Friday, July 17, 2009

"Tales of the Unexpected" by Roald Dahl

Why I read it: Short stories -- seemed like a good carry-around book. I bought this at a flea market a while back because I'd heard RD's adult-targeted fiction was disturbing and haunting.

Bookmark: Tag from a "two-journal set" someone must have given me. I love gifts of paper products.

Tastes like Chicken: After a while these stories began to be predictable in their unexpectedness. I started to read them the way one reads an Encyclopedia Brown collection -- trying to guess what their twist ending was going to be. There was no magic, no supernatural, only humans being asses to one another.

What I liked: Interesting to read short stories. They were structurally sound. They all had endings, which is nice. Also, Roald Dahl seems to have had a lot of knowledge about a lot of different stuff, because the details seemed believable to me -- about art, wine, music, etc.

Not so much: As a kid, I loved Roald Dahl. These stories, though, seemed more Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They all went on too long, and the voice was always the same. They were also sort of sexist, in a 60's way. They made me yearn for Kelly Link. I found her stuff much more disturbing and haunting than these.

Lesson: Roald Dahl's kids' stuff good, grup stuff bad?

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