Paperback review: Roald Dahl - The Complete Short Stories Volume One
Sunday 15 September 2013
Given their starting point, it is not surprising that about a third of this collection comprises stories written during, or about, the Second World War, and they are undoubtedly the ones that make the greatest impression.
Dahl was never a sentimental writer, but he comes close to it in the opening story, “Katina”, about a little Greek girl whose family have been bombed and who is taken care of by the RAF squadron that finds her. Her fate is signposted the first time she runs out during an air-raid to shake her fists at the German bombers above, but Dahl rarely makes such an obvious gesture again in subsequent stories – nor does he bring you quite so close to tears. By the early 1950s, stories such as “My Lady love, my Dove” are already showing signs of the “surprise” element that made his Tales of the Unexpected so popular.
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Doctor Who, Flatline - review: Clara isn’t half bad as the Time Lord
Downton Abbey review series 5, episode 5: Period drama falls disappointingly flat
Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' on Antiques Roadshow by Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
Star Wars Episode 7 has almost finished filming
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments