Seven superb stories, from the world's number-one storyteller
Meet the boy who can talk to animals and the man who can see with his eyes closed. And find out about the treasure buried deep underground. A clever mix of fact and fiction, this collection also includes how master storyteller Roald Dahl became a writer. With Roald Dahl, you can never be sure where reality ends and fantasy begins.
©1977 Roald Dahl (P)2013 Penguin Audio
This has actually been one of my favorite audio books out of the fifty or so that I have listened to.
These short stories tend to include a bit of magic and wonder and animals. I actually felt compared to compare them to "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings," by Gabriel Garcia Marquez--part fairytale, part realistic. (I liked this better though)
I have not heard any of his audiobooks before, but I have seen several of his television roles. I know how much attention he has gotten for his role as Moriarty on BBC 's Sherlock, and I must admit that it was his name that attracted me to this particular recording. Despite the lack of reviews, I decided to give this a shot and I was not disappointed.
The entire story of "The Swan" was beautiful. It made me feel sick and anxious and terrified by the cruelty of those boys, but I was on the edge of my seat listening in horrified fascination to hear how it would all play out. I sat in my driveway for ten minutes after I got home, just to finish it.
I was really blown away by this performance. It was engaging and well paced, the narration and the stories themselves combined to create a really great experience.
The only thing I can think of that could have been improved would probably be the Jamaican accents from the first story, which were a little bit jarring. However, I absolutely commend the way he voiced female characters, subtly and non-ridiculous (which seems to be way difficult for a lot of male narrators, I've noticed).
I am happiest with a story in my ear. I earn my living as a strategist and work hard as a mom of 2 boys. I'm 45, mixed race, Black & Jewish.
My 8 year old loved it but was truly terrified by one very intense story.
Surprising stories. Dahl is "dark". My husband found the plots to be too disturbing. I find Dahl to have cruel elements, the principals survive cruelty. One of the stories describes his young. Childhood in boarding school and the tormenting punishment he endured there. In a society where corporal punishment and dangerous bullying is no longer tolerated these tales are harsh. I grew up in an environment where that was not the case. I appreciate the new sensibility. I also recognize the need to release such memories through sharing. I feel stronger and more thoughtful relative to today's failures in caring for each other and our world by reading these stories.
I usually give only a star rating. However I have a few things to say regarding this title.
Andrew Scott performs magnificently, as always. I always enjoy his work and the fantastic way he creates independent characters with his voice.
This piece is seven hours long, seven different stories. It is not a great long internal monologue and therefore there are quite a lot of character interactions. He brings it all off wonderfully. At no point are you ever wondering who is speaking.
Secondly I am one of those rare people who never had Roald Dahl in my life as a child. I'm very sad for my younger self, I think she missed out on a great deal of important life lessons never having had Roald Dahl's stories on her bookshelf.
Adult me is glad to say she will be reading/listening to his work more often.
Of the pieces in this work I found The Swan, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, and Lucky Break particularly affecting. That's not to say The Boy Who Talked With Animals, The Hitch-hiker, The Mildenhall Treasure, and A Piece of Cake were lacking in any way; I simply reacted more viscerally to the earlier mentioned ones.
Andrew delivers A Piece of Cake smartly, paying enjoyable attention to the various "messages" telegraphed between Dahl's brain and his injured body.
I liked this collection very much and would recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys well written stories read by an actor who has the experience and the talent to do it the justice it deserves.
we were on a long road trip, and i thought this would be perfect for my daughter b/c she loves Dahl, but it but both of us to sleep - my husband was driving, fortunately.
The Swan is the most disturbing "children" story that I have ever heard. Two horrible boys torture a boy and mutilate a beautiful swan. I am blown away that this book received so many good reviews. There is not even a good ending. I kept listening hoping there would be some resolution. None! This is not the type of book I would describe as entertaining in any way. I found it very disturbing to say the least. It is a shame that this collection is ruined by such a hideous story. I will not listen to the rest of this book as I am afraid of what is next. The first two stories were a four out of five. Don't waste your money or time.
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