A version of this article originally appeared in AbeBooks' Reading Copy books blog.
September 13 marked the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth, a truly gloriumptious author who made an indelible impact on children's literature. It's likely that just about everyone has read at least one of Dahl's imaginative, fantastical stories including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches. The list goes on, but did you know that Dahl also wrote books for adults?
Roald Dahl's short stories and full-length novels for adults were mainly well received and many are now considered collectible. Reviews of Dahl's adult fiction are often laced with words such as "macabre," "twisted," and "gruesome." His first full length novel, Sometime Never: A Fable for Supermen, was an apocalyptic book based loosely on his children's book, The Gremlins, a story about mean-spirited hobgoblin-like creatures who sabotage a World War II fighter pilot's plane. However, in this adult story, the gremlins were wicked and evil and wait for the humans to kill each other. Switch Bitch, a collection of short stories - first published in Playboy magazine, center around themes of sexual fantasy and deception. In My Uncle Oswald, the main character is described as the "greatest bounder, bon vivant and fornicator of all time".
There's a winning formula to the stories of Roald Dahl. Terrible things happen, children face hardships and tragic circumstances, and grim realities are always just around the corner. But his young heroes and heroines are brave and resourceful, and their adventures have inspired millions of children (and their parents too).
During his life, Dahl signed many of his books and these items are now coveted by collectors and can be found easily on AbeBooks.
Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life - Short stories set in countryside where Dahl live
Boy: Tales of Childhood - An insightful glimpse into the early life of Dahl
Roald Dahl's Cookbook - Recipes created by Dahl & his family
Going Solo - Focuses on his adult life before he began writing
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More - Seven unexpected tales for older children
Kiss Kiss - Eleven of Roald's macabre adult tales
My Uncle Oswald - Considered by some to be "The longest & dirtiest story" Dahl wrote
Over to You - Ten terrifying tales of life as a wartime fighter pilot
Someone Like You - A collection of 18 short stories
You might also like:
- From AbeBooks: Is Harry Potter Still Relevant?
- From AbeBooks: Tales from the Weird Book Room
- Visit Reading Copy, the AbeBooks blog, for more on rare and collectible books.
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