Boy, published in , is a funny, insightful and at times grotesque glimpse into the early life of Roald Dahl. Roald Dahl's father Harald Dahl and mother Sophie Heidelberg were Norwegians who lived in Cardiff, Wales. Harald and. Boy book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. In Boy, Roald Dahl recounts his days as a child growing up in England. From.
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Boy by Roald Dahl, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Puffin presents the new, unabridged audiobook edition of Roald Dahl's bestselling autobiography Boy,read by Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey. pinkbookworm: 'Roald Dahl is a man whose stories were crafted with pure genius and that special touch of zaniness that very few are blessed.
Lemon sherbets, pear drops, and liquorice boot laces. He and his friends had a grudge against the local sweet-shop owner, Mrs Pratchett, a sour, elderly widow who gave no thought to hygiene and described by Dahl's biographer, Donald Sturrock, as "a comic distillation of the two witchlike sisters who, it seems, ran the shop in real life" .
They played a prank on her by placing a dead mouse in a gobstopper jar while his friend Thwaites distracted her by downloading sweets. They were caned by the headmaster as a punishment. Mrs Pratchett, who attended the canings, was not satisfied after the first stroke was delivered and insisted the headmaster should cane much harder which he did: Roald attended St Peter's School, a boarding school in Weston-super-Mare from , when he was nine, to , when he was twelve.
He describes having received six strokes of the cane after being accused of cheating at his classwork. In the essay about the life of a penny, he claims that he still has the essay and that he had been doing well until the nib of his pen broke - fountain pens were not accepted.
He had to ask his classmate for another one, when Captain Hardcastle heard him and accused him of cheating. Many of the events he describes involved the matron. She once sprinkled soap shavings into Tweedie's mouth to stop his snoring. She also sent a six-year-old boy, who had allegedly thrown a sponge across the dormitory, to the headmaster. Still in his pyjamas and dressing gown, the little boy then received six strokes of the cane.
Wragg, a boy in Roald's dormitory, sprinkled sugar over the corridor floor so they could hear that the matron was coming when she walked upon it. When the boy's friends refused to turn him in, the whole school was punished by the headmaster who confiscated the keys to their tuck boxes containing food parcels which the pupils had received from their families.
At the end he returns home to his family for Christmas. After St Peter's, Roald's mother entered him for either Marlborough or Repton, but he chose Repton because it was easier to pronounce.
It is soon revealed Marlborough might have been a better choice: The prefects, named Boazers as per school tradition, were utmost sadists and patrolled the school like secret police. The headmaster, Dahl describes an occasion when his friend received several brutal strokes of the cane from the headmaster as punishment for misbehaviour.
However, according to Dahl's biographer, Jeremy Treglown , Dahl's memory was in error: The headmaster concerned was in fact John Traill Christie , Fisher's successor. Wragg, a boy in Roald's dormitory, sprinkled sugar over the corridor floor so they could hear that the matron was coming when she walked upon it. When the boy's friends refused to turn him in, the whole school was punished by the headmaster who confiscated the keys to their tuck boxes containing food parcels which the pupils had received from their families.
At the end he returns home to his family for Christmas. It is soon revealed Marlborough might have been a better choice: life at Repton was a living Hell. The prefects, named Boazers as per school tradition, were utmost sadists and patrolled the school like secret police. The headmaster, Dahl describes an occasion when his friend received several brutal strokes of the cane from the headmaster as punishment for misbehaviour. However, according to Dahl's biographer, Jeremy Treglown , Dahl's memory was in error: the beating took place in May , a year after Fisher had left Repton.
The headmaster concerned was in fact John Traill Christie , Fisher's successor. Even one of the Boazers, Wilberforce, took a liking to Dahl, despite this being punishment for Dahl's tardiness, Wilberforce was impressed by how Dahl warmed his lavatory seat that he hired him as his personal lavatory warmer.
Dahl also excelled in sports and photography, something he says impressed various masters at the school. After school, Dahl worked for Shell, despite the headmaster trying to dissuade him because of his lack of responsibility.
Dahl was nonetheless entered into the business and toured Britain in the job. He became a businessman in London and was content. However, he took a trip across Newfoundland which he says "was not much of a country" with some other boys and a man who had travelled to Antarctica with Scott. This is mostly because of he sticks to writing about what HE finds interesting - caning, for example, which is described over and over in great detail.
As he says, he is revolted by it - especially luxuriating in describing the ritual his Repton headmaster would go through when caning a child - making them bend over his sofa as he alternated between caning their bare buttocks and smoking his pipe. This man, as Dahl explains, went on to become a Bishop and then Archbishop of Canterbury.
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Elsewhere he describes his Norwegian heritage, the removal of his adenoids at home, without anaesthetic and a filthy-nailed sweetshop harridan. My favourite passage comes late in the book, when he compares the life of the businessman he was then - working for Shell - with the writer he would later be.
Two hours of writing fiction leaves this particular writer completely drained. One of the great authors of children's stories, Roald Dahl entertains readers with this piece that encompasses his life to age twenty.
While Dahl clearly states that this piece is not an autobiography for those sorts of books are filled with stale and dusty tales , this is a fabulous compendium of memories from his early years. The eldest son of two Norwegians, Dahl's early years were a mixture of pain he lost his sister and father within a single week and childhood frivolity he loved to pla One of the great authors of children's stories, Roald Dahl entertains readers with this piece that encompasses his life to age twenty.
The eldest son of two Norwegians, Dahl's early years were a mixture of pain he lost his sister and father within a single week and childhood frivolity he loved to play with his school chums whenever time permitted.
In one vivid memory, Dahl recounts his love of sweets and a shopkeeper who had a hate-on for him, which led young Roald to concoct a plan to exact revenge, which backfired horribly.
A child from his father's second marriage, Dahl remembers riding with his elder half-sister, who got into a serious motor vehicle accident that almost cost him part of his face, Dahl recounts this with as much humour as the event permits.
Dahl works hard to recollect those annual summer vacations outside Oslo, where grandparents doted on him and he could not wait for school to let out each summer. However, those glorious thoughts are countered with memories of the strap and horrid matrons patrolling the dorms when he left for boarding school.
By the end, Dahl bridges his memories of entering the workforce and the hope that he might pen another short volume to entice readers to continue on with this journey. Like many of his books, the reader is lured into a blissful experience with Dahl's easy writing and fascinating ideas.
One cannot read Roald Dahl and not feel some connection to the characters that fill the narrative. Although this is a move away from fiction and forces the author to recollect his own life, Dahl is happy to admit he does not remember large portions of life before eight, though his memories flood forward thereafter.
While some would think that a man of seventy would have so much to tell, Dahl does not wish to fill pages with dreary recollections, choosing to succinctly tell his early life.
I could see some interesting themes in the vignettes Dahl chose to present, which ended up being major children's stories that I read in my younger years. Dahl's use of these memories to craft timeless classics, such as The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, only adds to the greatness of this short book.
Told in a highly animated fashion, the reader cannot help but picture the young Roald heading to see that horrid matron or visiting with his beloved Norwegian grandparents while dreaming of sweets on his way home from school in second form.
A piece that was so interesting, I am scrambling to get my hands on the second volume, to hear of his wartime memories. A must-read for anyone who has a little while to relax and loves the style Dahl has made famous. Kudos, Mr. Dahl for all you did in your life. You will always hold a special place in my heart, which is only strengthened after reading this piece. An ever-growing collection of others appears at: Sep 21, Sita rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Fans of Roald Dahl.
I read this in year 7 for English and I loved it. Me, I normally hate school books. But this one was different, I really liked this one.
It was just so interesting. I can still remember half the stuff that happened in the book.
That is how much it stuck with me. I recommend this to fans of Roald Dahl and even non fans, this book is different from all his other work. Good different I still recommend it, the things that happen and how he describes it is just That is the only word to describe I read this in year 7 for English and I loved it.
That is the only word to describe the book.
Boy: Tales of Childhood
Such a sparkly review Included here are some events that undoubtedly provided influence and ideas for some of his later novels. Definitely well worth a read for all fans of Roald Dahl. Sep 27, Melissa rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Both children and adults.
My interest in reading this novel was stimulated a few weeks ago when I visited some friends, one of whom over the course of the evening dug up his collection of Roald Dahl books and proceeded to reintroduce us the magic we had near forgetten we had experienced as children in reading them. I have always loved the sheer dottiness of the tales of Roald Dahl - the horrid nature of the some of his adult characters and the heroic nature of his young but strong willed main characters. What I loved abo My interest in reading this novel was stimulated a few weeks ago when I visited some friends, one of whom over the course of the evening dug up his collection of Roald Dahl books and proceeded to reintroduce us the magic we had near forgetten we had experienced as children in reading them.
What I loved about this book was that, not only was it written in the eccentric and yet no-nonsense style Dahl was known for, but it also gave me fascinating insight into some of the influences that shaped his writing. One experience of note that I particularly warmed to was the tale of the woman who owned the sweet shop near his school, who had hideously dirty fingers, and was the fond recipient of one of Dahls' school boy pranks - putting a dead mouse inside one of her lolly jars to find.
From this, and some of the members of his family the ancient older sister for example I can only imagine Dahl gained the inspiration for his extraordinarily nasty characters - Aunt's Sponge and Spiker, the Twits, and George's horrible Grandma. Charming were also some of his harder experiences - the joys of growing up in a time where there was no such thing as anaesthetic and so getting your tonsils out was a lot more painful.
Enchanting were his recounts of visiting his Norwegian family on holidays as a child, the confusion of language barriers and cultural differences I'm sure inspired some of Dahls more eccentric characters - Mr Willy Wonka for instance. All in all, this reads more like one of Dahl's fictional novels and not like an autobiography at all. Not one for pomposity, Dahl cheerfully deleted the duller elements of his life, for which I am thankful.
Nevertheless, this book is a wonderful recount of a well spent for the most part childhood. For those fans of autobiographies, who love to read to understand what makes a person tick, this story of childhood will not disappoint. This book goes far to impress upon the reader the events that led to the cheerful dottiness his readers loved him for.
Roald Dahl 's Boy: Tales of Childhood is an interesting book. It is about the eventful and adventurous childhood days of Roald Dahl. The book is written in a simple language, which makes this a good read, a delightful memoir. Aug 20, Becky rated it really liked it Shelves: Before this year, I'd never read any of Dahl's work, and when I picked this up I didn't realize that it was an autobiography.
So imagine my surprise when I crack the book open and see nothing at all whimsical or silly. Which is cool, but just not what I expected. Not reading the description strikes again! Anyway, this is a nice collection of stories from Dahl's childhood and while I think that maybe a bit is embellished who can remember that much detail from early childhood?
I especially liked his family, and how awesome his mother was. She was definitely a strong and committed woman to do what she did for her family. I definitely saw some influence on his stories here, which isn't surprising but was fun because it's like watching the building blocks of the creative process being put into place.
Boy : Tales of Childhood
I'll look for the second book in this series if I can find it because I'd love to get to where he was actually a working writer and read more about that. Dahl comments briefly here about it, but only to contrast a more structured and "normal" job with fixing oneself to write and be creative.
Interesting stuff. Also, I'm very glad that I never had to be an outhouse toilet-seat warmer. Jun 09, Jane Stewart rated it liked it Shelves: I was sad and angry that so much punishment and cruelty was done to boys in the school system.
Roald went to a Welsh school for kindergarten. The teacher beat him with a cane. His mother then sent him to different English schools thinking they were the best schools in the world. But sadly, in every school he went to he was beaten with a cane either by teachers, headmasters, or boys with the title Boazer Prefect. When Roald was a teen he was a star athlete.
That usually would have made him a Boazer. But the administrators would not make him a Boazer since they knew he would not use a cane to beat younger boys. I think this was a horrible way of life in the schools back in the s and s. It was widespread. Many of the teachers and staff were cruel.
Sometimes innocent boys were accused of things just to be able to punish them. One Boazer was admired for his caning ability.
He would hit the boy in the same spot repeatedly and often draw blood. The victim was required to stand with his pants down for several minutes while other boys would closely examine the caning bruises in minute detail. Of course his privates were also on display for all to examine.
Narrative mode: Story length: Swearing language: Sexual content: A really lovely, endearing and funny account of a very lovely, endearing and altogether adventurous childhood from a wonderful author. Full review to follow. This was one of those eye openers for me as a child; I read Boy countless times and back home still have the well worn edition from The concept of an autobiography was so new and radical, at a time when reading was all make believe and fiction; it 'really happened', it wasn't made up!
Rather, a magical book that opened up another world, glimpsing a life I would never experience. His remembrances of childhood and school life are frank, vivid and frequently horrific.
In particular, his acc This was one of those eye openers for me as a child; I read Boy countless times and back home still have the well worn edition from In particular, his account of the unexpected removal of his adenoids has vividly stuck with me to this day, since I read it the first time starkly imprinted as I too had my adenoids removed as a child and the graphic depiction freaked me out entirely.
Tales of life at boarding school, fagging, the cane, chocolate and tuck boxes, a memorable car trip and a general air of menace exposed a truly different way of life. Reading it now, I'm struck by how brief and narrow it is. It just seemed so much bigger as a child much like headmasters, I guess.
Still, I enjoyed revisiting it immensely.
It's also great to pick out those glimpses of future Dahl stories and characters. This is a truly great book for kids to read and discover, even more so as we move further away from the era depicted. Dahl says near the beginning that everything is true but it really doesn't matter either way. It's all story-telling magic. Well worth reading, whatever your age. Now, on to his later years Jun 17, Sara Kamjou rated it really liked it Shelves: Absolutely charming stories about Dahl's family and his early school days.
As he says, it's not actually an autobiography, but its the bits and pieces he remembers. And you can see how those memories informed his books, and how his intelligent, close knit and fantastical family inspired him as well. Complete with illustrations and snippets of his letters home as well.
Feb 10, Paul Christensen rated it it was amazing. Funny and moving account of a s chldhood in Wales, England and Norway, written by a master storyteller.
Sep 01, Rebecca rated it it was amazing Shelves: I focused on Innocence: Tales of Youth and Guile , which opens with a reprint of Boy , the closest thing to an autobiography that Dahl wrote. An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details. This is not an autobiography. Some are painful.
BOOK REVIEW: Boy by Roald Dahl
Any time they were separated, Dahl wrote to his mother once a week, without fail. The book includes facsimile excerpts from some of these letters, along with black-and-white family photographs and drawings.
Pranks and larks and holidays: But so is crushing homesickness and a bitter sense of injustice at being at the mercy of sadistic adults. Dahl had his adenoids removed without anesthesia, and at school he received and witnessed many a vicious caning.
Aware that such scenes are accumulating uncomfortably, he addresses the topic directly: By now I am sure you will be wondering why I lay so much emphasis upon school beatings in these pages. The answer is that I cannot help it. All through my school life I was appalled by the fact that masters and senior boys were allowed literally to wound other boys, and sometimes quite severely.
I never have got over it. When he graduated, instead of going to Oxford or Cambridge, he wanted to see the world and have adventures, so he spent the summer of exploring Newfoundland and joined the Shell Company at age His first placement was to East Africa for three years; soon afterwards he would become a fighter pilot in the Second World War. In the short years he spent as a London commuter, he realized how easy a 9-to-5 office job is compared to making a living as a writer.
I could sympathize. He has no master except his own soul.Here is a chance for a behind-the-scenes look into this storyteller's world. Even Beloved by Toni Morrison, one of my favorite fictional writers , punched my chest although the character is a young teen-ager gives eerie feelings. The essence of life is to care.
I would never writer a history of myself. She once sprinkled soap shavings into Tweedie's mouth to stop his snoring. Almost every chapter written in Boy describes a fairly ordinary event in a young boy's life made extraordinary with that little bit of Dahl magic.
The students, the teachers and even the Headmaster all took delight in exercising their power.
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