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Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected


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Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Llandaff, South Wales, and went to Repton School in England. His parents were Norwegian, so holidays were spent in Norway. As he explains in Boy, he turned down the idea of university in favor of a job that would take him to 'a wonderful faraway place'. In 1933 he joined the Shell Company, which sent him to Mombasa in East Africa. When World War II began in 1939 he became a fighter pilot and in 1942 was made assistant air attache in Washington, where he started to write short stories. His first major success as a writer for children was in 1964. Thereafter his children's books brought him increasing popularity, and when he died children mourned the world over, particularly in Britain where he had lived for many years.


Roald Dahl is known mainly for his children's works, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. Less well known are his short stories for adults, which, at the time they were written, were either hated or loved by the critics. They are witty and very wicked looks at supposedly normal and happy people. Dahl is described on the DVD package as the "master of the macabre," offering "tidbits of horror served up with a twist of fate," and his characters here are often found in the uncomfortable position of having to reap what they have sown. This four-volume, 25-episode set includes the complete first two seasons of the British TV series of his stories. Introduced by Dahl, the episodes are very well made, well acted, and well told. They are in fact enjoyable-if you like black humor. Beware, though, these tales are not for children. There is no sex, no language, no physical violence, but, oh, the horrible things adults can do to one another other! Recommended.-Julie Stump, Voorheesville P.L., NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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