Trickery by Roald Dahl

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Trickery by Roald Dahl

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Category: Short Stories
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: Ten of Roald Dahl's brilliant stories are collected here - full of clever humour and shocking twists. A wonderful tribute in Dahl's centenary year, this is a worthy addition to anyone's collection
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 240 Date: August 2017
Publisher: Penguin
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1405933230

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How underhand could you be to get what you want? In these ten tales of dark and twisted trickery Roald Dahl reveals that we are at our smartest and most cunning when we set out to deceive others - and, sometimes, even ourselves. Here, among others, you'll read of the married couple and the parting gift which rocks their marriage, the light fingered hitch-hiker and the grateful motorist, and discover why the serious poacher keeps a few sleeping pills in his arsenal.

I discovered Roald Dahl's short stories quite by accident, and when I was far too young to be reading some of them! A well meaning Great Uncle, knowing that I was a huge fan of his book for children, brought me a boxed collection of his short stories. Full of black humour, sexual tension and rather dark violence - they were rather shocking for a boy of 10, but have remained beloved to me over the years.

To celebrate the centenary of Dahl's birth, Penguin have published a new collection of his short stories - 8 books covering a wide range of themes in beautifully designed editions. This one is "Trickery", and a clever cover image by artist Charming Baker leads to ten brilliant tales - some of which I had read before, and some of which were new to me.

Of the collection, "The Hitch-Hiker" was originally published in "The Atlantic Monthly" and is a conversation between two men that ends with a brilliant and rather funny twist, and two of the "Claude's Dog" series in "Rummins" - a foreboding tale that ends in a grim discovery, and "Mr Hoddy" - a tale that takes the awkward "meet the parents" encounter to new and disturbing levels. What's clear in all of these tales is that Dahl was a master of the short story - a man who could build characters and circumstances in a remarkably short time before ending his tales with sharp twists or lingering moments. Penguin have done a wonderful job in theming these tales together - and "Trickery" is a really rather wonderful volume. Many thanks to the publishers for the copy, and for further reading I recommend Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl. One of my all time favourite books, it's obviously a read far lighter than some of the tales in "Trickery", but it also becomes increasingly clear that Dahl's dark sense of humour was with him from an early age - and depicted fantastically in wonderfully charming and evocative scenes from the life of one of our greatest authors. If you've enjoyed Trickery you might also enjoy Innocence by Roald Dahl.

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