recentpopularlog in

Copy this bookmark:





to read

bookmark detail

Roald Dahl—the Storyteller As Benevolent Sadist -- New York Magazine
..Dahl’s adult fiction is fun but often formulaic. It sets up a premise, coldly follows the implied narrative logic, and nearly always ends with a twist. (OMG: The wife is missing her fingers!) There are no accidents or messiness or flights of inspiration.

Dahl’s kids’ stories, on the other hand, are full of characters who transcend narrative logic, e.g., the caterpillar in James and the Giant Peach, a loudmouth who’s always breaking into rude songs and forcing James to help him put on or take off his 42 boots. He does this not because it furthers the story, one senses, but because it’s funny, and because it’s exactly how this particular creature would act if he found himself flying around on a house-size piece of fruit. The keynote of Dahl’s children’s books is delight in wild invention—and delight, too, in the way that invention manages to braid the two opposed strands of his personality, the nasty and the charming, into something unique in the history of storytelling.
biology  writer  story-telling  children  author  book  review 
september 2010 by tsuomela
view in context