My father, Harald Dahl, was a Norwegian who came from a small town near Oslo, called Sarpsborg. His own father, my grandfather, was a fairly prosperous merchant who owned a store in Sarpsborg and traded in just about everything from cheese to chicken-wire.

Roald Dahl is one of those authors who manages to make something absolutely horrible into something rather funny. He does so in Boy, which contains various stories of  his childhood. His many childhood trials and tribulations, though dreadful for him at the time, make entertaining reading material, and Boy is a short but sweet collection of them. I hadn’t read it in a while, and I didn’t own this particular Roald Dahl, so I purchased it at Orca and enjoyed it all over again. Dahl also tells about various pranks that he played, and how he got punished for them. I may be rereading Going Solo, his memoir of his flight years, soon, but Boy is better, I think. It’s also probably more entertaining for younger readers.

Some of the anecdotes in this book are no doubt dramatized; some seem a bit too wild to be credulous. But they’re all really interesting to read, and I sped through Boy. Roald Dahl also includes some photographs, and though they’re not very good quality, they do add something to the book. It is hard to make out individual people.

I don’t know what else there is to say about this book. I haven’t read Roald Dahl in a while, but I love all of his hilarious novels, and own almost all of them. I might reread Matilda, The Witches or perhaps The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More soon.

If you love Roald Dahl’s novels, try this excellent nonfiction book by the great children’s author. Even though the book is easy, I still enjoyed it a lot. All of the anecdotes in the book are highly amusing. You can see a lot of where Roald Dahl got his inspiration from. I’m also planning to read some of Roald Dahl’s short stories for adults in the future.

Read Boy:

  • if you like Roald Dahl
  • if you like memoir
  • if you like books set in English schools

176 pages, 4.5 stars

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