In his first autobiographical book, Boy: Tales Of Childhood, Roald Dahl shares the memories of his childhood, his life, his experiences, and how his initial years influenced his writing.
Summary Of The Book
Published in 1984, Boy: Tales of Childhood, covers Dahl’s journey from his birth to the time he got his first job. Dahl recounts his days as a child. He includes stories of his early childhood, his family, his schooling, and goes up to his first job. While sharing these experiences, he also gives us a peek into the elements of his life which shaped him as a writer.
Like most of his books and short stories, Dahl’s book about his own life is entertaining and enjoyable. Boy: Tales Of Childhood begins with a short history about the author’s grandfather and father. The book details his father’s life, how his father lost his hand, how he ran off with his brother to make a fortune in a foreign land, his success, his marriages and his death.
Dahl recalls how his mother’s strong will and determination to fulfill his father’s dream of educating his children in England was the reason the young widow with 5 children, refused to go back to Norway. Dahl shares some fond memories of his childhood, his life as a child at home in England, and with his family in Norway.
Then comes Dahl’s experiences in English schools. At the age of 9, Dahl was put in a boarding school. The school life he has described is mostly unpleasant. Punishments and canings, and sadistic matrons and masters made life horrible for the kids. The pranks he played are humorous to read, and the punishments he got sound equally unpleasant.
The book ends with Roald Dahl’s first job at the Royal Dutch Shell. Through this autobiographical book, Dahl gives us a look at his own personal life, as well as the lives of the English people of his time, the living conditions, the education system, and their drawbacks. This edition has an attractive new cover and illustrations by Quentin Blake. There are black and white photos, and extracts of letters in Dahl’s own handwriting.
About Roald Dahl
A British novelist of Norwegian descent, Roald Dahl was famous for his children’s stories, as well as for mystery stories for adults. Dahl was also a poet and a known screenwriter. Dahl has numerous bestsellers to his credit. The Gremlins, Over To You, Someone Like You, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator, Going Solo, Tales Of The Unexpected, Taste and Other Tales, Matilda, and The Umbrella Man and Other Stories are some of his best known works.
Dahl began his career by writing about his war experiences in Shot Down Over Libya. The birth of his children, and the tales that he invented for them made him turn to writing for children. Dahl was also known for his gruesome and ghastly adult short stories. These stories were mostly published in magazines, and were later published in his anthologies. Dahl has won several awards, including 3 Edgar Awards, which are awarded for distinguished work in the genre of mystery writing. Roald Dahl was married to the actress Patricia Neal and had 5 children. Dahl passed away in 1990.