Inside the Strange, Magical World of Roald Dahl

Thursday, September 23, 2010

If you were a child anytime in the past fifty years, you’re likely familiar with the strange, wonderful worlds of Roald Dahl.

His children’s books – which include classics like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “The Witches” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” – have been translated into dozens of languages and turned into hugely popular films.

But he also wrote some of the creepiest stories out there for adults, including “Lamb to the Slaughter,” in which a woman kills her husband with a frozen lamb chop, then cooks and feeds it to the detectives who come to investigate, and “the Smoker” – which follows a man’s attempts to claim the fingers from people’s hands through wagers.

Where did Dahl’s odd, exciting imagination come from? And how much of the creepiness from his stories stems from real-life events?

Donald Sturrock has an idea or two. He’s the author of “Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl” – which is in bookstores this month.

Comments [3]

Bethany Burns from Providence, RI

Thanks so much for the story on Roald Dahl! I am currently reading Matilda with my 5th grade class and we all laugh out loud on a daily basis. We all love what a prankster Matilda is, and I think the favorite part so far is when she dyes her dad's hair with her mom's peroxide. Thankfully, the principal of our school is nothing like The Trunchbull!

Sep. 24 2010 11:17 AM
angelsuhr from Arcadia, OK

"The Twits" is the absolute favorite at our house... especially the part where Mrs. Twit takes her glass eye out and puts it in her husband's mug of beer so she can keep an eye on him. Dahl's books have been a great example to teach our daughter about dark humor... err... humour...

Sep. 23 2010 11:00 AM
Bef with an F from Putnam County, NY

I really love 'The Witches'. I read it out loud to my third grade class, and I'm sure all of my classmates felt the way that I did: that our teacher was the Grand High Witch.

However, who could resist giggling themselves silly over 'The Twits'?

Sep. 23 2010 09:03 AM

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