Helen’s Roald Dahl challenge book 02a- Boy:Tales of Childhood
(Roald Dahl Autobiography #1)
by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake
From the evocation of an enchanted boyhood spent in Wales and Norway to his unhappy experiences at an English public school, these sparkling memoirs are filled with high spirits and more than a touch of the macabre.
“An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details.”
Roald Dahl’s books have always held some magic within their pages and his first autobiography is no different. This was a brilliant first insight in to the amazing man himself. You can see where his stories came from. He had so many different experiences and writes them as if you’re there with him.
“We all have our moments of brilliance and glory, and this was mine.”
He states from the offset that ‘An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and usually full of all sorts of boring details’ Instead He goes on to write a book based on a number of events that happened throughout his childhood.
“I began to realize how simple life could be if one had a regular routine to follow with fixed hours, a fixed salary, and very little original thinking to do.”
For instance did you know that when Roald Dahl first went away to school he was homesick and pretended to have appendicitis and was taken home only to be involved in a car accident and have his nose sliced almost clean off at the age of 10 and had to be stitched back on? I was hiding behind a cushion as I read that bit.
Throughout the book, you can see the relationships he built and how close he was to his family, especially his mother. When he moved to boarding school under the careful watchful eye of the school headmaster the boys were allowed to write home to their families, Roald and his mother wrote to each other regularly and carried on doing so later in life. When she died he found out that she had left every single letter, all bound up in green tape. What an amazing find that must have been, to be able to go over letters written by your younger self and see how much you had changed.
I also found out that Roald Dahl had a love of photography and built his own darkroom near the music room at school. How in his day it was glass plates and he refers to the ease of use of a 35mm camera, I wonder what he wonder think of digital cameras and phone cameras. I myself love photography and was lucky enough to use film negative and darkrooms and these days its just to easy not to think before we snap unlike Roald Dahl and using glass plates.
This was a wonderful book and to know a bit more about the man behind the stories makes you realise what a wonderful imagination he had I just can’t wait to see what happens in going solo.
And of course where would we be without Quentin Blakes Illustrations, the man is a genius.
Thank you for reading.