Customer Reviews


31 Reviews
5 star:
 (26)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Powerful Introduction to Roald Dahl's Adult Work
I am one of those people who had read many of Roald Dahl's works (from _Charlie and the Chocolate Factory_ to "Lamb to the Slaughter"), I never realized they were all by the same author. As I grew older, I fell in love all over again with Dahl's books for children, but when I stumbled across this collection, I bought it, more or less, blindly. I remember...
Published on April 3 2003 by Ran Walker

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor-quality paperback insults Dahl's talent
This paperback is one of the worst I've ever seen in terms of paper, print, and binding quality. One story was printed in two different type fonts, the paper throughout is tissue-thin, and the layout of the pages is cramped and boring. Not at all what a writer of Dahl's stature deserves. Go to an actual bookstore and look at a copy of this book to see what I mean...
Published on Aug. 11 1999


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Powerful Introduction to Roald Dahl's Adult Work, April 3 2003
By 
Ran Walker (Hampton Roads, VA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best of Roald Dahl (Paperback)
I am one of those people who had read many of Roald Dahl's works (from _Charlie and the Chocolate Factory_ to "Lamb to the Slaughter"), I never realized they were all by the same author. As I grew older, I fell in love all over again with Dahl's books for children, but when I stumbled across this collection, I bought it, more or less, blindly. I remember "Lamb to the Slaughter" being good, but I had not read any of the other works, nor did I know Dahl had so many collections of short stories for the more "mature" reader.
This collection is awesome. Being a fan of the O'Henry style story and the Shirley Jackson dark humor, I enjoyed myself tremendously going through each story. The writing is very clean and plot driven, so you can literally lose yourself in his stories the moment you begin them. The excerpt from _My Uncle Oswald_ called "The Visitor" is especially devilishly delicious.
Dahl is one of my favorite writers, and I feel that this collection bears very well on the legacy he left us.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor-quality paperback insults Dahl's talent, Aug. 11 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Best of Roald Dahl (Paperback)
This paperback is one of the worst I've ever seen in terms of paper, print, and binding quality. One story was printed in two different type fonts, the paper throughout is tissue-thin, and the layout of the pages is cramped and boring. Not at all what a writer of Dahl's stature deserves. Go to an actual bookstore and look at a copy of this book to see what I mean.
There are options: Instead of settling for this cheap anthology, you can find very good, secondhand hardback copies of Dahl's books on the Web that have quality paper, good binding, colorful jackets, and sharper type and clearer page layout. This book is shameless.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Alissa Mendes de Leon loved every minute of this book., Oct. 21 2002
By 
Alissa Mendes de Leon (Champery, Valais Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best of Roald Dahl (Paperback)
Perhaps Roald Dahl's greatest gift, as it is amply demonstrated by this collection of short stories, is his ability to captivate the reader from the very first line. I might be reading James and the Giant Peach aloud to my two little boys, or I might be hidden away for some grown-up time with this collection of his mercilessly biting satires; either way Dahl holds me captive with his carefully crafted prose and insightful, if murderous humor. As I read this book, I try to understand what keeps me coming back to Dahl time and time again. Perhaps it is because, although Dahl has an uncanny talent for writing about the worst in us, he still seems to love the bizarre individuals who people his books. The care with which he crafts each gem of a story in this collection shows that he can forgive his characters their multitudinous faults and see the unique charm and worth of each individual. In today's climate of judgementalism and prejudice, it does one good to find an author who seems to say that it is what is wrong with us that makes us interesting and worthwhile subjects. We are not all good, and sometimes it is better that way. At least we are entertaining, Dahl seems to say.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Nate Barber's review of Roald Dahl, May 4 2002
By 
Nate Barber (Bellingham, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best of Roald Dahl (Paperback)
Review, Roald Dahl
The best of Roald Dahl
review by Nate Barber
Many people know Roald Dahl from his famous books such as James and The Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda but it's in his collection of short stories we get to see his cynical and sometimes perverse voice seep through. This type of book is a special window to any authors work, as it is a collection of shorts and not one solid body of work the author is required by form to stretch their voice to match the different stories, especially if they're as diverse as Dahl's list.
That's not to say there isn't any familiar traits to Dahl's text. Throughout each short story (you find this best reading the work out loud) is a refined word choice, a deliberate construction of each story, and inherent of this is a sense of closeness between the work and the author. Roald Dahl leaves behind his trademark fary-tail sensibilities for stories such as Man From the South and The Sound Machine, delicate stories balancing between quaint and relaxing settings and characters to a chilled insane climax. Fingers are chopped with cigar tippers and flowers are murdered.
Contrast this with Parsons Pleasure, a sharp look into the dirty underbelly of antique collectors and the perverted routines they keep to make a find. Dahl's works with his breathless attention to detail allows him to leave scene at just the right moment, take a breath and ground the reader in a library where Henry Sugar finds a book that'll change his all too comfortable life. And seamlessly, Dahl picks it up where he left the action, but now the last scene's slightly evolved, or time passed to provide the story with a delicious sense of rocketing momentum. Roald Dahl likes to move things along whether we're paying attention or not, this will always suck readers as distracted as myself back to the page with something new, disgusting or touching or bordering on a psychotic meltdown, there's enough to gorge on the pages alone.
If you love the refined (spelled-with-a-'u') humour and BBC comedies frequent on public broadcasting networks, the otherworldly dimensions of Vonnegut and the twilight zone, the comic and useless violence of epics best represented by Night Of The Living Dead then, Dahl's your guy. Great for nightmares.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, that sweet, malevolent irony of life!, April 11 2002
This review is from: The Best of Roald Dahl (Paperback)
It seems that most people know Dahl from his children's books, most notably those made into the popular movies Willy Wonka (Charlie) and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda. And if you know those books (or most likely movies), you've already gotten a taste of the deliciously wicked imagination contained within.
Well, hold on to your seats because you ain't seen nothin' yet!
This collection of 25 short stories (written for adults) spans his career up to 1986 and contains some of the most tantalizingly evil ideas I have read in a long time. What fun it was to visit this mind in all its incarnations. From a seemingly sweet landlady, to a seemingly benevolent preacher, to a seemingly innocuous wager. That is the pattern. Things are not what they seem and Dahl makes sure to throw in a one-two punch of surprises within.
To use a Hollywoodism, I would say this is like O. Henry crossed with Stephen King. So, if you like your short stories with pepper, you can do no better than to visit the twisted world of Roald Dahl.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Gleefully horrible, Sept. 26 2001
This review is from: The Best of Roald Dahl (Paperback)
I don't know Roald Dahl. I've never met the man. I've never read a personal interview of his and so I'm assuming his personality here when I say that this man must have been one retched, , nasty, unlikeable individual. And it is these traits that move both his children's fiction and short-story writing out of reach of the ordinary.
His books for children aren't very wholesome. No doubt this is why children, including myself, adored them and still do. The Witches was a frightfest on a par with The Silence of the Lambs. The Twits concerned a horrible pair of monsters and in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dahl conveniently destroyed four nasty children.
Still though, his children's writing will not prepare you for his short-stories. While their quality is inconsistent. There are some very good and some very dull. They all share an inherent dislike of humanity that is very refreshing. Personal favourites of mine in this collection are the tale about a greyhound scam and especially the story about how a father turns his son into a mutant bee.
His short stories are unpredictable but they are frighteningly enough set in a weird reality that narrows the fictionality of the stories. The stories are a lot creepier when they don't have the backing of a chocolate factory or a big friendly giant. Just a warning - read these stories, but remember to leave a lot of lights on.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Master of the Macabre, Aug. 7 2001
By 
T40T (St. Louis, MO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best of Roald Dahl (Paperback)
I would put Dahl in the same category as Poe, and say he's of the same caliber, too. He is the Hitchock of short stories. In fact, the leg of lamb story that another reviewer spoiled (I know s/he couldn't help it. How do you get accross Dahl's unique, twisted genius without giving people this example? I know I can't), was turned into an episode for the old black-and-white "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" series. Like that show and the more fantastical "Twilight Zone," Dahl knows how to suck you in at the beginning, keep you guessing through the middle, and finish it up with an unexpected punch to the gut. It's a shame he's never been as renown for his outstandingly clever, blackly comic adult works as he has been, rightfully so, for his kids stuff.
I borrowed my older sister's copy and read most of these stories when I was 13 or so. I'm 29 now, haven't read them since, but I still have vivid, fond memories of some of them. I'm about to order this for myself.
Also check out "My Uncle Oswald," a bizzare, bawdy, comic romp involving a lothario who has a scheme to get "the goods" from 51 real-life geniuses, freeze the product and store it in a sperm bank, with the intention of selling it for profit. This concept was a lot more novel when it was written, but is imaginative and entertaining nonetheless.
I read it at about the same time as the short srories and am not as sure it would hold up to a re-reading now.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute entertainment, April 29 2001
By 
Mara Mellin (Galesburg, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best of Roald Dahl (Paperback)
I picked this book up in the airport as I had a long flight home... and was not prepared for how rapidly I was to be absorbed and completely amused-- the entire 5 hour flight flew by! Nearly every story made me want to tell someone about it. My personal favorite is the second to last: " The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar." I continue to lend it out to my friends simply to prove that even for those who claim not to have time to read books anymore-- that reading can be much more entertaining and shocking than any television show slotted for the hour that you are willing to sacrifice for your busy schedule-- and can take only 10 minutes with no commercials. Roald Dahl has taken the short story to a new level. Nearly every story in there was completely engaging and most were shockingly ended as well. I recommend this to anyone. Buy it for someone who doesn't like to read: it'll change their mind-- buy two-- because you won't want to part with your copy once you start. Trust me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Short story master: Shocking, surprising, and satisfying, Oct. 10 2000
This review is from: The Best of Roald Dahl (Paperback)
Roald Dahl is probably most famous as a popular children's writer, and is much loved by young readers world-wide for his contribution to children's literature with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", and many other favorites. "The Best of Roald Dahl" proves that Dahl is also brilliant at writing short stories on a more adult level. He has a wicked imagination, and has the uncanny ability to stretch it beyond the borders of the normal, picturing ordinary details in a most vivid and elaborate manner. His brilliant imagination travels far and wide to places and events you have never imagined possible, and yet which are not fantastic but entirely believable because of his compelling realism. His realism is sometimes so compelling, that you are almost persuaded that Dahl is telling a true story, and are left wondering whether or not the story is fact or fiction - a remarkable accomplishment for a fiction writer!
Dahl's interest is sometimes dark and off-colour, and his constant fascination with the morbid and ugly makes this book suitable only for mature readers. I personally found his frequent use of blasphemy rather disturbing, as well has his occasional interest in sexual exploits (evident in three stories where he deals with matters such as prostitution, wife-swapping, and sexual conquest). Despite this, the majority of these stories are unquestionably spell-binding. Dahl's short stories have the capacity to leave you breathless because they are entirely unpredictable. He has a love for unhappy, even horrible endings that shock and surprise, yet are incredibly satisfying because they are unexpected. His incredible ability to describe an evil or horrible scheme in rich detail is so riveting, that you are completely caught up in its authenticity and excitement. Just when you are at the point of rejoicing in its apparent success, Dahl takes the greatest pleasure in dashing all expectations to pieces, as the scheme ends in an astonishing failure. You are left with a wonderful blend of mixed feelings: disappointment at failure, yet satisfaction knowing that justice is done, albeit in a cruel or most surprising manner. His dark humor is completely captivating, and in certain respects Dahl can correctly be regarded as a literary genius.
Some of the highlights in my view are "Taste" (a delightful tale where a man lays his daughter on the line in a "sure" bet with a wine-taster), "Parson's Pleasure" (where an underhanded scheme to acquire the some of the world's greatest antiques for peanuts is chopped to pieces on the verge of its success), "Champion of the World" (a poacher's dream nearly comes true with an incredible scheme to steal birds), and "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar"(a remarkable but believable story about a man who develops an incredible ability to see through playing-cards).
But these favorites are just the tip of the ice-berg. This book boasts more than 500 pages, and contains nearly 30 of Roald Dahl's best short stories, selected from five of his published short story collections. Each makes a delightful 10-20 minutes read, and exhibits his superb skill as one of the most entertaining and ingenius story-tellers in the late 20th century. Recommended!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have Collection, June 18 2002
By 
"plattypus" (Paradise Valley, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best of Roald Dahl (Paperback)
If you liked The BFG, James and the Giant Peach, and Roald Dahl's other children's books . . . you'll hate this collection.
The short stories in this collection show Dahl's true literary brilliance. All are concise, entertaining, and witty. The majority of these stories also have a very dark side to them: from a man who bets with body parts, to a man whose skin is worth more than he is. Most of them would not appeal to the same audience that enjoys Dahl's children's books. Though some of the most gruesome points are implied and not openly discussed, you will be closing the book with a chill.
This is a collection of the author's best works, and some of the greatest short stories that have been written lately. They all provide a wonderful 10 minutes of entertainment, and have some very clever messages to go along with them. The stories are also studies in the perfection of the short story. Highly recommeded to absolutely everybody.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Best of Roald Dahl
The Best of Roald Dahl by Roald Dahl (Paperback - July 14 1990)
CDN$ 20.00 CDN$ 14.44
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews