His books have a delicious darkness to them that was lacking from the work of so many other great children’s writers. I couldn’t read witches before going to bed because I wouldn’t sleep from the fright.
His was a children’s author and a dark writer. Along with the utter delight of likable wallpaper and the marvel of George’s medicine, the magic in Matilda’s eyes and the BFG’s bottled dreams, he wrote about dark evil deeds done by mean and horrible people.
Mrs Trunchbull (Matilda), the Twits, Boggis Bunce and Bean (Fantastic Mr Fox) must rank as some of the most vile characters in literature. That’s without considering the head witch in The Witches. *shudder
I also adored his two biographies – Boy and Going Solo. If you overlooked these books when you were younger, they are must reads, so get them out of the library sometime.
All of this Roald Dahl cannon stills sits on my bookshelf today; spines cracked, pages yellows, thumbed and smudged and much-loved. A few years ago I was gifted a collection of his short stories – five books worth, hundreds of stories and not one of them suitable for children. Even now some of them give me the creeps.
So today is a day to celebrate this wonderful writer who delighted and continues to delight children young and old with his imagination and potent story-telling.
Happy Roald Dahl Day.