September 13 marks the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth, a truly gloriumptious author who has made an indelible impact on children's literature. It's likely that just about everyone has read at least one of Dahl's imaginative, fantastical stories including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches - the list goes on! But, did you know that Dahl also wrote books targeted for adults?
Roald Dahl's short stories and full-length novels for adults were mainly well received and many are now considered collectable. Reviews of Dahl's adult fiction are often laced with words such as "macabre", "twisted" and "gruesome". His first full length novel, Sometime Never: A Fable for Supermen, was an apocalyptic book based loosely on his children's book, Gremlins. However, in this adult story, the gremlins were wicked and evil and wait for the humans to kill each other. Switch Bitch, a collection of short stories - first published in Playboy magazine, center around themes of sexual fantasy and deception. In My Uncle Oswald, the main character is described as the "greatest bounder, bon vivant and fornicator of all time".
Dahl's writing for children began in 1943 with the publication of The Gremlins, a story about mean-spirited hobgoblin-like creatures who sabotage a World War II fighter pilot's plane. There's a winning formula to the stories of Roald Dahl. Terrible things happen, children face hardships and tragic circumstances, and grim realities are always just around the corner. But his young heroes and heroines are brave and resourceful, and their adventures have inspired millions of children (and their parents too).
During his life, Dahl signed many of his books and these items are now coveted by collectors and can be found easily on AbeBooks.