My recent bookstore find was this lovely auto-biography of Roald Dahl, the British storyteller known for such riveting and colorful stories as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”(incidentally, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is celebrating 50 years in 2014),”James and the Giant Peach” and “Matilda” among others.
The auto-biography has 2 parts – the first is titled “Boy” and is the story of Roald Dahl’s very own boyhood. The second part, “Going Solo”, covers the time when Roald Dahl left England for Africa and later went flying with the Royal Air Force.
I had fun reading “Boy” as it portrayed a young Roald who was very playful and “creative” in more ways than one 🙂 Here are 8 facts from “Boy” which I hope will also make you giggle:
1) Pranked a sweets shop lady by putting a dead rat in a jar of candies. Unfortunately, the lady was able to identify him and his 4 friends. They each got caned by the headmaster. (In those days, caning was often used for disciplinary purposes).
2) At age 8 had his adenoids unceremoniously removed without any anaesthetic and prior warning. After the surgery, Roald and mom merely walked the whole way back to their house.
3) When away at boarding school, developed the habit of writing to his mom every Sunday, from 1925-1945, accumulating to more than 600 letters.
4) Severely homesick, Roald faked an appendicitis so he could be sent home for a while. (The act was successful!)
5) During a Christmas break, had a huge car accident and had to have his nose surgically sewed back on. It was almost cut clean from his face and was just hanging by a small piece of skin. (Roald and mom remained very cool throughout this incident).
6) While vacationing with family in Norway, pranked his half-sister’s fiance by putting dried goat’s dung in fiance’s pipe.
7) At boarding school, was a preferred toilet seat warmer by school prefects during winter. He would be tasked to sit on the toilet seats for about 15 minutes or until the prefect would say the seat was warm enough.
8) Was very good at games and sports (Eton-fives, Squash-Racquets and Football), as well as in photography.He won prizes and medals for his pictures from the Royal Photographic Society in London, Photographic Society of Holland and later, even from the Egyptian Photographic Society of Cairo.
Quite amazing, no? Reading this book gave me a glimpse of where this author got inspiration for his stories from.
For more of the interesting and wonderful Mr. Dahl visit his official site – it’s like stepping inside a sweets shop yourself!