Roald Dahl – The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and six more

11. März 2017 - 21:21 Uhr

Great but not recommended for children

In this collection of stories by Roald Dahl you will find great ficitional and non-fictional stories.
In this book you will find seven stories by Roald Dahl (1916-1990). And although the illustration on the cover by Quetin Blake suggests this might be a book for children the stories are definitely not. And the reason is not that there are not more illustrations in the book.
In the story „The Swan“ a young boy is tormented by other children. Not just with words, „Shut your mouth…Nobody‘s askin‘ yout opinion“ but also with violence, „Peter saw the gun coming up to the shoulder. It was pointing straight at him.“ This world pictured is hard and cruel but if you have in mind that this cannot be suitable for children it really is a great story. A story that left me breathless after reading it. Full of magic and love like the other six ones.
Roald Dahl is a well known writer of fiction stories for adults like the stories about uncle Oswald. Yes it is the man who is a sex maniac and gets therefore in a lot of trouble. But the welsh author is by far more known for his children stories, like the BFG or Charlie and the chocolat factory. Many storiers by Dahl have been made into fantastic movies.
Of the seven stories in this book three are not fiction. This is very uncommen for Dahl. „For me, the pleasure of writing comes with inventing stiories.“ Dahl tells how it came that he became a writer. He even gives the reader advice how to start as a writer.
As you might heard he was a pilot for the Royal Air Force in the second World war. And before that he worked in East Africa for the Shell Oil Company. About his life as a young boy at the boarding school he cites a school report, „His punches are not well-timed and are easily seen coming.“
Whether the masters, like teachers have been named in this time, didn‘t see his talent or he was really worse, is unclear. But i doubt he was such a bad writer. You can check this on your own in reading his first ever published story which he wrote in 1942, „ piece of cake“. C.S. Forester says about this story, „It is the work of a gifted writer“. The story might be the weakest in this collection of stories, but here and there you can find the gifted writer.
The title story „The wonderful Story of Henry Sugar“ is about a man who with the help of yoga learns to see with his eyes closed and what he uses it for is another great story.

Roald Dahl with Illustrations by Quentin Blake: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, New York 2010. 226 pgs.