Title: Boy: Tales of Childhood

Author: Roald Dahl

Published: 1984


Roald Dahl is arguably one of the most famous children’s authors of all time; I have yet to meet a person who hasn’t heard of one of his books.  Film makers have adapted some of his works into brilliant films (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, Fantastic Mr. Fox) and even the West End has taken inspiration with popular musicals such as Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Boy is Roald Dahl’s autobiography – although he states in the opening pages it is NOT an autobiography as they are usually dull and boring – detailing his childhood in the 1920s/1930s.  From evil sweet shop owners to wicked headmasters with canes, from family trips to Norway, boarding school horror tales to a magical trip in a motor car that almost resulted in the loss of a nose, Boy has everything an exciting autobiography for children needs.

My Thoughts

I can remember reading Boy at school, especially Dahl’s magical descriptions of Norway and ever since then I have longed to visit the country Dahl knew and loved so much. The details of his trips there inspired my own wishes to see and travel the fjords, in fact I must sort myself out and book a trip there soon.  And over ten years I still get this feeling when I read Boy. Dahl’s writing is so timeless and he really did have the knack of drawing the reader in and simply telling a good tale.  Reading Boy fills me with a sense of nostalgia and I always leave it wishing I had grown up in the idyllic time that Dahl describes, although he does make it clear that this era in history isn’t as perfect as it seems and I am sure in reality I would have hated it.

After my reread of Boy I am keen to return to more of Dahl’s books and the mischievous tales I remember from my own childhood.  However I think I am going to begin my travels through Dahl’s writing with one I haven’t read before: Going Solo Dahl’s second autobiography, picking up where Boy finishes when Dahl is 18. 

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