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. 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 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. He was fifty-seven years old. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Learn more about Amazon Prime. 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 ? Sure to captivate and delight you, the boyhood antics of this master storyteller are not to be missed! Read more Read less. Prime Book Box for Kids. Add all three to Cart Add all three to List.
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Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention dahl roald school autobiography funny young war solo africa early pilot writer raf experiences adventures child tells boarding adults told. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. No wonder Dahl wrote such wonderfully awful characters as Ms. I read his account of getting his tonsils out to my 6th grade students each year to sell them on this book: And the scene of his sister taking the family for a drive in their first car! She didn't know how to turn it or stop it, but she let the little kids persuade her to go faster and faster!
Corporal punishment with a cane. I like to read the description of being whipped with a cane to my 6th graders when they complain about how strict we are on them so they can realize how good they actually have it. They're so aghast that they argue over who gets to read the whole book. Music to my ears.
Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Fine book; excellent writing. This is the personal tale of a master storyteller with experiences that are ordinary, yet extraordinary. As a young man working in Africa, Dahl signs up for the air corps and finds himself flying planes he was never taught to fly in battles that were never planned to be. What is most exciting about this book is that real life is more dramatic than anything that a fiction writer could dream up.
It is one of the top five books I have read this year, and would highly recommend it to anyone with a sense of adventure. It is hard to portray what it's like to be up there in a Hurricane with enemy fighters after you, but Dahl does it with aplomb. I will wait a while and read this one again! Another writer once told me that one of the most important elements to be found in a memoir is a "likeable" narrator. His story of the quick and almost informal training he received at a flying school in Africa shortly after Great Britain entered WWII, is hair-raising and nearly impossible to believe, except you do believe, because you trust this man.
At six foot six inches tall, Dahl was physically quite unsuited to be a fighter pilot, noting that when seated in the various planes he flew, his knees were nearly under his chin and he had to hunch over to fit beneath the plane's canopy. But fly he did, even after surviving one horrific crash in the desert early on in his career as an RAF pilot. The doctor made him promise never to do it again. I listened to this on audio, narrated by the actor Dan Stevens, and he did a marvelous job performing the different characters. I especially enjoyed the screechy voice he created for the mean woman who ran the local candy shop, Mrs.
Roald and his friends so hated Mrs. Pratchett that one day he cooked up a plot to scare her: Unfortunately, the mean Mrs. P figured out who had done it and had them whipped by the school's headmaster. Even though I listened to this book, I had a print copy to flip through, and I do recommend peeking at the pages because it has some lovely photos, notes and drawings. Recommended for all Dahl fans. The life of a writer is absolute hell compared with the life of a businessman. The writer has to force himself to work.
He has to make his own hours and if he doesn't go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him. If he is a writer of fiction he lives in a world of fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not.
Two hours of writing fiction leaves this particular writer absolutely drained. For those two hours he has been miles away, he has been somewhere else, in a different place with totally different people, and the effort of swimming back into normal surroundings is very great. It is almost a shock. The writer walks out of his workroom in a daze. He wants a drink. It happens to be a fact that nearly every writer of fiction in the world drinks more whisky than is good for him.
He does it to give himself faith, hope and courage. A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it. Aug 13, Jo rated it really liked it Shelves: Which I absolutely adore. I must tell you, therefore, that it was I and I alone who had the idea for the great and daring Mouse Plot. I went to Staples, giddy as a kipper, and bought about five piles of coloured sugar paper and two packets of gel pens the smelly glitter ones, of course and set about completing possibly my favourite piece of homework.
You should have chosen a monarch or something. BUT, if she had said that to me today I would have found a desk, stood on it and, with my chest puffed out, I would have declared: He captured the imagination of so many children and wrote timeless stories that encouraged, and continue to encourage, children who would never normally pick up a book to do just that.
Anyway, I got my project back and I still have it! You really did justice to a wonderful figure in British culture. I loved how Dahl only briefly mentions the stories that he is known for once. Witnessing these glimmers of inspiration that lead him to write his beloved stories, all those years later, was definitely my favourite thing about this book. I could quite happily fill this review with quotes Dentists, in particular, never bothered with them. But I doubt very much if you would be entirely happy today if a doctor threw a towel in your face and jumped on you with a knife.
One of the great authors of children's stories, Roald Dahl entertains readers with this piece that encompasses his life to age twenty. While Dahl clearly states that this piece is not an autobiography for those sorts of books are filled with stale and dusty tales , this is a fabulous compendium of memories from his early years.
The eldest son of two Norwegians, Dahl's early years were a mixture of pain he lost his sister and father within a single week and childhood frivolity he loved to pla One of the great authors of children's stories, Roald Dahl entertains readers with this piece that encompasses his life to age twenty. The eldest son of two Norwegians, Dahl's early years were a mixture of pain he lost his sister and father within a single week and childhood frivolity he loved to play with his school chums whenever time permitted.
In one vivid memory, Dahl recounts his love of sweets and a shopkeeper who had a hate-on for him, which led young Roald to concoct a plan to exact revenge, which backfired horribly. A child from his father's second marriage, Dahl remembers riding with his elder half-sister, who got into a serious motor vehicle accident that almost cost him part of his face, Dahl recounts this with as much humour as the event permits.
Dahl works hard to recollect those annual summer vacations outside Oslo, where grandparents doted on him and he could not wait for school to let out each summer. However, those glorious thoughts are countered with memories of the strap and horrid matrons patrolling the dorms when he left for boarding school. By the end, Dahl bridges his memories of entering the workforce and the hope that he might pen another short volume to entice readers to continue on with this journey. Like many of his books, the reader is lured into a blissful experience with Dahl's easy writing and fascinating ideas.
One cannot read Roald Dahl and not feel some connection to the characters that fill the narrative. Although this is a move away from fiction and forces the author to recollect his own life, Dahl is happy to admit he does not remember large portions of life before eight, though his memories flood forward thereafter.
While some would think that a man of seventy would have so much to tell, Dahl does not wish to fill pages with dreary recollections, choosing to succinctly tell his early life. I could see some interesting themes in the vignettes Dahl chose to present, which ended up being major children's stories that I read in my younger years. Dahl's use of these memories to craft timeless classics, such as The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, only adds to the greatness of this short book. Told in a highly animated fashion, the reader cannot help but picture the young Roald heading to see that horrid matron or visiting with his beloved Norwegian grandparents while dreaming of sweets on his way home from school in second form.
A piece that was so interesting, I am scrambling to get my hands on the second volume, to hear of his wartime memories. A must-read for anyone who has a little while to relax and loves the style Dahl has made famous. Dahl for all you did in your life. You will always hold a special place in my heart, which is only strengthened after reading this piece.
An ever-growing collection of others appears at: May 19, James Hartley rated it really liked it. This is a good little book - quite a historical artefact now as Dahl, writing in the mids, talks about events which are taking place about years ago from today. Hes a very clear, cutting writer, with plain yet highly original style. This is mostly because of he sticks to writing about what HE finds interesting - caning, for example, which is described over and over in great detail. As he says, he is revolted by it - especially luxuriating in describing the ritual his Repton headmaster would go through when caning a child - making them bend over his sofa as he alternated between caning their bare buttocks and smoking his pipe.
This man, as Dahl explains, went on to become a Bishop and then Archbishop of Canterbury. Elsewhere he describes his Norwegian heritage, the removal of his adenoids at home, without anaesthetic and a filthy-nailed sweetshop harridan. My favourite passage comes late in the book, when he compares the life of the businessman he was then - working for Shell - with the writer he would later be.
Two hours of writing fiction leaves this particular writer completely drained. Sep 21, Sita rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Fans of Roald Dahl. I read this in year 7 for English and I loved it. Me, I normally hate school books. But this one was different, I really liked this one. It was just so interesting. I can still remember half the stuff that happened in the book. That is how much it stuck with me. I recommend this to fans of Roald Dahl and even non fans, this book is different from all his other work.
I still recommend it, the things that happen and how he describes it is just That is the only word to describe I read this in year 7 for English and I loved it. That is the only word to describe the book. Such a sparkly review Included here are some events that undoubtedly provided influence and ideas for some of his later novels. Definitely well worth a read for all fans of Roald Dahl. Sep 27, Melissa rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Both children and adults.
My interest in reading this novel was stimulated a few weeks ago when I visited some friends, one of whom over the course of the evening dug up his collection of Roald Dahl books and proceeded to reintroduce us the magic we had near forgetten we had experienced as children in reading them. I have always loved the sheer dottiness of the tales of Roald Dahl - the horrid nature of the some of his adult characters and the heroic nature of his young but strong willed main characters.
What I loved abo My interest in reading this novel was stimulated a few weeks ago when I visited some friends, one of whom over the course of the evening dug up his collection of Roald Dahl books and proceeded to reintroduce us the magic we had near forgetten we had experienced as children in reading them. What I loved about this book was that, not only was it written in the eccentric and yet no-nonsense style Dahl was known for, but it also gave me fascinating insight into some of the influences that shaped his writing.
One experience of note that I particularly warmed to was the tale of the woman who owned the sweet shop near his school, who had hideously dirty fingers, and was the fond recipient of one of Dahls' school boy pranks - putting a dead mouse inside one of her lolly jars to find. From this, and some of the members of his family the ancient older sister for example I can only imagine Dahl gained the inspiration for his extraordinarily nasty characters - Aunt's Sponge and Spiker, the Twits, and George's horrible Grandma. Charming were also some of his harder experiences - the joys of growing up in a time where there was no such thing as anaesthetic and so getting your tonsils out was a lot more painful.
Enchanting were his recounts of visiting his Norwegian family on holidays as a child, the confusion of language barriers and cultural differences I'm sure inspired some of Dahls more eccentric characters - Mr Willy Wonka for instance.
All in all, this reads more like one of Dahl's fictional novels and not like an autobiography at all. Not one for pomposity, Dahl cheerfully deleted the duller elements of his life, for which I am thankful. Nevertheless, this book is a wonderful recount of a well spent for the most part childhood. For those fans of autobiographies, who love to read to understand what makes a person tick, this story of childhood will not disappoint.
This book goes far to impress upon the reader the events that led to the cheerful dottiness his readers loved him for. Aug 20, Becky rated it really liked it Shelves: Before this year, I'd never read any of Dahl's work, and when I picked this up I didn't realize that it was an autobiography.
So imagine my surprise when I crack the book open and see nothing at all whimsical or silly. Which is cool, but just not what I expected. Not reading the description strikes again! Anyway, this is a nice collection of stories from Dahl's childhood and while I think that maybe a bit is embellished who can remember that much detail from early childhood? I especially liked his family, and how awesome his mother was. She was definitely a strong and committed woman to do what she did for her family.
I definitely saw some influence on his stories here, which isn't surprising but was fun because it's like watching the building blocks of the creative process being put into place. I'll look for the second book in this series if I can find it because I'd love to get to where he was actually a working writer and read more about that.
Dahl comments briefly here about it, but only to contrast a more structured and "normal" job with fixing oneself to write and be creative. Also, I'm very glad that I never had to be an outhouse toilet-seat warmer. Mar 06, Swaroop rated it really liked it Shelves: Roald Dahl 's Boy: Tales of Childhood is an interesting book.
It is about the eventful and adventurous childhood days of Roald Dahl. The book is written in a simple language, which makes this a good read, a delightful memoir. A really lovely, endearing and funny account of a very lovely, endearing and altogether adventurous childhood from a wonderful author. Full review to follow. Aug 03, Michelle Scott rated it it was amazing.
This is my favorite autobiography. I was envious of Dahl when he told of the story of when Cadbury would send new candy to his boarding school for the children to test. I remember the candy he described, it sounded delicious, but today you can't find the candy because this was around the 40's. I don't know why I just went on a tangent about candy; I guess Roald Dahl has that effect on me. Tales of Childhood , Roald Dahl tells the story of his own early days, from his birth in Wales to his years at boarding school in England. For more information, take a look at the Boy and More About Boy pages.
Use these brand new lesson plans to help students understand autobiography, to imagine what it would be like to leave home for the first time, and to come up with their own drama using Roald's Great Mouse Plot as inspiration. These read-along resources include extracts, Literacy and PSHE learning objectives, lesson plans and fun activity sheets! Download the lesson plan using the panel on the right, and take a look at our other educational resources and ways to have fun with your class, from Dahlicious Dress Up Day to Puffin Virtually Live.
You can also plan a trip to the Roald Dahl Museum for your class - find out more here. Company limited by guarantee number