so overwhelmed with grief that when he himself went down with pneumonia a month or so afterwards, he did not much care whether he lived or died.
If they had had penicillin in those days, neither appendicitis nor pneumonia would have been so much of a threat, but with no penicillin or any other magical antibiotic cures, pneumonia in particular was a very dangerous illness indeed. The pneumonia patient, on about the fourth or fifth day, would invariably reach what was known as ‘the crisis’. The temperature soared and the pulse became rapid. The patient had to fight to survive. My father refused to fight. He was thinking, I am quite sure, of his beloved daughter, and he was wanting to join her in heaven. So he died. He was fifty-seven years old.
Excerpted from "Boy"
Copyright © 2009 Roald Dahl.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
|Papa and Mama||13|
|Llandaff Cathedral School, 1923-5 (age 7-9)|
|The Bicycle and the Sweet-shop||27|
|The Great Mouse Plot||35|
|Mrs Pratchett's Revenge||45|
|Going to Norway||51|
|The Magic Island||57|
|A Visit to the Doctor||64|
|St Peter's, 1925-9 (age 9-13)|
|A Drive in the Motor-car||91|
|Little Ellis and the Boil||112|
|Repton and Shell, 1929-36 (age 13-20)|
|Getting Dressed for the Big School||123|
|Games and Photography||146|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was awesome! I was so happy to read it to find out what Roald's life was about! I laughed, i cried! Everyone who loves Roald should read it!
A Great book revealing Roald Dahl's boy-hood. Being one of my favourite authors it was quite an interesting journey. It also teaches you about their culture, life-style and and the hardships children had to go through back then.
ONE OF DAHLS BEST YET!! OUT STADING AND VERY FUNNY, HEARS A BOOK THAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER PICKING UP AT ANY TIME.
I thought this book was excelent funny and awesome to read. I definetly recomend picking it up!
I Absolutely Love Roald Dahl and his stories and I really love this book
She moans, touching herself. "Oh my god!" She screamed out her body bucking wildly. *nope.*
This is an interesting book for someone interested in Roald Dahl or for someone who has personal experience with English boarding schools. For children today, I think this work would be a stretch, and that it is unlikely there would be a strong enough connection of experience to be a favorite.
I really liked this book because I enjoyed his book that he wrote,and now what he did when he was you youger I never now that a headmaster to become archbishop of canterbury.I have NEVER heard of goats tobacco, a very good book .
Boy By Roald Dahl ¿Boy¿ is the first autobiographical novel written by renowned British writer Roald Dahl. Published in 1984, Boy is a collection of hilarious and adventurous reminiscences that almost resemble Roald Dahl¿s masterful fictionalised stories. Based on his life, this compelling novel engrosses readers by detailing Roald Dahl¿s entertaining memories throughout his early years.Recalling the adventures that ranged from 1918-1936, the storyline of Boy also branches down into his father¿s adulthood and unfortunate death. The mainly describes the events between childhood and school, focusing on the difficult times that Roald Dahl had experienced in schools of Britain, when the cane was a legal object in terms of discipline. In Boy, you are able to learn about the early influences during Roald Dahl¿s life that had led him into becoming a renowned writer. Apart from school, Roald Dahl also mentions the adventurous holidays that included the hilarious moment when Dahl replaced the fillings with goat droppings in his step-sister¿s boyfriend¿s pipe (found in Goat¿s Tobacco).¿An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details. This is not an autobiography.¿ - Roald DahlThrough this quote, Roald Dahl intended to only write down the events that stood out in his life, not the countless boring events that would have been displayed in an official autobiography. Roald Dahl shows that his ideas are not there just to inform his reader, as shown in most autobiographies, but rather to entertain them. Despite what he said, Boy is still an autobiography nevertheless.Utilising his masterful techniques of story-telling, Roald Dahl, through his point of view, uses descriptive language and embellishments which makes the storyline almost seem ¿too good to be true¿. The characters in Boy were given detailed descriptions with his distinct characteristics through dialogue that makes the story easy to understand for the reader. With the endless complications, the level of suspense would literally be seared into the reader¿s imagination with the urge to turn to the next page become unstoppable. The particular event that caught my interest was no doubt the incident when he had experienced an atrocious. The beginning of the story began with a sense of happiness and tranquillity as Dahl¿s family go on a drive with his step-sisters new motorcar. However the suspense builds up as the motorcar gains speed, which then resulted in a car accident. It turned out the story didn¿t stop there. Roald Dahl¿s nose had nearly been cut right off! Would Dahl make it to the doctors before his nose would fall right off? That¿s a question I would leave for you, out once you have read the book. Because Boy is such a thin book, the story¿s over before you know it. Don¿t worry; there is another book that follows (the renowned Going Solo). With no mistake, Boy is a preferable book for children, adults and most definitely for Roald Dahl fans. The book would make you laugh, and allow you to experience his outrageous stories, such as the mouse found in the jar, but also it would make you agitate with disgust by the atrocious stories that included the cane and operation with adenoids. It is such a fantastic book that would entertain you non-stop through every page.
Boy, Book ReviewRoald Dahl has thrilled us for many years with his amazing children¿s stories. He has brought life to all sorts of colourful characters with his descriptive language. Dahl is known all over the world for his writing. He has written many booksThe book Boy is a classic autobiography by Dahl. First published in 1984, Boy is a memoir of Dahl¿s childhood and his school days. He recalls memories, good and bad, and embellishes them with techniques that made him a famous fiction writer. He gives vivid descriptions of horrendous canings, and other hilarious events like putting a rat into a gobstopper jar.The book show many exciting things that have happened to Dahl, from canings to getting his nose cut off in a car crash. These gruesome and sometimes amusing scenes of brutality are written with a detailed description, making you feel as if you were watching it in first-person. Roald Dahl¿s adventures in his school years are just one of the few adventures that he had described in this autobiography. Dahl uses a lot of descriptive language and tells a lot of detail in his writing. The way he describes the characters pulls you into the story, making you believe that you are actually part of the action. The settings are also another example of Dahl¿s ability to use extensive descriptions to describe characters and scenes. He wrote the autobiography in a first-person view but occasionally plays a passer-by and sees other things. Dahl also uses suspense to keep the reader reading. It adds a bit of excitement to the story by making the reader want more.The story tells of Dahl¿s adventures, starting from a few years before his first school, to the point where Dahl is able to leave school to find a job. There are many canings, the great mouse plot, and a drive in a motor-car, smoking goat¿s tobacco, and other tales of absolute disgusting details. My favourite scene is definitely the chapter, ¿A visit to the doctor¿s¿, where Dahl has to get his adenoids, (tonsils) removed. The bloody descriptions are fascinating to read. It also provides an insight on how surgery would have been without anaesthetics those days. This part, and other parts, of the book tell us that Dahl is more focused on putting out the truth instead of giving only the good parts.Overall, Boy is an enjoyable book that would be entertaining for readers of all ages. Anyone would find this book very interesting. If you like this, read Going Solo, The sequel to Boy. Boy is yet another amazing book by the sensational author, Roald Dahl.
Book Review of BoyRoald Dahl¿s book Boy was first published in 1984. Its genre is controversial as can be seen to be an autobiography though the author states that it is not. It can also be seen as a narrative, recount, reminiscence and a memoir just to name a few. It is a collection of short but true stories that cover the most unforgettable experiences in his life as a boy both pleasant and dreadful such as holidays at Norway and school life, respectively.The stories of Roald Dahl when he was a boy start from when he was age 6 and continue to age 20, which was from 1922 to 1936. The major events are The Great Mouse Plot and `goat¿s tobacco¿ and being caned by the headmasters.The book shows the ideas of what the world was like in the 1920¿s. It shows how dreadful it is to be in the presence of a headmaster. Roald Dahl shows this by exaggerating the size of the headmaster. `A giant of a man.¿ In The Great Mouse Plot, the group consisting of Roald Dahl, Thwaites and three others have a foreign feeling. The author describes it as `jazzed up¿ and `We felt like a gang of desperados setting out to rob a train or blow up the sheriff¿s office¿Roald Dahl uses techniques of fiction in Boy, using description to create life-like characters and settings, figurative language intensify the description, suspense to tempt us to keep reading and embellishment to make everything more exciting and interesting.I enjoyed the part when the dentist removed his adenoids the most because it was vividly written and very suspenseful. As I read it, I clamped my mouth shut and tried not to think about it too much.`The tiny blade flashed in the bright light and disappeared into my mouth. It went high up into the roof of my mouth, and the hand that held the blade gave four or five very quick little twists and the next moment, out of my mouth into the basin came tumbling a whole mass of flesh and blood.¿ ¿ Page 65 BoyThis part could lead me to believe that the whole book is a monstrous nightmare if it was one long story instead of lots of short stories. It also leads me to believe that the rest of the book is also as gripping as this paragraph.It is a great book as expected from one of the world¿s greatest storytellers. It is filled with thrills and well-written plots that `defy invention.¿ It is a relatively short book but this minor weakness is overcome by its sequel Going Solo. Although Roald Dahl states that the headmaster of Repton who caned him became the Archbishop of Canterbury. Records show this headmaster left Repton a year before Roald Dahl¿s arrival. I recommend this book for anyone. It contains magnificent techniques but written in colloquial language that children can easily comprehend.
Book Review: BoyThe book Boy was written by Roald Dahl in 1984. This book is an autobiography. The main subject matter is Roald Dahl¿s early life. The purpose of this book is for Roald Dahl¿s life to be shared with everyone. The period of time covered by this book is from 1877 to 1936. The major events in this story were:1. When Roald Dahl put a mouse in a shop¿s candy jar2. When he got caned for the first time3. The summer holiday4. His first boarding school,5.When he put goats tobacco in his sister¿s fiancé¿s pipe6. When he went to Repton high school 7.When Roald started working for Shell. The main topics of the book Boy is when Roald went to school and started a career at Shell. This book¿s themes are an autobiography and a memoir of memories. One of the messages of Boy is that never let someone tell you that you can¿t do something and no matter what people say to you, always strive for what you want. These ideas are shown as stories about Roald Dahl¿s childhood. Roald Dahl chooses these ideas because he thinks they are interesting and cannot get them off his mind that is why he chooses to write about them. Roald Dahl conveys these ideas by using descriptive language. He uses a wide range of words and uses a lot of absolutely magnificent similes to describe them. He uses characterization by describing characters through their actions, speech and thoughts. Roald vividly describes the settings of Boy in terrific detail. The point of view is almost always from Roald Dahl¿s. He also creates a lot of suspense in his story, for example when Roald and his friends put a rat into the gobstopper jar the next day the store was closed so this created suspense until we found out why the shop was closed. My favourite part of Boy was when Roald put goat¿s droppings into the ancient half sister¿s fiancé¿s pipe. In this part of the story all of the Dahls except for the ancient half sister hated the sister¿s fiancé. So Roald found some goats droppings and put it into his pipe when the sister called him away for a swim. When he came back, he started smoking his pipe when suddenly he screamed. He said that his lungs were on fire. When he found out he was smoking goat¿s droppings he chased Roald all the way into to the water. I like this part because it is really captivating and funny. This part tells us that the book is filled with interesting stories and that the book contains highly described segments.My overall judgment of the book if I were to give it a score out of ten, it would be 8. One of this book¿s strengths is that it is really descriptive so you get a very clear picture in your head such as the personalities of all the characters and their appearance. Another one of its strengths is that Roald somehow always makes stories seem a lot more interesting than it actually is. This is how he captures readers to pursue his works. One of the weaknesses of this book is that it sometimes describes some of the settings too much causing the reader to skip parts of it. Another one of its drawbacks is that the title is not very interesting, for example if I just saw a book on the internet with this title without a cover I wouldn¿t read it because Boy is an really boring title. I would recommend this book to readers who like interesting non-fiction books and also readers who like vivid autobiographies because this book is really interesting and the description is absolutely fantastic.Chris.Li saidsThis book might not be much at the start but, once you pick it up you won¿t be able to put it down until you read every last word of it.
Review of Roald Dahl¿s BoyRoald Dahl¿s Boy, written in 1984, is the first autobiography of Roald Dahl¿s life. However, Roald Dahl himself states that Boy is not an autobiography, rather a book retelling all the vivid memories of his childhood, up to the point where he gets his job with the Shell Company, which is from 1916 to 1936. The rest is told in another book, Going Solo. The major events of this book are the Great Mouse Plot, the visit to the doctor, the drive in the motor-car, his time at St Peter¿s, Goat¿s Tobacco and his time at Repton. These major stories of this book were probably chosen because Roald Dahl could remember them more vividly and so he would be able to write about the stories in more detail. This would help us create a better mental picture of what is happening, which he has managed to do, in my opinion. He also embellishes each of the memories to make the stories more lively and funny.To give us an idea of the setting of each place Roald Dahl uses a lot of descriptive language. An example is of the secret islands (pg 61). He goes into great detail about the sizes of the islands and all the animals and plants on it. Another example is his description of the town Weston-super-Mare (pg 69). He gives a fairly detailed explanation of all the buildings that inhabit Weston-super-Mare and uses a descriptive language to make very clear in our minds what Weston-super-Mare looked like.In Boy, Roald Dahl uses suspense to engage the reader, to make them want to read more. A good example of suspense is used during the Mouse Plot (pg 39). Thwaites announces to his ¿friend group¿ that Roald, by placing the mouse in the Gobstopper jar, inadvertently killed Mrs Pratchett. Of course, those of us who have read the book already know she survived, but for a person who has never read the book before it almost certainly be interesting to find if Roald Dahl really did kill Mrs Pratchett. Another example would be the visit to the doctor (pg 64-65), where the doctor uses a shiny tool to poke around in Roald Dahl¿s mouth. Not a lot of people know what adenoids are and so they will definitely be wondering what is going to happen. Again, those who have read the book know about the mounds of tumbling flesh and blood.Of this whole book, the part I enjoyed was the part where he described Corkers (pg 136-139). I especially enjoyed the part about Corkers¿ procedure when someone ¿farted¿. It was probably embellished, like the most of Boy, but it was funny nonetheless. I think this shows how Roald Dahl wrote this book: to try to retell his life story in such a way that any person who read a bit of it would actually be interested to read on. Not like some autobiographies where people ramble on boringly about useless information people don¿t care about. This is perhaps why Roald Dahl thinks this book is not an autobiography in usual sense.Overall I really enjoyed this book. Roald Dahl has managed to weave techniques commonly used in fiction into this life story to make it more lively and enjoyable to read. Every story is embellished but that just makes it a better read. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It is a great story that will make children laugh and adults think back to their school days. I definitely had a good laugh over this story.Also, I disagree with koalanigel. Boy is not an autobiography, rather a collection of memories.
The book Boy written by Roald Dahl, one of the most renowned children story writers in the world, is a classical book which recounts Dahl¿s best memories. For a book that was written in 1984 when Dahl was 68 years old, it is exceptional.This book is not an autobiography as it clearly states in the preface of the book that¿An auto biography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of boring details.¿ Thus this means that Boy cannot be an auto biography as the book isn¿t full of boring details but full of interesting stuff where some are funny, some are painful and some are unpleasant.Dahl writes only his childhood time period between 1916 and 1930 in Boy. The next book in the series named Going Solo covers the rest of his period until 1946. He remembers his childhood memories so well that he¿s able to recollect the interesting events that occurred when he was young. One of the major events is when he takes revenge on Mrs Pratchett by putting a dead rat in her gobstopper jar.Dahl absorbs readers into the book by embellishing fictional techniques into his childhood story. He uses metaphors, for example ¿an ungainly man with drooping bloodhound cheeks and filthy clothes.¿ to describe Corkers. This is used to convey an image into reader¿s mind that Corkers is most probably like Mrs Pratchett as he is described as being filthy. Then Dahl writes that Corkers was probably the best maths teacher he had, as he learnt interesting stuff from him.In the goat¿s tobacco episode of the story, Dahl adds suspense to readers with his use of effective words. ¿The entire family watched me as I did this. Nobody said a word, but I could sense a glow of approval all round. I replaced the pipe on the rock and all of us sat back to await the return of the victim.¿ Automatically readers will get questions in their minds such as, Will the victim take it? Will he know and go furious at Dahl? Will the family be able to shut their mouths and not give the game away? The part where Dahl pretends to have appendicitis so he can go home is probably my favourite part. The reason I like this so much is that Dahl uses so much persuasive language that he has appendicitis that the matron and the school doctor actually believe him. But Dr Dunbar realises that Dahl has been telling a lie so he can go back home. The doctor takes pity on him and allows him to go home on the condition that he should never ever try the trick again. This part shows that the book Boy is a well structured book that uses a lot of techniques including the hook and suspense. This chapter hook readers into perusing the book to find out more of Dahl¿s interesting activities.The strengths of Boy are how Dahl uses his language to convey a message in readers¿ minds, to create suspense and most probably the best of all is how he draws readers into the book. Both students and teachers can learn from this book. Students can learn how to write an excellent autobiography and teachers can learn how to teach writing autobiographies and still make it very interesting.
We read this book every year and for good reason! Roald Dahl tells the story of his childhood and young adulthood with stories so gruesome and funny you will feel like you're his friend! Dahl also gives us some of the secrets as to where he came up with all the great ideas for his book!MB
Book Review: BoyRoald Dahl is a world renowned author of children¿s story books. He is responsible for some of the greatest story books of all time such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, James and the Giant Peach and Matilda. This book review however is about a book that he wrote, recounting his childhood memories. Boy is a book written by Roald Dahl that recounts the major events in his childhood and school life. It goes from his childhood days, through his school life and to the day that he is recruited with `Shell¿ to go to Africa. Dahl wrote boy by drawing memories of his childhood and schools days. He embellishes and exaggerates them to make sure that there is never a dull moment in this collection of unforgettable stories. This book is also filled with magical sceneries, vile characters and many quirky moments from his school life. Roald Dahl uses various techniques such as embellishing, exaggerating, character building and building suspense in his writing to make his stores that much more interesting.There are many aspects of Roald Dahl¿s writing that makes Boy an excellent book. He uses embellishment to enhance his stories, he thinks of memories in his childhood and school days but it is impossible for him to remember every single detail. So he ¿makes them up¿ or makes them more interesting, this produces a much more gripping story because he can recreate the characters personality, appearance and speech. So, in a way his memories might be very boring but his stories are masterpieces.Another aspect of Roald Dahl¿s writing is his ability to create characters not only through description but through the way they speak. Dahl uses an array of adjectives, similes and metaphors to accurately describe the characters. One particularly vile character in his stories is `Mrs Pratchett¿, Dahl¿s description of her is, `a small skinny old hag with a moustache on her upper lip and a mouth as a sour as a green gooseberry¿. Straight away, this paints a clear picture of her in your mind. Dahl also uses voice to determine the personality of the character, Dahl says that the only time she spoke she said things like this `I¿m watchin¿ you so keep yer theivin finger of em chocolates¿. From this we can tell that she was a very short tempered woman and that she was possibly not well educated.The final aspect of Dahl¿s writing that turns his otherwise ordinary stories into thrillers is his ability to build suspense through questions, clues and unusual details that make us ponder on what will happen next. In the story Mr Coombes Dahl and his friends walk past the sweet shop the day after he had planted the mouse they see the CLOSED sign on the door. Then they ask each other ¿What¿s happened, what¿s going on?¿ this question wasn¿t particularly necessary but Dahl wrote it to start the suspense. He makes us want to know what had happened and what will happen next. He also uses anticlimaxes or digressions to delay the story. For example, in his story drive in the motorcar he tells us all these unnecessary details such as the weather, how many cars passed, how they beeped their horns at passing cars and that there were very few motorcars on the road. He makes you concentrates on these details so when the climax came it hit you even harder because you were not suspecting it.Roald Dahl is an excellent author and his book Boy is filled with all kinds of mischief and mayhem. My personal favourite story was `Goats tobacco¿, I liked this story because of the way Dahl writes it, he creates so much tension in the story that I could practically feel it. I recommend this book to all readers between the ages of 6-13 as there are some gory scenes which might be inappropriate to younger readers. This book might not be much at the start but, once you pick it up you won¿t be able to put it down until you read every last word of it. I guarantee it!fullbodyarmour says that 'It is an autobiography of life up until the age of 20' i disagree that it is a
Book Review of Boy Roald Dahl is a popular children¿s author and probably one of the best. He has written many well known novels such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches and Boy is one of them. The book Boy is an autobiography however; it is not a proper one. What Dahl has done, is that he has chosen only the most memorable moments of his childhood and school days and put them together to create a short yet compelling collection of stories, which have been enjoyed by readers since 1984. Furthermore, these stories have been embellished with some fiction to replace the boring details and make the stories far more enjoyable. The book spans the life of Roald Dahl since he was born until he was about 20 and had just joined the Shell Company. In the first couple of chapters, Dahl has also included a brief collection of memories originally from his father about how he ran away from home, travelled to South Wales where he set up a successful company and met his wife, Sofie Hesselberg, up until the moment Roald Dahl was born. Some of the highlights of this novel include The Great Mouse Plot in which Dahl placed a dead mouse in a gobstopper jar in a sweet shop to scare the old shopkeeper and Goat¿s Tobacco in which Dahl put some goat droppings into the pipe of his half-sister¿s lover. Other major events include Dahl¿s first day at school, his first ride in a motor car and him and his family going on a trip to Norway in the holidays. These are just some of the events which have occurred in the book and Roald Dahl may have not only written this book to write some interesting stories for others to read but also to keep a record or a memoir of the highlights from his past because he had left out the details and he would not want to read details about his own life, just the interesting parts.This novel is not just one story but it retells a whole collection of stories from different time periods and as a result, there is a different message for each story and there is also a variety of themes and topics for each of the four sections of the book. For example, in the section called Llandaff Cathedral School, the main themes are to do with Roald Dahl growing up as a child and attending school but in the section called Repton and Shell, the themes are different because Roald Dahl attends high school and joins the Shell Company whereas, in a normal novel there are usually only a few themes because the book generally only spans a week, a month or sometimes a few years. The ideas in Boy are mainly shown by the time periods in which they occur. An example of this is The Great Mouse Plot because only young children about the same age as Roald Dahl was would put a dead mouse in a jar to scare an old woman. Many writing techniques have been used in Boy to convey ideas. One of these techniques is using figurative language such as adjectives, similes and alliteration to create a clearer picture in the reader¿s mind about the noun or verb being described and enhance its effectiveness. Other techniques used include building up suspense, characterization and describing settings. My favourite part is Goat¿s Tobacco because all of the techniques mentioned above were used. First, Dahl¿s half sister¿s lover is described to show that everyone except for the half sister found him annoying and this makes the reader also dislike him. Then, the setting is being described to delay the climax and make the reader more curious about what is going to happen. After that, the suspense slowly builds up as Dahl places the droppings in the pipe and the climax is when the lover smokes the goat¿s tobacco. This part represents Boy as a whole because these techniques have been used in each story.Its strengths are building suspense and characterization and but some parts were a bit over emphasised so I would recommend Boy to readers of all ages, especially if you enjoy Roald Dahl books.
Boy¿Written by Roald Dahl¿. Immediately you know that that book is going to be an exciting one, one filled with daring adventures, scary moments and surprises you¿ll never expect. Roald Dahl is an exceptional author, using techniques such as embellishment which means there is never a dull moment in any of his books. ¿Boy¿ is another great book in his collection which describes his adventurous, scary and amazing time as a kid.¿Boy¿ is not an autobiography, as he says, because it doesn¿t contain all of the boring events in his life. However, it still tells his childhood from when he was a baby in Wales, to when he was 20 and leaving school.The story begins, telling some information about his parents such as how his father lost his left arm and how he quickly became very rich. Roald Dahl is finally born, along with his 3 sisters and a step brother and sister (his first wife passed away). Even though his father and one of his sisters, his mother stayed rather than leave for Norway and soon, he began schooling at Landaff.He didn¿t remember much about his kindergarten school, nor at the Cathedral school. However, there was one memory which stuck out. They had a delightful sweetshop around there, owned by an old, nasty lady called Mrs Pratchett. They had their revenge on her by placing a mouse in one the jars. However, they soon regretted it as Mrs Pratchett reported to the school and Dahl and his friends were beaten by the principle, Mr Coombes.Every summer holidays was in Norway and they were always great. The magic islands, the lake, the motorboat and all his relatives were there and he enjoyed every bit of his stay. His only unpleasant memory was when he had his adenoids sliced out.Soon he went to St Peter¿s boarding school where it was a great new adventure. He met many friends such as Arkle, who fed slugs to his secret pet frog, The most dangerous person in the school is probably the Matron. She is a frightening woman who is always alert around, waiting for an excuse to send them down to the principal¿s office, where you will get beaten. Once, a brave boy named Wragg sprinkled castor sugar all over the corridor after lights were out. It wasn¿t long before the Matron stomped into the room, furious. She screamed and screamed but none of us owned up. They were punished, but didn¿t complain.With homesickness, a terrible car accident and more school mischief, he miraculously survives the 4 years in St Peters and soon moved onto Repton Public School. There were many things that had changed. Firstly, there are Boazers at the school, who are prefects who can thrash any student who has done something wrong (eg- failing to dust their study), while he met many teachers, such as Captain HardCastle, who took a deep disliking for him . School wasn¿t that bad: they got to taste test the chocolate given in by Cadbury and they had a wonderful maths teacher who taught anything but maths.He reached his final year in Repton and had the chance to go to Oxford or Cambridge University. However, he wanted to join a company that would send him to faraway places such as China. He eventually chose to join Shell Company. After he left Repton, instead of spending the summer holidays in Norway, he went to Newfoundland with the Public School Explorers. It was not much leisure, but it was a genuine adventure.He and the other trainees spent 2 years of intensive training with the Shell Company. They had a special trainer who taught them all about the fuel oil, kerosene, gasoline and so on. They were then sent off to various Shell branches in England to study salesmanship. He was soon summoned back to the Head Office and was told to leave for Egypt. Refusing, he was summoned again for East Africa, and Dahl was overjoyed. He soon left off for East Africa, and had great experiences there, not to mention in the War, which is continued in his next book ¿Going Solo.¿This is an exciting book written by Roald Dahl for all ages, telling about the unforgettable moments o
BOY OH BOY!!BOY: Tales of ChildhoodAuthor: Roald DahlIllustrator: Quentin BlakeRating: Genre: autobiography (sort of)Published: 1984Advantages: Funny, amusing, shortDisadvantages: seems like a children¿s bookRecommendations: Anyone who can readBoy: If you have read any of Roald Dahl¿s other marvellous stories, you should guess that this book is just as wonderful. It is a recount of Roald Dahl¿s life and is the prequel to: Going Solo.At the beginning of the book, Roald Dahl explains that the book is not an autobiography which is true since it is a recollection of his embellished childhood experiences. ¿An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and is usually full of all sorts of boring details. This is not an autobiography. I would never write a history about myself. On the other hand, throughout my young days at school and just afterwards a number of things happened to me that I have never forgotten.¿The story starts with an introduction on Roald Dahl and his Norwegian background and relatives but focuses a lot on Roald¿s school days. Roald paints illustrious pictures of his characters using embellishment. Photographs, letters and pictures by Quentin Blake create more accuracy to the stories.The stories themselves are unputdownable and are filled with suspense leaving readers on a hook. The book can appeal to older audiences and adults. The language is descriptive and witty with lots of feeling which builds characters in your mind.Roald Dahl¿s stories usually appeals to children but is still enjoyed by many adults around the world. The book is an honest, exciting recollection of Roald Dahl¿s experiences which revisits his childhood life.
Boy By Roald Dahl ¿Boy¿ is one of Roald Dahl¿s hilarious and entertaining biographies. This is a book written by Roald Dahl in the year 1984. He talks about his fond memories such as the `Mouse Plot¿ which made him a hero for the day, the goat¿s tobacco where he played a great prank on his ancient half-sisters manly lover and the `Drive in a Motorcar¿. In this `biography¿ he talks about his young years from 1920s till 1936. This book was supposed to be an autobiography but in Roald Dahl¿s words he says that a biography is boring and doesn¿t have many good moments therefore this is not a biography. This story tells great times in Dahl¿s life and tells us messages through them of mistakes and accomplishments in his life. He chooses these especially because these were the kinds of mistakes we are still making these days. He tells us that even if a person is horrible and nasty, you still can¿t be nasty as well if they haven¿t done anything wrong. He tells us that we should enjoy our life as we have it as life in the old days was much stricter. And conveying these ideas with descriptive language, characterization, settings, points of view and suspense, he also makes these time enjoyable to read. In this book there are many interesting parts. In the `Mouse Plot¿, Dahl puts a dead mouse in disgusting Mrs Pratchetts jar of gobbstoppers! Yuk! Imagine if you were the first person to buy gobbstoppers while the mouse was still in there. And the striking from the headmaster, ouch! Being whipped on the but by the headmaster. That¿s gotta hurt. And making it worse, being whipped while Mrs Pratchett was watching. You would be humiliated. But the most hilarious of all was the `Goats tobacco¿. Imagine you being the ancient half-sisters manly lover, feeling the horrible, horrible taste of goats tobacco. Especially when it¿s your wife¿s half- brother shredding goat crap on your pipe! Well the best part of this story for me was the `Drive in a Motorcar¿ chapter. This is when Dahl¿s half-sister drives the motorcar then crashes it and making it worse, Dahl¿s nose gets cleanly sliced to the very last skin by the jagged glass. This part of the book is obviously embellished (exaggerated, emphasised etc.) but tells that this book will be interesting and exciting to read. I would recommend this book to children¿s of ages around 10 as even though it is a bit childish, some parts of this book may make small children sad as they take things more seriously and the repeating of being whipped by the headmaster, cutting off his nose and enraging the manly lover, may be taken in offense of some kind. But saying this, there are some entertaining parts of the story which would make a smile on your face. This book does have strengths and weakness in my opinion. A strength is the use of words he uses. Putting them together in the right way makes the book a whole lot interesting and describing the landscape makes you feel like you¿re actually where Dahl is as well. A weakness, is as I said, the repeating of canings, going to doctors, breaking limbs, cutting off noses and other horrible things make this book like a horror story rather than a good, entertaining biography. Overall, I think this is a great book and could be read by anyone over the age of 10, even adults could read this book and enjoy it which make Roald Dahl such a great writer.
Boy Book ReviewRoald Dahl¿s book Boy is an embellished autobiography of Roald Dahl¿s childhood. Roald Dahl is a famous writer of fiction. In this book Roald Dahl adds fiction to some parts of it which helps him to embellish and it makes the book more interesting. This book was written in 1984. However he says ¿A real autobiography has boring details. So for this reason my book is not an autobiography.¿ He talks about the mean characters that he meets, the schools that he went to and exciting events that occurred like trips to Norway. He also talks about his family, the devastating deaths that occurred in it and the great times he had with them. He even talks about how certain parts of his childhood inspired him to write some of his fictional stories. He says that when he remembered about Mrs Pratchett¿s sweets shops it inspired him to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.His childhood happened between the years of 1916 to 1936. He talks about a certain period like it were a different episode. One period was about his school at St Peters and what he did there like writing letters to his mother.The main part of the book is about how Roald Dahl¿s life was and what happened in his life at school and outside it. The two parts he talks about the most in the book is his time at Repton and St Peter¿s school. He talks about his hobbies and what would normally happen each day at his schools. One of his hobbies was photography. He was the best photographer at his school. He also played fives and squash racquets. For those sports he became the captain but he didn¿t become one of the boazers of his school. A boazer was a prefect of the school.Roald Dahl uses descriptive languages and pen portraits to convoy a visual image of the people he met along with the amazing landscape. He says that thing like, ¿Blood hound cheeks¿ to describe his teacher Mr Corkers. He also uses figurative language to show the similarities of someone or something to something different. He embellishes fictional details to his characters to give us a better visual of his characters. He keeps saying that the character Mrs Pratchett has filthy hands which make us think about the look of it. He also makes the characters say horrible things of kind things but he would actually remember everything they said. Roald Dahl creates a lot of suspense by using repetition to constantly make us think about what he is describing. He also uses dialogue and makes the characters ask questions. He makes the boys that he walked to school with say ¿What is that?¿My favourite part of the book was when the family were at their ¿tiny, secret¿ island. It was when the ¿ancient half sister¿ and her ¿manly lover¿ went swimming and Roald Dahl put goats dropping into the man¿s pipe. Then the couple came back and the ¿manly lover¿ smoked it and started choking. This part of the book doesn¿t tell much about the book Boy other than that Roald Dahl likes to do tricks and how their family holidays were like. Roald Dahl strengths in this book are his descriptive language, the building of suspense and the personalities of the characters. I would recommend this book to fans of Roald Dahl and for young readers.
Boy by Roald Dahl Boy is a thrilling, entertaining, and humorous book. The book Boy was written by Roald Dahl, a famous Norwegian writer who wrote fiction for kids. One of the most famous books he wrote was Boy. Boy was written in 1984 about his younger life from 1917~1936 and soon became popular within months of its release. Boy is an autobiography that has been embellished for your entertainment. It also has patches of humour as his life unfolds in his book Boy. This story is about Roald Dahl¿s most interesting and humorous parts of his younger life and he has squashed those moments into a book called Boy. Boy been written because as a famous writer he thought his beginning as a child was extremely weird and decided that he would share it with the world. Boy includes events mainly from 1920. Some of the main events in Roald Dahl¿s life are: His dad died when Roald was just was 4 years old; when Roald grew up he joined the Shell petroleum company, World War 2 started. Roald joined the Royal Air Force, Roald married famous Hollywood actor Patricia Neal, and they both had 5 children. One of Dahl¿s first children's books, The Gremlins was being made in to a film and was published in 1943, Roald Dahl died in November 1990 at the age of seventy four from a rare blood disease.The main messages and themes of this book are chosen by Dahl in order of how interesting and humorous they are. These events are transferred into your mind using Dahl¿s extremely descriptive language and how he describes each character which gives you the perfect image. Roald Dahl also uses the foreshadowing technique which creates suspense and makes you want to continue reading and then continues on the story to the peak then ends the story with a very interesting plot. Roald Dahl also tells the story in each characters point of view so you get the best image possible when you read the book Boy this is what makes Dahl¿s books very fun to read. Roald Dahl also exaggerates his characters to the extent of their name such as Captain Hardcastle and in James and the giant peach Dahl makes the Aunts names Aunt Sponge to show how fat and chubby she is and Aunt Spike to show how thin she is. My favourite part of the book Boy was when Dahl and his friends decided to drop the rat which they found under the floor boards in the gobstopper jar.This probably gives you an impression that Dahl was a cheeky little kid that always gets into trouble by doing sneaky little things.Overall I would give this book a nine out of ten as it was really fun to read and the hand drawn pictures were especially funny and had made me laugh for quite some time. This book would have deserved a ten if it was printed in colour, was longer and covered more events. There is a second part to this series called Going Solo. I would recommend this series to ages in between ten and fourteen. This book has been one of my favourites and definitely deserves to be one of the most widely read books.
"Boy" is Roald Dahl's autobiographical collection of tales from his youth. The chapters take us through his family life and school days, vacations, can car rides. Dahl's style is humorous and mischievous in relaying a number of interesting but real characters from his past. The text is interspersed with simple illustrations and photographs. This is an interesting look into the childhood of a well known author. It is a good addition to a YA or school library collection. I would recommend this book not only for fan's of Dahl's fiction, but also for young readers exploring autobiography.
Laugh out loud funny.
Really good read-reads like fiction!