The Best of Roald Dahl – Man at His Worst

(For SI Blog reader Kreacher)

Kreacher, did we need the Pig, Dip in the Pool and The Landlady in these short winter days of our life.

Whatever possessed you to recommend Roald Dahl’s stories to us.

Well, we won’t hold you completely responsible.

You see our appetite for Dahl’s short stories was also whetted by our recent reading of Dahl’s longer, raunchy, rambunctious work My Uncle Oswald.

Since Dahl’s short stories were not easily available at our county libraries, we had to fall back upon our usual reliable source – Amazon.

The postman delivered our new copy of The Best of Roald Dahl from Amazon yesterday.

Comprised of a selection of 29 short stories culled from Dahl’s Switch Bitch, Kiss Kiss, Over to You, Someone Like You and The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar, our collection includes the Pig, The Landlady, The Bestseller, Edward the Conqueror and 21 other pieces.

Roald Dahl

We’ve read four stories so far – Pig, The landlady, Dip in the Pool and The Hitchhiker.

The fourth one is fluff.

AndΒ  of the first three it’s hard to say which one is most depressing.

* The Landlady is a real bad woman but predictable.

* Dip in the Pool is a poignant tale of a cruise ship gambler out of his depth. Again, you can guess which way this story is going to end.

* But Pig is an unforgettable horror story and a harsh indictment of the society we live in.

And the ending here, unlike in the other stories we’ve read, is impossibly unpredictable.

The Pig starts and ends in New York City.

‘Tis the story of two great tragedies befalling our protagonist Lexington.

The first tragedy is an accident but the second is horrifying, being the willful outcome of a cruel, amoral society on one level and the great danger in biting into the forbidden fruit food.

Is the chilling denouement just desserts considering Lexington’s avid delight in his meal at the restaurant.


Thank you, Kreacher.

Pig is indeed non pareil and one for the ages.

Just when we thought our dark days couldn’t get darker, these cold days colder and the gloomy days gloomier, you made it so via Roald Dahl.

God knows, what further horrors lie ahead of us in the remaining stories.

As we read the other stories in The Best of Roald Dahl, we’ll update this post.

Update -1
By the way, the animation film Fantastic Mr. Fox is based on Roald Dahl’s eponymous novel for children.

5 Responses to "The Best of Roald Dahl – Man at His Worst"

  1. The Mahatma   March 11, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Is in your queue? Responds:

    No, we read a lengthy article in New Yorker about the movie and we are not impressed by that Fox shit.

    Maybe, we were earlier but after so much Gin into our system tonight that we can barely type we’re not impressed anymore. With anything! πŸ˜‰

  2. shadowfax_arbit   March 11, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Why do you drink so much?? Don’t want to be alive for long?? Whats wrong with you? Responds:

    Who you accusing of being a tippler, kid?

  3. kreacher   March 11, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Not all of the stories are depressing.

    There are some which are quite humorous, like “Galloping Foxley” and a short story involving Oswald called “The Visitor”. There are also some macabre ones, like “Man from the South”, which you might have had in your school curriculum if you went through CBSE, and “Lamb to the Slaughter”.

    Not sure if you have these in your collection. A lot of Dahl’s stories have been turned into episodes on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” incidentally Responds:

    1. All the stories you mention are included in our collection.

    Today, it’s going to be Lamb to the Slaughter and Edward the Conqueror. Somehow we have a feeling none of the other stories can be as macabre or in the same league as the Pig.

    2. Yes, we read about Alfred Hitchcock Presents the other day. Just discovered that Netflix has many of the episodes on Instant Play. Will watch some of them soon and blah blah about them here.

    • HiSayCheese   March 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      hey what about the story involving a new kind of perfume? That really cracked me up πŸ™‚ Responds:

      Are you referring to a short story or Dahl’s novel Uncle Oswald, which deals with the beetle stimulant/perfume?

      • HiSayCheese   March 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm

        I dont remember if it was a short or a novel, i just remember the story spine in which one guy invents a perfume, kind of like female pheromone and gets a bakra to try it on, and hilarity ensues. probably a short story. Responds:

        That could be the Bitch, which is not part of our collection.

        Uncle Oswald, the novel, has a kind of similar theme.

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