While we may know Roald Dahl for his litany of famous children’s stories, he wrote more than a few adult tales too.
When you think of Roald Dahl’s books, you more than likely think of stories like James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, or Matilda. Those are by far some of his most famous works, but there’s a whole other side to the author than somewhat unorthodox children’s stories.
Roald Dahl’s bibliography includes a collection of short stories that are definitely intended for adults, as well as an autobiography. Here are a few examples that you might want to check out if you are interested in discovering a very different side to the man behind Fantastic Mr. Fox. Check out the official synopses and one of many crazy covers for these very different kinds of books.
The mature writings of Roald Dahl
‘Someone Like You’ (1954)
There’s the gambler who collects little fingers from losers. There’s the lady who murders her husband with a frozen leg of lamb. Not to mention the man who has made a machine that can hear grass scream. Roald Dahl’s particular brand of bizarre, alarming and disturbing story-telling has already attracted a huge following which can only be more disturbed, alarmed and – thankfully – amused by Someone Like You.
‘Switch Bitch’ (1974)
In Switch Bitch, four tales of seduction and suspense are told by the grand master of the short story, Roald Dahl. Topping and tailing this collection are “The Visitor” and “Bitch”, stories featuring Dahl’s notorious hedonist Oswald Hendryks Cornelius (or plain old Uncle Oswald) whose exploits are frequently as extraordinary as they are scandalous. In the middle, meanwhile, are “The Great Switcheroo” and “The Last Act,” two stories exploring a darker side of desire and pleasure. In the black comedies of Switch Bitch Roald Dahl brilliantly captures the ins and outs, highs and lows of sex.”
‘My Uncle Oswald’ (1979)
Uncle Oswald is, if you remember, the greatest rogue, bounder, connoisseur, bon vivant and fornicator of all time. Here, many famous names are mentioned and there is obviously a grave risk that families and friends are going to take offense. Uncle Oswald discovers the electrifying properties of the Sudanese Blister Beetle and the gorgeous Yasmin Howcomely, a girl absolutely soaked in sex, and sets about seducing all the great men of the time for his own wicked, irreverent reasons.
‘Boy: Tales of Childhood’ (1984)
In Boy, Roald Dahl recounts his days as a child growing up in England. From his years as a prankster at boarding school to his envious position as a chocolate tester for Cadbury’s, Roald Dahl’s boyhood was as full of excitement and the unexpected as are his world-famous, best-selling books. Packed with anecdotes — some funny, some painful, all interesting — this is a book that’s sure to please.
‘Going Solo’ (1986)
Here is the action-packed sequel to Boy, a tale of Dahl’s exploits as a World War II pilot. Told with the same irresistible appeal that has made Roald Dahl one the world’s best-loved writers, Going Solo brings you directly into the action and into the mind of this fascinating man.
‘Skin and Other Stories’ (2000)
How would you get rid of a murder weapon without causing suspicion? Where would you hide a diamond where no one else would think of looking? What if you found out that the tattoo on your back was worth over a million dollars? You will discover that just about anything is possible in a Roald Dahl story, and here are eleven of his very best.