Roald Dahl – more than just childrens books!

As the world celebrates Roald Dahl Day the focus is very much on his mega selling fantastic childrens books, many of which are available as audio books or have been made into films.

But there are other sides to Roald to remember. He himself recounts his early life in Boy and Going Solo

But as Roald Dahl : a biography by Jeremy Treglown tells

like his fiction, his personality was singular, forceful and provocative. He was an adventurer, gambler, connoisseur, philanthropist and troublemaker; as a devoted but frequently unfaithful husband; and as a fond, demanding, but sometimes chilly parent.

The irregulars : Roald Dahl and the British spy ring in wartime Washington recounts

the story of young writer Roald Dahl who is assigned by His Majesty’s Government to Washington, D.C. as a diplomat to gather intelligence about America’s isolationist circles. In the course of his “spying,” he meets or works closely with David Ogilvy, Ian Fleming, and the great spymaster William Stephenson (aka Intrepid)

His life with the actress Patricia Neal is well documented in her memoir, As I Am and later portrayed by Glenda Jackson and Dirk Bogade in the movie The Patricia Neal Story.

For many adults they met Dahl through the televison series Tales of the unexpected – which are themselves based on the series of short stories –  Someone Like YouKiss Kiss and Switch Bitch.

He even wrote a few screenplays, most notably Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang and the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.

And I won’t even mention Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp and the two strangely same but different Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movies.

3 thoughts on “Roald Dahl – more than just childrens books!

  1. Helen 13 September 2009 / 9:38 am

    I’m so glad you mentioned that Paul. Although I am usually steeped in children’s literature, I always think of Dahl’s unforgettable Tales of the Unexpected when his name is mentioned. My favourites are “Lamb to the Slaughter” (which is available online at the Classic Shorts website) and “William and Mary”, both excellent short stories with great twists.

  2. Vee 14 September 2009 / 3:17 pm

    Thanks for mentioning his other (lesser-known) works! I had read some of his war-time tales when I was actually quite young and they terrified me! At the time I was completely, blissfully unaware of the true horrors of war. Back then the thought of flying an airplane into battle sounded fantastic. Btw check this page, it’s a good resource that talks about his real-life literary influences, favourite authors and books etc –

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