For today’s Sunday Salon I just wanted to talk a little about Roald Dahl’s memoir Boy, which I’ve just finished reading. You may remember me reading Going Solo last year, which is about Mr Dahl’s life in the RAF during WWII. I loved Going Solo, and Boy is just as wonderful.
It’s a little bit harder to read, however. Not because it’s written any differently, or because it’s any less humorous or interesting, but because Mr Dahl talks about his llife in public school in England, and if you know anything about public schools in England during any time before, what, 1980, you know they’re pretty tough places to be schooled in. He talks a lot about corporeal punishments, and the horrible teachers he had and how the prefects were just as bad. It’s told in a very matter of fact way, so it’s not sensationalized or anything, but several times I was horrified enough to have to cover my mouth– corporeal punishment is just a horrible thing all around, and to know that so many children went through the public school experience for hundreds of years and experienced the same thing is just unimaginable.
Okay, I ‘m sort of going off track. Yes, that public school bit was bad, but the rest of the book is magnificent, and one of the best parts is when you can pick out some of the things that later inspired Roald Dahl’s books. The matron in one of his schools, for instance, reminds me a lot of Miss Trunchbull in Matilda, and he writes specifically about how getting test chocolates from Cadbury inspired him later when he wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Reading Mr Dahl’s memoirs makes me even more fond of his kids’ books, and I definitely need to get a hold of a biography or something soon. The only problem is that I’d want it to be written in the same style as Mr Dahl’s memoirs because they’re so funny and wonderful and charming– and I’d want the biography to be the same. Can someone help me find one like that? Any suggestions?
Books read this week:
79. Talking to Dragons – Patricia C. Wrede (full cast audiobook) [rating: 3.5/5]
80. The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes – Hugh Greene (editor) [rating: 3.5/5]
81. Truckers – Terry Pratchett (audiobook) [rating: 4.5/5]
82. The Waves – Virginia Woolf [rating: 4/5]
83. The Further Rivals of Sherlock Holmes – Hugh Greene (editor) [rating: 3/5]
84. Boy – Roald Dahl [rating: 5/5]
Books reviewed this week:
33. Me & Death – Richard Scrimger [rating: 3.5/5]
57. Odder Than Ever – Bruce Coville [rating: 4.5/5]
62. To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf [rating: 5/5]
71. Benny & Omar – Eoin Colfer [rating: 4/5]
72. Theodosia & the Serpents of Chaos – R.L. LaFever [rating: 3.5/5]
Mount TBR Stats
4 books conquered
18 books conquered total
334 books remaining
I’ve decided to finally start reading the Charlie Chaplin memoir I got from the library all those weeks ago. Yay memoirs! I’ve only just started so I can’t say anything about it yet, really, but I’m hoping it’s exciting.