"Irresistible. I thought I knew quite a lot about Roald Dahl, but now I know much much more. Donald Sturrock's book lucidly describes a complicated life and relates it to the richness of Dahl's storytelling." (Quentin Blake).
Roald Dahl is one of the greatest storytellers of all time. He pushed children's literature into uncharted territory and almost twenty years after his death his popularity continues to grow - worldwide sales of his books have now topped 100 million. The man behind the stories, however, remains an enigma. Dahl was a single-minded adventurer, an eternal child, and his public persona was often controversial.
To his readers, Dahl was always a hero and his stories have had an impact on the lives and imaginations of generations of children. Since his death his reputation has been transformed. Critics now too celebrate his wild imagination, quirky humour and linguistic elegance; figures like Willy Wonka, the BFG and the Grand High Witch are immortal literary creations.
In this masterly biography, Donald Sturrock reveals many hitherto hidden aspects of Roald Dahl's life: his terrifying experiences as a fighter pilot; the mental anguish caused by the death of his seven-year-old daughter; his work for military intelligence at the end of the war and more. Written with exclusive access to his private papers and manuscripts as well as with reference to hundreds of newly-discovered letters, Dahl lives on every page of this utterly compelling book, which reveals the man as we've never seen before.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 05-10-11
Thoroughly enjoyed it, despite minor flaws
I really looked forward to returning to this book every time I got back in the car, and that's always a good sign. Dahl's was an interesting life and he's captured very well here. If anything, the book could have done with being cut down a bit, on more than one occasion I found myself muttering that the author should just get on with it - you sense he didn't want to waste all his research so some things are documented in exhaustive detail.
Conversely, I found it a bit thin when it came to discussing the merits or otherwise of the books themselves, and Dahl's "Tales of the Unexpected" TV series gets just a single mention, I think. But if you like Dahl, or writing, or simply fancy getting to know more about one of the more interesting 20th century lives, this is a good choice.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful