The authorised biography of one of the greatest storytellers of all time.
"Irresistible. I thought I knew quite a lot about Roald Dahl, but now I know much much more. Donald Sturrock's book lucidly describes a complicated life and relates it to the richness of Dahl's storytelling." (Quentin Blake).
Roald Dahl is one of the greatest storytellers of all time. He pushed children's literature into uncharted territory and almost twenty years after his death his popularity continues to grow - worldwide sales of his books have now topped 100 million. The man behind the stories, however, remains an enigma. Dahl was a single-minded adventurer, an eternal child, and his public persona was often controversial.
To his readers, Dahl was always a hero and his stories have had an impact on the lives and imaginations of generations of children. Since his death his reputation has been transformed. Critics now too celebrate his wild imagination, quirky humour and linguistic elegance; figures like Willy Wonka, the BFG and the Grand High Witch are immortal literary creations.
In this masterly biography, Donald Sturrock reveals many hitherto hidden aspects of Roald Dahl's life: his terrifying experiences as a fighter pilot; the mental anguish caused by the death of his seven-year-old daughter; his work for military intelligence at the end of the war and more. Written with exclusive access to his private papers and manuscripts as well as with reference to hundreds of newly-discovered letters, Dahl lives on every page of this utterly compelling book, which reveals the man as we've never seen before.
©2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
“Diabolically readable! Donald Sturrock-a goodhearted Charlie with the keys to the factory well in hand-makes lucky ticketholders of us all, revealing from deep within this exotic, guarded, often painful life the conjuring triumphs and dark tragedies of the 20th century's most wonderfully wicked storyteller.” (David Michaelis, author of Schulz and Peanuts)
“Storyteller is a real liability if you have anything resembling a busy schedule. It hooks you from its opening sentence and before you know it you're up to your armpits in stories about spies and foxes and movie stars and you don't want to tear yourself away. As engrossing as only the best biographies can be.” (Tom Shone)
“The person I met when I met Roald Dahl comes through vividly on the pages of Storyteller. Dahl told me that he was generally disappointed in what people wrote about him, but I believe he would have appreciated Donald Sturrock's beautifully written book.” (Charlotte Chandler)
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"Thoroughly enjoyed it, despite minor flaws"
I really looked forward to returning to this book every time I got back in the car, and that's always a good sign. Dahl's was an interesting life and he's captured very well here. If anything, the book could have done with being cut down a bit, on more than one occasion I found myself muttering that the author should just get on with it - you sense he didn't want to waste all his research so some things are documented in exhaustive detail.
Conversely, I found it a bit thin when it came to discussing the merits or otherwise of the books themselves, and Dahl's "Tales of the Unexpected" TV series gets just a single mention, I think. But if you like Dahl, or writing, or simply fancy getting to know more about one of the more interesting 20th century lives, this is a good choice.
Fascinating to hear of the life of Roald Dahl, only criticism is the narrators 'faux' American accent was a little irritating at times. Otherwise read well!
"Such an interesting and inspiring man"
I very much enjoyed listening to the story of Roald Dahl, he has lived such an interesting lifelife and it was fascinating to hear all about it.
I generally listen to audio books to help me fall asleep, this book worked very well for that, the story was long winded and the narrator had the most boring voice. Though I did very much enjoy listening to the story I feel it could have been shorter and reafd by someone a little more entertaining.
"An interesting insight into Dahl's life"
If you are a Dahl fan you might be upset by this book. I was pretty sure that the author did not actually like Dahl - and I have to say that I felt the same. In fairness to Dahl, I probably need to read another biography about him. His books are wonderful, but I did not warm to the man himself from this biography
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