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Alternate Cover Edition ISBN 0140158073 (ISBN13: 9780140158076) Containing all the stories from Roald Dahl's world-famous books – Over to You, Someone Like you, Kiss Kiss and Switch Bitch – plus eight further tales of the unexpected, this is the definitive collection by one of the great masters of the short story. Macabre, unsettling and deliciously enjoyable, these stories Alternate Cover Edition ISBN 0140158073 (ISBN13: 9780140158076) Containing all the stories from Roald Dahl's world-famous books – Over to You, Someone Like you, Kiss Kiss and Switch Bitch – plus eight further tales of the unexpected, this is the definitive collection by one of the great masters of the short story. Macabre, unsettling and deliciously enjoyable, these stories make the perfect bedtime read – but be warned, once you've started reading you won't be able to stop . .


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Alternate Cover Edition ISBN 0140158073 (ISBN13: 9780140158076) Containing all the stories from Roald Dahl's world-famous books – Over to You, Someone Like you, Kiss Kiss and Switch Bitch – plus eight further tales of the unexpected, this is the definitive collection by one of the great masters of the short story. Macabre, unsettling and deliciously enjoyable, these stories Alternate Cover Edition ISBN 0140158073 (ISBN13: 9780140158076) Containing all the stories from Roald Dahl's world-famous books – Over to You, Someone Like you, Kiss Kiss and Switch Bitch – plus eight further tales of the unexpected, this is the definitive collection by one of the great masters of the short story. Macabre, unsettling and deliciously enjoyable, these stories make the perfect bedtime read – but be warned, once you've started reading you won't be able to stop . .

30 review for The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl

  1. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Monroe

    If you really think about it, Roald Dahl is one sick bastard. He has a kid squeezed up a narrow pipe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and experiences an impromptu liposuction. He has two aunts steamrolled by a giant peach in James and the Giant Peach and left for dead. He has a husband and wife play pranks on each other, one of which leaves the other floating up into the clear blue with her arms trussed up. If it were Stephen King writing, you'd get a better sense of how twisted these situati If you really think about it, Roald Dahl is one sick bastard. He has a kid squeezed up a narrow pipe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and experiences an impromptu liposuction. He has two aunts steamrolled by a giant peach in James and the Giant Peach and left for dead. He has a husband and wife play pranks on each other, one of which leaves the other floating up into the clear blue with her arms trussed up. If it were Stephen King writing, you'd get a better sense of how twisted these situations are. A children's writer and a horror/thriller writer. In his adult fiction, Dahl rolls up his sleeves, wipes away the creamy kiddie layer and lets it hang out in all its macabre glory. Even a sweet story like a boy going to live with his vegetarian grandmother, like in The Witches, turned out to have a far more horrifying result than I expected. "I'm glad you liked it," the cook said. "But to be quite honest, I think that it was a bit of pig. In fact, I'm almost sure it was." "You sure?" "Yes, I am." I'm on the fence as whether to call his work feminist because there are portrayals I'm rather uncomfortable with, like in Mrs. Bixby's coat that opens with a bunch of working-class men shivering in a pub together, away from their cunning, sharp-tongued wives. But on the other hand, Dahl has a tendency to write passive women, that have been squashed down their whole lives by their hubby, getting revenge in most grisly fashion possible. Leaving him to rot in a trapped elevator, for one. Lording over her husband's sentient brain after it was saved for research. Smashing his brains in with a leg of lamb, then popping it into the oven and offering it to the cops that come investigate. The perfect murder weapon is not an icicle, members of the jury, it is in fact a pot roast. Some stories are duller than others, but on whole, not bad, Dahl. You could give King a run for his money.

  2. 5 out of 5

    L.S. Popovich

    Dahl’s adult stories are not as famous as his children’s books. Taken as a whole, The Collected Stories is as impressive as Saki’s Complete Works if you ask me. Many of these stories, for me, were the antidote to reality. His characters, their perpetually gleaming eyes, their moist lips, constantly wringing their hands and exclaiming, even cackling demoniacally, might put one in mind of fantasy villains. But they are ordinary people. In most cases, any supernatural element is secondary to the hu Dahl’s adult stories are not as famous as his children’s books. Taken as a whole, The Collected Stories is as impressive as Saki’s Complete Works if you ask me. Many of these stories, for me, were the antidote to reality. His characters, their perpetually gleaming eyes, their moist lips, constantly wringing their hands and exclaiming, even cackling demoniacally, might put one in mind of fantasy villains. But they are ordinary people. In most cases, any supernatural element is secondary to the human element, and occasionally altogether absent. Evil children, vengeful spinsters, mad husbands, conniving wives, the murderous, the cunning, the smarmy, and the grand in every way - no matter his target, Dahl conceals and reveals with equal facility. His sly exuberance is always on display when it comes to the surprise endings. And there are plenty of those to go around. These are not fairy tales. 'Parable' and 'fable' might be words which describe the technique he employs here and there but any of his writerly choices are cast in a modern light. Combinations of outrageous description and stellar plots characterize the majority of the tales. Characters who transform into the things they are consumed by reminded me of The Witches and film adaptations of his children's books. His sparse, well-chosen, eerie details, provide the texture for his storyteller’s art, which flows masterfully. He possesses specialized knowledge when needed, explaining the intricacies of greyhound racing for instance. Grief, vanity, and an enormous range of other human emotions and experiences are packed into this bulky collection. The whole gamut. A few have the sensibility and charm of Twain, others are Rube Goldberg-level business schemes. Think of Wodehouse’s cat-ray factory system: (Breed cats and rats in large numbers. You feed the cats to the rats and the rats to the cats. Sell the cat skins for profit.) Detail is paramount to the success of most stories. But the sales pitch is one of the things at which Dahl excels. His characters, when they're not selling a product, are peddling an idea. Figurative language often explicates the position and emotions of the characters and the reader must use their imagination to conceptualize the story’s metaphorical and allegorical significance. Figurative language is just fun too, when used well. Other times it is all too clear what he is getting at and subtlety was not the aim. Nonetheless, he is always extraordinarily vivid. The collection begins with 10 stories about pilots. The author was a pilot himself, and he presents an intimate examination of many transcendent moments, both real and imagined. They deal with man versus nature, the horrors of war, empathy, tragedy, bomber pilots put into harrowing situations, the veteran's damaged psyche and even a dreamlike adventure. Lots of death and air battles provide a backdrop of action, desperation, helplessness. Many take place in exotic locales, like Cairo, Greece, and France. The first 140 pages should be enough to draw any serious reader in to the strange world Dahl crafts so meticulously. It will also turn away any people who assume he can only write stuff for children. These are not the most demanding stories you will find, but they are not for youngsters. Actually, the further along you get in the collection, the more adult they get, including a handful of ones sold to Playboy and other magazines, which really ratchet up the sex and grotesquerie. The second set of stories deal with the art world, of which Dahl was also a part in his time. Eccentric rich people are easy to poke fun at, and he does it very well. “Nunc Dimittis” reveals what Dahl can do with the revenge plot. “The Sound Machine” could have been written by H. G. Wells. When Dahl decides to include science, he is on point. “Mr. Botibol” presents a recurring character at his most self-delusional. It is a charming and heartwarming story. One of the most innocent. “Vengeance is Mine, Inc.” is the first comedy of the business acumen variety in the book. A harebrained scheme turns out miraculously well, while capturing the spirit of industry which so easily consumes and encapsulates a whole history of human affairs. He lapses into Wodehousian aplomb, relishing insane levels of detail in one of the masterpieces of the collection, called “Taste.” Other standouts include “The Ratcatcher, Mr. Hoddy, Madame Rosette, Galloping Foxley, William and Mary, Georgy Porgy, Pig, The Landlady, The Visitor, & The Last Act.” There is just so much variety here. He might discuss bullying, innocence, naiveté, more satires of the rich and fabulous of English and American society, orphan life, pheasant hunting, furniture dealing, being swallowed whole… The one called “Bitch” features a recurring character, Oswald, whose fictitious memoirs provide a metafictional element. The idea is very similar to Perfume, but the approach and climax is quite unexpected. His worst story is on the subject of cow-birthing. Occasionally his far-fetched ideas are simply absurd, without being clever enough to propel the reader’s interest. But the vast majority are incredibly satisfying to read. Perhaps my favorite story was “The Visitor”, about Oswald’s Casanovan adventure in the desert. It features a picaresque element and a shocking ending. Dahl is so good at lulling you into a false sense of security. Grim visions like these, are almost guaranteed to capture the heart of fans of speculative fiction, even if he doesn't stray far from Realism. He is not afraid to discomfit the reader. I grew nauseous while reading the prolonged description of brain surgery in “William and Mary.” I could see the procedure happening in excruciating detail in my mind’s eye. Come to Dahl for the extravagant plots, the weird, ghostly surrealism, the cruelty, horror, violence, subtly telling details. The tenuous and artificial connections between human beings are elegantly presented. His rhythm is like a well-composed bar-room style retelling, but add in the uncanny description, and you have his recipe. Levity, amid squalor, provides profound contrast. Lethargic, indulgent, beatific - he was able to capture it all. What keeps us sane and makes us go insane? Each slanted and skewed perspective was a joy to uncover. Dahl's stories are always fascinating, and this is a must-have jumbo collection.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07j7ntw Description: Charles Dance leads the cast as the urbane Storyteller in dramatisations of five classic tales by Roald Dahl. Bizarre and amusing by turns, these dark comedies are justly famous for their surprise endings, and for their rogues gallery of crooks, cheats and schemers. The stories show Dahl at the height of his powers as a writer of adult fiction, combining black comedy with sly social satire. They are stylishly plotted, vividly characterised and http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07j7ntw Description: Charles Dance leads the cast as the urbane Storyteller in dramatisations of five classic tales by Roald Dahl. Bizarre and amusing by turns, these dark comedies are justly famous for their surprise endings, and for their rogues gallery of crooks, cheats and schemers. The stories show Dahl at the height of his powers as a writer of adult fiction, combining black comedy with sly social satire. They are stylishly plotted, vividly characterised and made unforgettable by their breezy cynicism, presenting a hilariously bleak view of human nature. In The Butler, we meet George Cleaver, the Sausage King of the North, who sells his business and moves to London in order to enter society. He employs a butler, Tibbs, to help him to do this. Tibbs explains that it's vital Cleaver learns as much as he can about fine wines - and, to this end, Tibbs sets about buying rare and expensive vintages and educating his employer. Before long, Cleaver feels he no longer needs his butler's advice.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hafsa Sabira

    This collection took me a really really long time to finish. Can't say that I liked all the short stories but the best was the part of Tales of the Unexpected. This collection contains all the short stories by Roald Dahl,some very interesting enough to keep you interested till the very end. The stories fall into many categories: funny,horror,mystery,adventure,every genre mostly-which is great as different readers have different tastes. Each story gives a different vibe,some will make you smile,s This collection took me a really really long time to finish. Can't say that I liked all the short stories but the best was the part of Tales of the Unexpected. This collection contains all the short stories by Roald Dahl,some very interesting enough to keep you interested till the very end. The stories fall into many categories: funny,horror,mystery,adventure,every genre mostly-which is great as different readers have different tastes. Each story gives a different vibe,some will make you smile,some will make you sad and some will make you wonder at the writer's amazing credibility. I won't suggest it to finish it in one go,but it's better to read it in between other book,while waiting in a bus or a car,while having meals- any time really. It just worked for me this way.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Steve Carpenter

    By far one of my favorite collections of short stories. If you really enjoyed thinking of Roald Dahl as the sweet children's author of the BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate factory then you shouldn't pick this one up. Dahl shows his truly sick and twisted colors in these wonderfully colorful, tales- each with its own twist or cliffhanger at the end. Dark, explorative, and quite a refreshing read. By far one of my favorite collections of short stories. If you really enjoyed thinking of Roald Dahl as the sweet children's author of the BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate factory then you shouldn't pick this one up. Dahl shows his truly sick and twisted colors in these wonderfully colorful, tales- each with its own twist or cliffhanger at the end. Dark, explorative, and quite a refreshing read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    James Field

    This book has pride of place on my bookshelf. Now and again I take it down and re-read it. Of all authors, Roald Dahl has been the most influential for my own writing. Many think Dahl writes children's stories, but this collection is strictly for adults. Classy, amusing, gruesome, and with a twist at the end that makes you gawk with shock. Amazing. This book has pride of place on my bookshelf. Now and again I take it down and re-read it. Of all authors, Roald Dahl has been the most influential for my own writing. Many think Dahl writes children's stories, but this collection is strictly for adults. Classy, amusing, gruesome, and with a twist at the end that makes you gawk with shock. Amazing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I can't get enough of Roald Dahl! I'm in the middle of too many books right now, but I couldn't resist when I came across this treasure at the library! Dahl is a marvelous storyteller--simply brilliant!--but I sometimes wonder if I would enjoy his adult short stories as much if I hadn't first loved his children's books as a young girl. (This--which is probably true for most of us--is actually a reversed order. Dahl began his writing career with these short stories, and most of his children's clas I can't get enough of Roald Dahl! I'm in the middle of too many books right now, but I couldn't resist when I came across this treasure at the library! Dahl is a marvelous storyteller--simply brilliant!--but I sometimes wonder if I would enjoy his adult short stories as much if I hadn't first loved his children's books as a young girl. (This--which is probably true for most of us--is actually a reversed order. Dahl began his writing career with these short stories, and most of his children's classics are products of the latter half.) I mean, a lot of his short stories are grotesque and downright morbid...and I question myself, because I find them so engrossing! Well, I guess if you are a fan of Roald Dahl, you'll enjoy this collection--there are a lot of old favorites, but also plenty of new delights that I've never come across before. One critic characterizes his stories well: "Fantastic as Grimm, neat as O. Henry, heartless as Saki, they stick in the mind long after subtler ones have faded..." Dahl is "an artist with a marvelously topsy-turvy sense of the ridiculous in life." *** This collection was great fun! I will probably forget many of the crazy plots and characters and be ready to enjoy them anew in a couple years' time. Hurrah for a terribly porous memory!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    If you like stories which blend plot, humorous writing and a vein of darkness, this is the collection for you. I may be one of the few people on the planet who picked up Roald Dahl's adult stories as a kid, before I had read any of his children's books. In hindsight, ten is maybe a bit too young to fully enjoy some of the stories. I remember finishing 'Pig' and having to really, really wonder if I had gotten the ending right, because surely the world wasn't that cruel? Yes, yes, it is. Roald Dahl If you like stories which blend plot, humorous writing and a vein of darkness, this is the collection for you. I may be one of the few people on the planet who picked up Roald Dahl's adult stories as a kid, before I had read any of his children's books. In hindsight, ten is maybe a bit too young to fully enjoy some of the stories. I remember finishing 'Pig' and having to really, really wonder if I had gotten the ending right, because surely the world wasn't that cruel? Yes, yes, it is. Roald Dahl's world, anyway. And it is magnificent. Roald Dahl's fascination with the twisted and the grotesque can definitely be seen in his works for children, and in his adult fiction is laid bare in glorious form, with one added element necessarily absent from his children's fiction- some of his adult stories are what might be described as 'fruity'. Not out of character for the author, I've come to understand, and you'll see it in stories like 'Switch Bitch' and any of his stories involving Uncle Oswald, a blatant Author Avatar (thank you TV Tropes). I only rate a book five stars if I find I can read it again and again. You can definitely come back to these stories and find that knowing what happens doesn't take away from the entertainment value. Money well spent, childhood innocence well ruined.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Patrice

    An African Story :( Only This :) Katina :/ Beware of the Dog :) They Shall Not Grow Old :( Someone Like You :( Death of an Old Man :/ Madame Rosette :) A Piece of Cake :( Yesterday Was Beautiful :( Nunc Dimittis :) Skin :) Man from the South :) The Soldier :( The Sound Machine :/ Mr. Botibol :) Vengeance is Mine Inc. :) The Wish :) Poison :) Taste :) Dip in the Pool :/ The Great Automatic Grammatizator :) Claud's Dog: The Ratcatcher :( Claud's Dog: Rummins :( Claud's Dog: Mr. Hoddy :( Claud's Dog: Mr. Feasey :( My Lady L An African Story :( Only This :) Katina :/ Beware of the Dog :) They Shall Not Grow Old :( Someone Like You :( Death of an Old Man :/ Madame Rosette :) A Piece of Cake :( Yesterday Was Beautiful :( Nunc Dimittis :) Skin :) Man from the South :) The Soldier :( The Sound Machine :/ Mr. Botibol :) Vengeance is Mine Inc. :) The Wish :) Poison :) Taste :) Dip in the Pool :/ The Great Automatic Grammatizator :) Claud's Dog: The Ratcatcher :( Claud's Dog: Rummins :( Claud's Dog: Mr. Hoddy :( Claud's Dog: Mr. Feasey :( My Lady Love, My Dove :/ Neck :/ Lamb to the Slaughter :) Galloping Foxley :( Edward the Conquerer :/ The Way Up to Heaven :/ William and Mary :( Parson's Pleasure :) Georgy Porgy :/ Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat :/ Royal Jelly :) The Champion of the World :( Genesis and Catastrophe :/ Pig :( The Landlady :) The Visitor :/ The Last Act :/ The Great Switcheroo :/ The Butler :) Bitch :( Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life :( The Hitchhiker :/ The Umbrella Man :/ The Bookseller :/ The Surgeon :(

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I plan to re-read this inspirational collection of short stories soon as I've ascertained how much my own works have been influenced by the phenomenal Roald Dahl. When I read this about two years ago, I could not fathom Dahl's intent for making a number of his characters mean. But now I've understood why. He did what I am doing now: showing the world how grown-ups can be mean to children and to other grown-ups – how most individuals tend to abuse their power by disempowering others to meet their I plan to re-read this inspirational collection of short stories soon as I've ascertained how much my own works have been influenced by the phenomenal Roald Dahl. When I read this about two years ago, I could not fathom Dahl's intent for making a number of his characters mean. But now I've understood why. He did what I am doing now: showing the world how grown-ups can be mean to children and to other grown-ups – how most individuals tend to abuse their power by disempowering others to meet their own need to feel secure, at times without even being conscious of it. I've ascertained that Dahl was in a sense a children's rights activist after listening to the BBC's dramatisation of Boy and he has inspired me to follow his footsteps by becoming a great writer and advocate of children's empowerment.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    There are a few weak stories in here -- The Last Act and The Surgeon: oy -- but for the most part this collection is definitely one to pick up if you're a Dahl fan. A lot of the classics are in here, like Lamb to the Slaughter and Man from the South, but so are a lot you've probably never read. The stories are in chronological order, complete with parallel a time line showing what was going on in Dahl's life and in the rest of the world when each story was published, which alone is worth the pri There are a few weak stories in here -- The Last Act and The Surgeon: oy -- but for the most part this collection is definitely one to pick up if you're a Dahl fan. A lot of the classics are in here, like Lamb to the Slaughter and Man from the South, but so are a lot you've probably never read. The stories are in chronological order, complete with parallel a time line showing what was going on in Dahl's life and in the rest of the world when each story was published, which alone is worth the price of admission. Very good, too, is the introduction by Dahl's biographer Jeremy Treglown.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan

    At nearly 900 pages this book is a force to be reckoned with. And being as it's a collection of short stories, it's not meant to be read all at once. If you check it out from the library you may need to renew it once or twice. The stories are in chronological order. Most of the first ones about about flying, reflecting Dahl's experiences as a pilot in the RAF during World War II. The stories are of varying lengths, but all are of about the right size to read in bed at night before you fall aslee At nearly 900 pages this book is a force to be reckoned with. And being as it's a collection of short stories, it's not meant to be read all at once. If you check it out from the library you may need to renew it once or twice. The stories are in chronological order. Most of the first ones about about flying, reflecting Dahl's experiences as a pilot in the RAF during World War II. The stories are of varying lengths, but all are of about the right size to read in bed at night before you fall asleep. Dahl is mostly famous for his children's books and many people don't realize he was a superb and prolific short story writer as well. There are a few simply stunning pieces in here, and a few mediocre ones. A must-read for any Dahl fan.

  13. 4 out of 5

    *rob*

    wow, i mostly loved this collection. the one thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars is that not all the stories are 5-star quality. in fact, there's a good stretch of stories in there about being on a greek island during war or something, through which i drudged, slept, and finally wised up and skipped. roald dahl: not just for children. in fact, i wouldn't recommend many of these stories at all for children. wow, i mostly loved this collection. the one thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars is that not all the stories are 5-star quality. in fact, there's a good stretch of stories in there about being on a greek island during war or something, through which i drudged, slept, and finally wised up and skipped. roald dahl: not just for children. in fact, i wouldn't recommend many of these stories at all for children.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ruby Tombstone Lives!

    I've always thought of Roald Dahl as a children's author. I've had this book sitting on my shelf for over a decade, and it never occurred to me to have a look at what was inside of it. Now that I've started reading short stories in between novels, a Twitter buddy suggested a story from this book: "Lamb To The Slaughter". Who knew? It's a great story, simply and smartly told, with wry humour. I think it's too early to rate this book, but I'll definitely be reading more of it. I've always thought of Roald Dahl as a children's author. I've had this book sitting on my shelf for over a decade, and it never occurred to me to have a look at what was inside of it. Now that I've started reading short stories in between novels, a Twitter buddy suggested a story from this book: "Lamb To The Slaughter". Who knew? It's a great story, simply and smartly told, with wry humour. I think it's too early to rate this book, but I'll definitely be reading more of it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    فاطمه

    I just picked it up bcs it was Rold Dahl and i never expected the stories i have read just like the endings of the stories in the book. Amazing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David

    To many readers around the world, Roald Dahl is known as a inventive, witty writer of children's stories such as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "The Witches", "Matilda", "The Fantastic Fox", "The BFG", "James and the Giant Peach", just to list a few. He is also, however, equally prolific in adult literature, especially short stories. Dahl began writing around the same time as Ray Bradbury, and his short stories have that same feel as early Bradbury...not in the style of prose, but in the d To many readers around the world, Roald Dahl is known as a inventive, witty writer of children's stories such as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "The Witches", "Matilda", "The Fantastic Fox", "The BFG", "James and the Giant Peach", just to list a few. He is also, however, equally prolific in adult literature, especially short stories. Dahl began writing around the same time as Ray Bradbury, and his short stories have that same feel as early Bradbury...not in the style of prose, but in the dark, twisted view of things, only I'd call Dahl a little more twisted and definitely more mischievous. This is an impressive collection of 48 stories dating from 1943 to 1988 and arranged chronologically. After "An African Story", a macabre revenge tale, most of Dahl's early stories are from the "Over to You" collection which mostly feature dramatizations of his experiences as a WWII fighter pilot. "Katina" and "Madame Rosette" were the best from this section. Then comes the "Someone Like You" collection where Dahl's dark humor and sense of macabre shines through. Lots of gems here: "Nunc Dimittis" (a plan for embarrassing an ex that goes very wrong), the eerie tattoo tale "Skin", "The Sound Machine (with a revealing listen into nature), the imaginative "Mr. Botibol", The very witty "Vengeance is Mine" where two regular guys get into the third-party retaliation business, "The Great Automatic Grammatizator" (a possible secret behind those popular bestsellers), the dark comedy "Lamb to the Slaughter" with a wickedly funny payoff and the classic, sinister "Man from the South". Dahl kicks it up a notch with the "Kiss, Kiss" collection: "William and Mary" - classic and twisted as well as "Georgy Porgy", the comic "Royal Jelly", and the historical surprise vignette of "Genesis and Catastrophe". Following that tale are two great ones, "Pig" - a very funny look at vegetarianism, and one of the best tales in the set: "The Landlady". Then we get to the 70s collection of "Switch Bitch". Dahl saves his kinkiest stories here including two that bring back an old Dahl character, the promiscuous Uncle Oswald. These tales are definitely adult-only, dark but funny. One story here "Bitch" surprises me that I couldn't find anything online regarding controversy, since it is essentially about a guy who has invented a scent that compels men to rape women, and the women in this story don't seem to mind. There are miscellaneous stories towards the end, all good: "The Hitchhiker", "The Bookseller", and "The Surgeon". Of the 48 stories, most are gems. I'd say at least 3/4 of them. I didn't care for the four stories involving Claud and his friends, including the lengthiest story in the book "Claud's Dog." There were a few others not so great, but these were few and far between. Don't look for Willy Wonka here, but expect the same dark humor, this time unfiltered.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ieva Ozolniece

    At first I was kind of afraid to read it - Roahld Dahl is the guy who wrote all the now classical stories that have turned in quite popular movies as well. So what could this guy who writes about naive children and their amazing adventures, what could this guy write, that is called Switch bitch. But boy was I wrong. I believe it was in on of the reviews here - Roahld Dahl is one sick bastard. But in a good way. I quite enjoyed all the stories with the unexpected endings, and the stories that sta At first I was kind of afraid to read it - Roahld Dahl is the guy who wrote all the now classical stories that have turned in quite popular movies as well. So what could this guy who writes about naive children and their amazing adventures, what could this guy write, that is called Switch bitch. But boy was I wrong. I believe it was in on of the reviews here - Roahld Dahl is one sick bastard. But in a good way. I quite enjoyed all the stories with the unexpected endings, and the stories that started as nice story of happy and hopefull people and ended in deaths. But yeah, a lot of sex and death. I guess that's why I liked it just as everyone likes Game of Thrones. I undersrand that it was easier for him to write about a subject that he knows, but it had a tiny bit too much war pilot stories. I always appreciate the stories with Greece mentioned in them though. The semester I spent there I guess was quite memorable. Anyhow a good read, though I don't completely understand how this is the same guy as for the children stories. I guess Roahld Dahl was sick and talanted bastard.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    The Modern Library edition with the introduction by Jeremy Treglown is best. It costs the same as just one of the two-volume Collected Stories that Penguin publish. Uneven collection but a welcome break from stories in the did-anything-just-happen? mode. At their best Dahl’s stories are as grisly and superb as anything the Brothers Grimm put on paper. Favourites include ‘William and Mary’, ‘Parson’s Pleasure’, ‘The Bookseller’ and ‘The Great Automatic Grammatizator.’

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Well-known for his books for children, Dahl is a wonderful writer of stories. His stories are delicious: macabre, twisted, well-crafted vehicles for character and suspense. Best of the lot: "Man from the South," "The Way Up to Heaven," "Taste." Well-known for his books for children, Dahl is a wonderful writer of stories. His stories are delicious: macabre, twisted, well-crafted vehicles for character and suspense. Best of the lot: "Man from the South," "The Way Up to Heaven," "Taste."

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

    Being a wine expert/lover is not a matter of class it's a matter of love. Read this and then heard Charles Dance's dramatisation on BBC Radio Being a wine expert/lover is not a matter of class it's a matter of love. Read this and then heard Charles Dance's dramatisation on BBC Radio

  21. 5 out of 5

    Richa Bhattarai

    My absolute favorite book in the world. Each story more fascinating than the previous one, those delicious twists and turns. This taught me how volatile a story can be, and also made me a writer. O. Henry, Saki, Jeffrey Archer and Roald Dahl - kings of climaxes !

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Re-reading after a 30 year gap. I absolutely love these stories. ❤️

  23. 4 out of 5

    D

    I remember, as a child, enjoying Roald Dahl's children's books so much that I eagerly began to look for more of his work. I eventually found a collection of his short stories in the general fiction section for adults and gladly took it home with me, despite my secret suspicion that the library had misfiled his book. After reading various stories, including "Bitch" and "The Great Switcheroo," I realized too late that the book was, indeed, filed correctly, and that through my curiosity I had stumb I remember, as a child, enjoying Roald Dahl's children's books so much that I eagerly began to look for more of his work. I eventually found a collection of his short stories in the general fiction section for adults and gladly took it home with me, despite my secret suspicion that the library had misfiled his book. After reading various stories, including "Bitch" and "The Great Switcheroo," I realized too late that the book was, indeed, filed correctly, and that through my curiosity I had stumbled upon stories that were not intended for children. It was one of my greatest book discoveries! Even then, it seems, I had a fairly twisted sense of humor. (Just to be clear, consider this a personal anecdote, not an endorsement. I am by no means suggesting you read this to your kids.) Dahl was an incredibly versatile writer, with moments that range from surreal to horrifying to petty to viciously funny to maddeningly depressing, sometimes even within a single story. His earlier works generally focused on the types of tragedies he experienced while serving in the second world war. As he became older, his works became deliciously more and more vindictive. Both styles are quite good, though for starkly different reasons. The powerful imagery he evokes in early war stories like "Katina" or "They Shall Not Grow Old" or "Death of an Old Old Man" will haunt me for years, if not a lifetime. Later works are often cautionary tales that can either make your skin crawl ("The Landlady") or fill you with that guilty pleasure that comes from enjoying something you know you shouldn't have ("The Way Up to Heaven"). Rereading some of these stories even pulled a few of my subconscious childhood fears back into the open. "Wish," for example, takes a perverse twist on a game that many imaginative children play. I remember treading carefully for months! "The Sound Machine" also buried in me a fear that every action I made was secretly causing harm to some hapless, tiny creature, whose silent screams I would never be able to hear. And that, really, is the magic behind Dahl's revenge stories. Even the stories he writes for adults taps into some illogical childhood fear that we've never really rid ourselves of. Thank god. Certainly not all of his works are equally great, and trying to read through them all in one sitting will inevitably push many into the territory of forgettable. Still, I would definitely recommend this.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Redfox5

    Like most people, I am very familiar with Dahl's Children's books. They are still favorites of mine and I would think this is the same with most people. I knew he wrote adult books as they used to give his books away with Tea back in the 90's. And after they finished with the kids books, they gave away 'Tales Of The Unexpected'. As a kid I always really struggled to get into them, I found them very dry and forced myself to finish one of them. Which was why I was a bit hesitant about this collec Like most people, I am very familiar with Dahl's Children's books. They are still favorites of mine and I would think this is the same with most people. I knew he wrote adult books as they used to give his books away with Tea back in the 90's. And after they finished with the kids books, they gave away 'Tales Of The Unexpected'. As a kid I always really struggled to get into them, I found them very dry and forced myself to finish one of them. Which was why I was a bit hesitant about this collection. It's a very large collection, over 800 pages. I go on holiday tomorrow and I really did not want to take that on the plane with me but I figured it would be one that took me a long time to get through. The first 8 stories are related to the RAF and apart from 'Madame Rosette' I wasn't loving any of them. They weren't bad but they weren't very exciting and my heart sank the amount of pages in front of me. But after I made my way through these, the book suddenly became very good. None of these stories (apart from the last one) have a happy ending. And sometimes there is a bit of a twist, a twist which started to make me smile at the end. This is very subtle dark humor. And they just seemed to get better as they went on. I think 'The Great Switcheroo' was my favorite. I could just picture the blokes face at the end when his wife confessed that she had never enjoyed sex until last night. 'The Bookseller, Royal Jelly, Lamb to The Slaughter and The Champion of the world' were also ones that stood out. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't find a short story that I'm sure I read in 'Tales Of The Unexpected' wasn't here. I'm starting to think maybe I imagined it. But I'm sure Dahl wrote it. It's where a father teaches his little girl everything the wrong way round, she's only allowed to watch tv and there is a fire and when the fireman ask if anyone is in the house, she says no (meaning yes) and her dad burns to death. Is this ringing any bells? Would love to know that I didn't make this up! Been bugging me for years! Anyways, this is a pretty good collection if you can get through the RAF stories but I still prefer him when he writes Children's books.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Khenan Bragador

    Simply awesome! :) the Roald Dahl imagination that i loved in all of his children books added with a wicked sense of humour made these stories a great read. I believe this anthology contains all but severl of his adult short stories. from some big twists from switch bitch to stories about the war in over to you. I think my favourite stories were: Katina - pilots in greece find an orphaned girl. I re-read this one several times while reading the collection. The Wish - Very short story about a boys Simply awesome! :) the Roald Dahl imagination that i loved in all of his children books added with a wicked sense of humour made these stories a great read. I believe this anthology contains all but severl of his adult short stories. from some big twists from switch bitch to stories about the war in over to you. I think my favourite stories were: Katina - pilots in greece find an orphaned girl. I re-read this one several times while reading the collection. The Wish - Very short story about a boys journey across the carpet. a really just fun read (just 3 pages) several others that were my favourite include Royal Jelly, The Visitor, The Sound Machine, The Great Automatic Grammatizator (made me think it could apply to some books in my read shelf sadly :() A really collection...now im not sure whether i prefer his adult or childrens.....oh well :)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

    Roald Dahl proves himself to be even more multi-faceted than the tales spun in The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. He has an uncanny ability to draw the reader into a story, leaving the discovery of the ending, whether humorous, horrifying or just strange unrevealed until the very end. This book contains I short story I remember reading over 40 years ago in an old collection of stories published under the Alfred Hitchcock collection of strange stories that I've never forgotten, Roald Dahl proves himself to be even more multi-faceted than the tales spun in The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. He has an uncanny ability to draw the reader into a story, leaving the discovery of the ending, whether humorous, horrifying or just strange unrevealed until the very end. This book contains I short story I remember reading over 40 years ago in an old collection of stories published under the Alfred Hitchcock collection of strange stories that I've never forgotten, as well as the stories that were included in Dahl's collection "Kiss Kiss". This is one book I have to buy - there are over 30 stories, some I want to go back to and reread to really absorb the layers Dahl implemented in his tales.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nicolette

    I want to marry his books. I always loved Roald Dahl's twisted writing, even his seemingly innocent children's stories. If you really go through all the stories eg. Mathilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they are actually very gruesome, very dark and deliciously wrong. His adult stories are fantastic, I like how most of his short stories end. It doesn't give away the ending, or leave you hanging, he gently leads you to a conclusion without even spelling it out for you. Off the top of my he I want to marry his books. I always loved Roald Dahl's twisted writing, even his seemingly innocent children's stories. If you really go through all the stories eg. Mathilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they are actually very gruesome, very dark and deliciously wrong. His adult stories are fantastic, I like how most of his short stories end. It doesn't give away the ending, or leave you hanging, he gently leads you to a conclusion without even spelling it out for you. Off the top of my head, I love Skin, The Umbrella Man, The Sound Machine, The Grammatizer and of course more. Nobody writes like Roald Dahl and it's sad that nobody ever will. He never disappoints me and I wish more people has the chance to read his adult work as well.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joakim Ruud

    Very disappointing. I love his children's books, but with a few exceptions these short stories are all fluff. It seems like his process is to first find some "clever" twist and then painstakingly construct a narrative so that it will end on the twist. More often than not, both the twist and its attendent narrative are cheap, uninvolved and obvious. The huge exception is the collection of stories from his time in the war. They are everything that the rest of these are not: honest, fresh and engag Very disappointing. I love his children's books, but with a few exceptions these short stories are all fluff. It seems like his process is to first find some "clever" twist and then painstakingly construct a narrative so that it will end on the twist. More often than not, both the twist and its attendent narrative are cheap, uninvolved and obvious. The huge exception is the collection of stories from his time in the war. They are everything that the rest of these are not: honest, fresh and engaging. They are sold separately in the collection Over To You. I recommend buying that one and foregoing this heap of crap.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    So much fun to have returned to fiction after my recent non-fiction binge. Loved it! I think he's just as twisted and clever a writer of adult stories as he is of children's books. I think it's amazing how he can consistently generate characters that are ridiculous caricatures of people, but that still somehow feel very true to life. Not every story was a winner, but I think that's to be expected in a collection this large. So much fun to have returned to fiction after my recent non-fiction binge. Loved it! I think he's just as twisted and clever a writer of adult stories as he is of children's books. I think it's amazing how he can consistently generate characters that are ridiculous caricatures of people, but that still somehow feel very true to life. Not every story was a winner, but I think that's to be expected in a collection this large.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    Pure delight. /shivers Roald Dahl furthered my understanding as to the writerly shape of story. I enjoyed recognizing how much of Dahl's biography is present within so many of these stories. You don't need to be a Dahl fan to enjoy this collection. You just need to be a fan of a good story. From a reader's point of view, I'd probably give this 4/5. But when I combine my writer's brain reaction and my reader's brain reaction I have no choice but to score this 5/5 Pure delight. /shivers Roald Dahl furthered my understanding as to the writerly shape of story. I enjoyed recognizing how much of Dahl's biography is present within so many of these stories. You don't need to be a Dahl fan to enjoy this collection. You just need to be a fan of a good story. From a reader's point of view, I'd probably give this 4/5. But when I combine my writer's brain reaction and my reader's brain reaction I have no choice but to score this 5/5

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