The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More

by Roald Dahl

Paperback, 1988

Status

Available

Local notes

PB Dah

Barcode

803

Publication

Puffin Books (1988), 225 pages

Description

Meet the boy who can talk to animals, the man who can see with his eyes closed, and find out about the treasure buried deep underground on Thistley Green. Here are seven superb stories, full of Roald DahlAs usual magic, mystery, and suspense.

Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

1977

Physical description

225 p.; 5.12 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member JBarringer
In addition to several fantastic short stories, and the only 2 nonfiction short stories Dahl published, this collection has a great essay about how Dahl became a writer. I really enjoyed the stories, and reading about Dahl's life leading up to his becoming a fiction writer was inspiring and
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informative.
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LibraryThing member StormRaven
This is a collection of seven short works by Roald Dahl. Four of them are fiction, three are not. The fictional pieces are what one would expect from Dahl - wierd, off-kiler tales of fantasy, usually with some dark elements. "The Swan", in particular, is quite dark for a story aimed at younger
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readers as two bullies torture a smaller boy with the intent (by the end of the story) of killing him. The title story about Henry Sugar has a happy ending, but also includes some fairly dark portions. "The Boy Who Talked to Animals" has what one might call a happy ending, although the boy's parents probably don't see it that way. I thought the weakest story was "The Hitchiker", although it was still fun.

More interesting, to me, were the three non-fiction pieces. "The Mildenhall Treasure", describes the story of how two British farm workers found one of the greatest treasure troves in British history, and the odd events that followed. "A Piece of Cake" is Dahl's first published work, the account of some of his exploits as a fighter pilot, focusing mostly on how he was injured (and had to leave combat operations) in a crash. "Lucky Break" is the best of the bunch - describing how Dahl came to be a writer, including the story of how he came to write "Lucky Break" at the request of C.S. Forester. His depictions of life in a British boarding school are scary, and gives some insight into why so many of his young protagonists have horrible lives. One wonders how he managed to learn anything at all in the school environment he describes as, save for one part time instructor, the masters seem to be completely disinterested in passing any kind of learning on to their charges.

This is an excellent collection of short works, and a very enjoyable sample of Dahl's writing. The stories are funny, twisted, and all have a slightly odd but benign moral of the type that that characterizes Dahl's work.
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LibraryThing member stipe168
worth it for "the swan" and "the wonderful story of henry sugar". you don't get many author's that call their own stories wonderful, but roald dahl has every right to do that.
LibraryThing member frightful_elk
Brilliant Dahl, written for those in the transition from child to adult, the same witty fantastical stories but with poignant thoughts and moments and ideas that hit hard and linger on.
LibraryThing member twig_tea
Roald Dahl is one of my favourite storytellers of all time. His stories are creepy and beautiful and hilarious and horrifying all at once. I can't ever get enough.
LibraryThing member SirRoger
Loved these stories in 5th grade. Still love them.
LibraryThing member anya_b
this was great! i loved every second of it...as soon as i'm back in the states, i intend to purchase my very own copy. dahl is a great writer: concise and powerful and immensely descriptive. i hope to learn a few things from him...and read much, much more!
LibraryThing member MikkyZ
Roald Dahl is one of my all time favourite authors, and this book is just incredible with short stories that each shine of their own accord. He writes with such a uniqueness that no one can hold a candle to his humour and love for big words.
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is one that has the
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ability to make you believe in the presence of magic and other unexplainable things.
The Boy who talked to animals is a wonderfully crafted beautiful story that pulls at your heartstrings and makes you feel proud of the people willing to stand up for what they think is right.
The Hitchhiker; is my one of my favourites within this book, because I too wish I knew the art of a being a fingersmith (Read the book if you want to know what a fingersmith is ... and it is probably not at all what you are thinking :P)
The Mildenhall Treasure is an amazing true story about a treasure that was indeed found and Mr Dahl was able to interview the families involved to get the real story, which is absolutely brilliant.
The Swan is an extremely sad story that features a lot of bullying down by two fifteen year old boys, one which has been given a rifle for his birthday and decides to use to harass Peter, it features animal cruelty as well and even though these are things that extremely upsetting and would not sit right with a lot of people it happens all the time and sometimes people need to see it in a book to understand it and to have an emotional attachment to the issue and for making a point out of something as horrendous as this I applaud Mr Dahl.

I love every single Roald Dahl book I have ever read and this one is no different :D
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LibraryThing member MikkyZ
Roald Dahl is one of my all time favourite authors, and this book is just incredible with short stories that each shine of their own accord. He writes with such a uniqueness that no one can hold a candle to his humour and love for big words.
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is one that has the
Show More
ability to make you believe in the presence of magic and other unexplainable things.
The Boy who talked to animals is a wonderfully crafted beautiful story that pulls at your heartstrings and makes you feel proud of the people willing to stand up for what they think is right.
The Hitchhiker; is my one of my favourites within this book, because I too wish I knew the art of a being a fingersmith (Read the book if you want to know what a fingersmith is ... and it is probably not at all what you are thinking :P)
The Mildenhall Treasure is an amazing true story about a treasure that was indeed found and Mr Dahl was able to interview the families involved to get the real story, which is absolutely brilliant.
The Swan is an extremely sad story that features a lot of bullying down by two fifteen year old boys, one which has been given a rifle for his birthday and decides to use to harass Peter, it features animal cruelty as well and even though these are things that extremely upsetting and would not sit right with a lot of people it happens all the time and sometimes people need to see it in a book to understand it and to have an emotional attachment to the issue and for making a point out of something as horrendous as this I applaud Mr Dahl.

I love every single Roald Dahl book I have ever read and this one is no different :D
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LibraryThing member AmberTheHuman
Not a children's book ... definitely interesting, but considering the stories are about speeding, smoking, stealing, killing animals, gambling, tying someone up on train tracks and war, I wouldn't read this to my kids. Or give it to them. Until maybe ... 13? Or so? The Henry Sugar story is the most
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fascinating, but I was also very intrigued by his story about how he became a writer.
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LibraryThing member Mad.River.Librarian
Sometimes, one is just not sure what category to put a Roald Dahl story. They’re written to be enjoyed, to be provocative, to bypass adults and speak directly to children’s psyches, and they certainly are birthed from a wellspring of imagination that is entirely unique in the world of
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children’s literature. Legions of fans no doubt have their favorites, such as James and the Giant Peach, The Fantastic Mr.Fox, and Willy Wonka. Fewer still are the Dahl connoisseurs, who likely have read this collection of short stories originally published in 1977. These are complex, compelling, and complicated stories for more mature listeners. Mature not in an age-related sense, but in literary way: there are 10 year old boys who will hear a Dahl yarn (The Swan comes to mind) and forever be moved and changed, yet others who may not have the mental acuity to stick with the story, have been suckled on the immediate gratification that is the Wimpy Kid gestalt. Dahl rewards listeners - the patient and attuned listeners - with stories that illuminate the meanness of children, the tenderness of a mother, or the greed of a Henry Sugar. The narration in this audio recording is spot on and superb: Andrew Scott’s voice with its British Isle lilt, is intimate. At times, it is as if we are all huddled together around a flashlight, long past our bedtimes, listening to Scott softly whisper these finely woven tales. And we, his engrossed audience, hang on his every word.
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LibraryThing member montano
I was enchanted by these stories when I stumbled upon them as an adolescent. Droll, mysterious, magical. Underdogs who triumph, petty villains who get their comeupance, this is Roald Dahl at his best.
LibraryThing member yougotamber
I love his stories. One of the few authors where I can really enjoy a short story and not feel short changed. He has a way to his imagination that makes me want to jump into his brain for a day.
LibraryThing member darushawehm
I have always liked Roald Dahl's adult stories (well, and the kids' ones, too), and there are a few stories in this collection which really shine. However, it's a bit hit and miss.

Of particular interest to writers is his account of how he became a fiction writer. The story is not particularly
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useful (though there is a section of advice, but it's the usual stuff) - it is interesting, though.
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LibraryThing member ChazziFrazz
Roald Dahl is better known for children's books: James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, Matilda and more. A good number that have been made into movies.

This book is a collection of short stories, more like novellas, the majority fiction. The title is one of the
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longer stories. It tells of a man who is already rich and bored, who finds a way to develop his senses to see through things. Using this he amasses tons of money and comes up with an unusual way to use it to others' benefit.

A few of the other stories have a base in reality but he takes them into a fantasy world. A boy who can talk to turtles and helps rescue a large sea turtle, a boy who flies to save himself, a sly hitchhiker; all story lines.

There is also a chapter where Dalh tells of how he became a writer, this after years of being told he was lousy at it by his teachers. It also gives you a glimpse of what his life was like growing up.

Included is the first story he wrote that he had published. It is a true story telling of a time in his military service during the war in 1942. It was through C.S. Forrester that this happened and it was what sent him on his way of becoming a well known writer and contemporary of many of the high profile people of the day. It is surprising who he spent time with!

He has written for adults, non-fiction about his growing up and his war-time military service and macabre stories, some that have been made into movies or TV shows. I would put this in his adult or young teen level of works. Very enjoyable reading and interesting too!
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LibraryThing member stef7sa
Enjoyable read with some information on how Dahl became a writer.
LibraryThing member livingtech
Roald Dahl writes in such a simple and elegant way that it's a pleasure to read out loud. It's all very forthright and factual sounding. This book includes two non-fiction pieces, or possibly three if you include the one about how he became a writer (in which he says the other two were his only
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non-fiction pieces).

I read these stories aloud to Colleen.
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LibraryThing member jjmcgaffey
An interesting assortment of stories. They're all in Dahl's usual very...practical? style - the characters may be pleased with events, but they're never really surprised. It's an interesting viewpoint. Some of them are children's stories - The Boy Who Talked With Animals in particular. The
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others...maybe, maybe not, it would depend on the child. The two non-fiction pieces are interesting - The Mildenhall Treasure, about a trove of Roman silver turned up in a field in England; and A Piece of Cake, his first-ever story, about being shot down as a pilot during WWII. The third non-fiction piece is a bit of biography - his school years (and how he was definitely not a writer then), his time in the war, his assignment to Washington DC where he met C.S. Forester and discovered that writers are just ordinary people, at least when they're not writing. And then A Piece of Cake, which was supposed to be notes for a story for Forester to write and turned into Dahl's first sale instead. The other three stories are The Hitchhiker, which is supposed to be funny (I think) and I find annoying; The Swan, which starts out nasty and turns into a fairy story; and the title story, which contains another - a neat story about a bored rich man who decides to develop his mental powers in order to become richer, and learns that the person he needs to be to have those powers...isn't all that interested in money. Really nice ending on that one. I'm glad I read it; I might read it again sometime.
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LibraryThing member Arkrayder
I really enjoyed this book. Great learning some more info about Roald Dahl. I think the Henry Sugar story was my fave.
LibraryThing member iffland
Don´t know how someone ever came up with this terrible cover artwork. Anyway - couldn´t believe that it was the first book ever of Dahl that I read (or at least the first collection of short stories) but I really enjoyed it and I am pretty sure it will not be the last.
LibraryThing member kslade
Good collection of stories and a part where he tells how he began writing (after meeting author, C.S. Forester). Fun stuff.
LibraryThing member greenscoop
This set of stories made me love Dahl even more!
LibraryThing member wenestvedt
Oh, how I love this book! I read it as a kid, maybe ten years old, and remembered the stories for years. My freshman year of college I tracked down the book again and read it instead of studying for finals, and I was simply transported. I laughed, I winced, and I marvelled that these little stories
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-- little jewels -- lasted so well and entertained my still after so many years.
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LibraryThing member Ghost_Boy
To be honest, this book was rather boring. I really only like two and half of the stories. I think my biggest mistake reading this book is waiting too long to read it. It's for teenagers. I got this book when I was maybe 12 more or less and that's when I should have read the book, I think I would
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have loved it then. As a young adult reading this book, it's boring and somewhat dated. It's a little disappointing because I love Dahl's other books for children (even as a young adult I like them still). I thought I would like this one, but I didn't.
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Pages

225

Rating

(589 ratings; 4)
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