Sunday, May 30, 2010

Who the Heck is Roald Dahl?

Hopefully you made it past my subject line, because I'm totally kidding. OF COURSE I know who Roald Dahl is. That's why I was so delighted when my critique partner said that my writing reminded her of his work.

My mom and I read all of his books together. Of course we read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I suppose that's probably his best known work. But our two favorites were James and the Giant Peach and, in very first place, Danny the Champion of the World. My mom really liked the social commentary in those books. I liked the fantastical elements of living inside a giant peach with the larger than life bugs, and I also liked the wickedness of James' aunts. I could really root for him to get away from those women. In Danny the Champion of the World, I loved how clever Danny was. I still have the most vivid mental images from that book, of Danny being bathed in a wooden tub, standing up, so that he doesn't have to sit in his own dirty water. (I think that was before I had ever even heard of a shower, so the idea of standing up in the bathtub was really shocking - and appealing - to me.) I can also picture those plump, drugged raisins, and Danny's father, injured down in the hole.

Gosh, now that I'm writing this post I realize just how much of those stories stuck with me. Even more than the E.B. White classics, and certainly more than Dr. Zhivago, which my mother (notice how I refer to her as my *mother* at this point) tried to read to my brother and I when we were, like, five and six respectively. We were so mad at her, because we fell asleep within the first couple paragraphs, that book was so boring. (As an adult, I watched the movie, and I was still bored to tears. And guess who got me the movie for Christmas? Yes. My *mother.*)

But usually my mom read us good stuff, and the Roald Dahl's were some of my very favorites. To have my critique partner say that my writing reminded her of him was a very, very great compliment indeed.

For more on Roald Dahl, his website can be found here:

Have a lovely evening everyone!!

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