Wednesday 29 August 2018

Blog Tour ~ The Roald Dahl Collection

Jaffareadstoo is thrilled to be part of this Blog Tour to celebrate

 ✨ Roald Dahl Day ✨

which is coming on the 13th September

World famous for his children’s books, Roald Dahl began his career as a writer of short stories and is widely considered as a master of this form. Bizarre and amusing by turns, these dark comedies are justly famous for their surprise endings and their rogue gallery of crooks, cheats and schemers. The stories show Roald Dahl at the height of his powers as a writer of adult fiction, combining black comedy with sly social satire. They are stylishly plotted, vividly characterised and made unforgettable by their breezy cynicism, presenting a hilariously bleak view of human nature.

Re-collected for the first time since Roald himself put the books together, LUST, MADNESS, DECEPTION and CRUELTY bring together some of his most dark and twisty tales under the subjects of human nature he found so fascinating. The stunningly thought-provoking jacket art work compliments this perfectly, and comes courtesy of British artist, Charming Baker.

Charming Baker has had a string of international sell-out shows. His fans include Damien Hirst, British collector Frank Cohen, gallerist Harry Blain and New York dealer Alberto Mugrabi. His juxtaposition of nostalgia with sex and death is grown-up and playful, his work simultaneously beautiful and intentionally bothersome. His work has been described as ‘a kind of romantic melancholy that is very British. And sometimes the melancholy turns out to have sharp claws. The pictures make you sit up and examine your conscience.’ These sensibilities could equally be describing Roald Dahl’s approach to his domestically dark adult short stories, making Charming and Roald Dahl the perfect collaborators for these new collections.

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of these books and the invitation to be part of this blog tour

Lust - Tales of Craving and Desire

To what lengths would you go to achieve your heart’s desire? In these ten tales of maddening lust Roald Dahl explores how our darkest impulses reveal who we really are.

My thoughts:

Deepest secrets, desires and fears are all expertly controlled in this collection of ten short stories which take us deep into the passionate heart of yearning for something which is, quite often, beyond our reach. From the first story, Madame Rosette, which features two hapless military men on the look out for  a lustful diversion in 1940s Cairo, through to the intriguingly titled last story, Nunc Dimittis, there is never a moment when each story doesn't draw you in. Expertly written and beautifully observed, I loved every word of Lust.

Madness - Tales of Fear and Unreason 

Our greatest fear is of losing control – above all, of losing control of ourselves. In these ten unsettling tales of unexpected madness Roald Dahl explores what happens when we let go of our sanity.

My thoughts:

Cool and calculated these ten tales of madness make your blood run just a little bit cooler and with each successive story the creepy feeling starts to get stronger and stronger. I loved this collection of dark tales and whilst the stories span quite a timeline - between the 1950s and 1970s - they still feel quite current, even though it must be acknowledged that to find a room in a Bath guest house for five and six would be nigh on impossible.  However, as it's proved in The Landlady, this is no ordinary guest house !

Deception - Tales of Intrigue and Lies

Why do we lie? Why do we deceive those we love most? What do we fear revealing? In these ten tales of deception Roald Dahl explores our tireless efforts to hide the truth about ourselves.

My thoughts:

The ten tales of deception are so expertly controlled by this skilful story teller that reading each of them is like experiencing a master class in how to misbehave. Beautifully observed and quite stark in places there isn't one of these tales which doesn't leave you with a smile on your face at the incredulity of some of the situations which Dahl conjures like a magician. The Umbrella Man with his fool proof scam, and the wonderfully named Mr Botibol, who looked like an asparagus, are amongst my favourites.

Cruelty - Tales of Malice and Greed 

Even when we mean to be kind we can sometimes be cruel. We each have a streak of nastiness inside us. In these ten tales of cruelty Roald Dahl explores how and why it is we make others suffer .

My thoughts:

The complex side of human nature comes alive in this collection of rather dark little stories which each have a deliciously nasty edge to them. I find it very easy to tune into Roald Dahl's darker side, although his dark side has a real uncomfortable feeling to it. I loved reading revolting rhymes to my children, however, to have this book of ten stories all based around the theme of cruelty, makes reading it rather a more grown up experience. It's difficult to pick out a particular favourite but I loved the twist to Royal Jelly and Poison made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

About the Author

Roald Dahl was a spy, ace fighter-pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. He was also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and many more brilliant stories. He remains the World’s No.1 storyteller.

More about the author can be found by clicking here

Twitter #RoaldDahlDay

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