Boy: Tales of Childhood

by Roald Dahl

Paperback, 1984



Local notes

PB Dah




Puffin (1986), 176 pages


Presents humorous anecdotes from the author's childhood which includes summer vacations in Norway and an English boarding school.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

176 p.; 5.08 inches

Media reviews

Children's Literature
Jody Little (Children's Literature) Dahl’s autobiography of his first 20 years of life begins with a brief description of his parents’ backgrounds, including his father’s death when Dahl was only three years old. Dahl then moves into short memories from his childhood and school days
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beginning with his year in kindergarten and then the move to Llandaff Cathedral School. While at Llandaff, Dahl writes fondly of the local sweet shop owned by a “small skinny old hag with a moustache on her upper lip and a mouth as sour as a green gooseberry.” He tells the story of finding a dead mouse at school and deciding with his friends to put the mouse in a candy jar at the sweet shop, a prank that eventually earns him four strokes of the headmaster’s cane. At age nine, Dahl moves to boarding school where he begins to write a weekly letter home to his mother, a habit he continues for 32 years. His mother kept all the letters from Roald, and he includes many snippets of them throughout the book. The final section includes memories of his teen years at Repton School and his first job outside of school with the Shell Company. Fans of Roald Dahl’s books will recognize details from his life, such as the sweet shop, Gobstoppers, the villainous adults, and the Cadbury Coffee Cream Bar, which later led to some of Dahl’s most memorable children’s books. 2009 (orig. 1984), Puffin Books/Penguin, $6.99. Ages 10 up.
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1 more
Books for Keeps
Bill Boyle (Books for Keeps No. 38, May 1986)
Subtitled 'Tales of childhood', this is a fascinating insight into the young life of Roald Dahl. All are true, and act as indicators of the sources of much of the material in Dahl's books. 'An English school in those days was purely a moneymaking
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business owned and operated by the Headmaster,' So, naturally, money could be made by encouraging parents to send parcels of food to their offspring, thereby reducing the amount he would have to spend on school meals. Part and parcel of the 'make your own Headmaster kit' was 'the kind of flashing grin a shark might give to a small fish just before he gobbles it up.' Very interesting and worthwhile reading as background to the developing Roald Dahl, from dot to twenty, an adolescent world of boarding school and boaters fagging and tuck boxes holding frogs and slugs. Category: Middle/Secondary. . ...., Puffin, D1.95. Ages 10 to 14.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member crazyness

Boy by Roald Dahl is a fabulous book. It is set in the 1920s, bringing you stories from Roald Dahl’s childhood. It was written in the early 1980s and was first published by Heinemann New Windmills in 1984. The book is essentially an autobiography however Roald Dahl insists that it is not
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saying “this is not an autobiography”. “I would never write a history about myself”.

The book is about Roald Dahl’s childhood. However it starts off not involving him but by telling us how he came to be, telling us why his parents moved from Norway to Wales and how they made their fortune. It then introduces us to his kindergarten years and his sorrowful memories of the death of both his father and sister. The book soon goes past his melancholic memories and onto his more joyous ones about his kindergarten years at Elmtree House.

Then of course it moves on like most autobiographies do, to his later years. How he went off to big school at Llandaff Cathedral School from when he was seven to nine years old. The book is full of his wondrous adventures and at this stage it was the great mouse plot that took centre stage, this event resulted in our hero’s first caning.

Roald Dahl shares with us his wonderful memories of his idyllic childhood and his great memories of his holidays in Norway. It tells us of his holidays in such a brilliant way that his memories come at you as if they are your own. His memories of his time in Norway are always good, all except for one; it was the holiday where he had a visit with the doctor.

Roald Dahl tells us of how his complaints to his mother about having constricted breathing and pains at the back of his throat result in a doctor violently ripping his adenoids out of the back of his throat. All the pain he went through is so brilliantly transcribed to us so that we can understand the pain he felt and can relate to it.

From his time at Llandaff cathedral school it goes on to tells us his less fond full but not any less enjoyable memories of St Peters boarding school. The horrible school masters played a predominant part in his memories of St Peters boarding school. From all the canings he had gotten to the time he had faked being sick to get sent home from school. Not to mention his first trip in a motor car which had resulted in his nose being severed clean off had made up his memories of St Peters boarding school.

While his memories of his time at St Peters boarding school are less joyful there is one memory which he shares which is my personal favourite, the goat’s tobacco incident. In which Roald Dahl places goat’s droppings in his sister’s boyfriend’s pipe in place of tobacco. For once after the initial shock this incident was beneficial to everyone.

High school at Repton and shell was more of the same memories. His years at Repton and shell tell us of yet more horrible teachers and getting the cane when you stepped out of line. Although unlike primary school at St Peters, at Repton and shell there where the older boys, the corkers. They would boss him around and get him to tidy their dormitories, and if he did a bad job he would get a beating. However his later school years where more enjoyable for him than the others because of one thing, sports. It tells us of his wonderful time as the captain of two sports teams and the respect in the school which it gave him.

Roald Dahl is a wonderful writer using many different techniques to create his fabulous works. He embellishes his stories with technique used when writing fiction stories. His character developing skills are of a very high quality, creating a portrait in the mind of the reader. He uses the voices of the people for characterisation.

Boy by Roald Dahl is a great book his use of language is fantastic creating and interesting and exciting book which delves into the past of one of the world’s best children’s writers. While it is a wonderful book like all books it has some flaws, while Roald Dahl uses the English language very well he uses very simple writing style and a low level of language difficulty so it is not as enjoyable for older readers. However I very much enjoyed this book and would recommend it for everyone although it is best suited from readers of 8 to 12 years.
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LibraryThing member yanpoo
Boy book review by Roald Dahl

Boy is a magnificent book and is the first of a sequel; the other being,’ Going solo’. The book was first published in 1984 and was ingeniously written by the famous Roald Dahl. Unlike most of his books, Boy is quite different as it is an autobiography intertwined
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with a narrative. Roald Dahl clearly states that this is not an autobiography. It is probably not an autobiography because it only tells the main events that left a tremendous impression in chronologic order (0-20 years of age). Of course he can not remember all the tiny fragments of details so he uses embellishment to imprint a clear pen portrait in our heads; hence the narrative effect. Because of this effect, the book is now much more interesting and worth reading.

Most of main events that occurred were just like yours and mine. Starting school, making friends, high school are to name a common few. Roald Dahl even gives us an insight on his family before he was born. An ordinary reader would take this as boring but there is much more, like the different personalities of fairytale like characters, queer events like nearly having your nose torn apart in a car crash and even some of the mischievous things he does. Roald Dahl gets his emotions and thoughts clearly throughout this book. This is very important as it is a semi autobiography. It basically puts us in his shoes at that particular point and because of this it now adds additional suspense or whatever you are meant to be experiencing.

My favourite scene would probably be the time when Roald Dahl places the dead rat in the gob stopper jar (The great mouse plot). I enjoyed it because of the suspense and situation. It was so well told and so intriguing that it quite well possibly be mistaken from a fiction piece. I think this is what makes Roald Dahl one of the world’s most renowned storytellers.

All in all, this was a difficult book to construct but Roald Dahl has done a wonderful job in doing so. He showed minimal weaknesses for a semi autobiography and that is difficult. Its strengths were keeping the reader captivated for the entire book. That is pretty hard for a semi autobiography but he has used descriptive language and techniques that has made him renowned today to do this. A book like this should be read by readers of all age. It is his masterpiece yet and one to be remembered.
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
A sheer delight of a book! This poignant, funny and at times very sad book chronicles Dahl's early childhood and the reader gains tremendous insights into how his experiences shaped him and became fodder for his wildly imaginative books.

Dahl's parents were Norwegian. Dahl's father became wealthy
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when, as a young man, he started a very lucrative business in Wales. Before marrying Dahl's mother, his father was a widow with two young children. His loving marriage to Dahl's mother produced five additional children.

While Dahl's life was one of economic privilege, there were many emotional hardships. When he was three, he lost his sister who died of appendicitis and shortly thereafter his father died. Throughout the book we learn of very cruel abusive patterns of the headmasters and teachers at the elite schools he attended. One headmaster in particular slowly, methodically beat the young boys. This man then went on to become the Archbishop of Canterbury. Dahl has some scathing comments about organized religion and the hypocrite who rapidly advanced through the ranks of the church and preached love, grace and forgiveness while terrorizing children. This left Dahl with an extreme distaste for organized religion.

There are some outrageously funny tales as well. At the age of seven he placed a dead mouse in a candy jar of the sour, ugly store owner. Later, he put goat droppings in the pipe of his sister's fiance.

A must read for those, like me, who love the tales that Dahl wove...stories of the twits who were nasty, despicable things, of Mrs. Trunchbull, Matilda's wicked teacher, of Charlie and his chocolate factory, of The BFG (big friendly giant) and The Fantastic Fox!
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LibraryThing member Chris.Li
Book Review: Boy
Roald Dahl is a world renowned author of children’s story books. He is responsible for some of the greatest story books of all time such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, James and the Giant Peach and Matilda. This book review however is about a book that he wrote,
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recounting his childhood memories. Boy is a book written by Roald Dahl that recounts the major events in his childhood and school life. It goes from his childhood days, through his school life and to the day that he is recruited with ‘Shell’ to go to Africa.
Dahl wrote boy by drawing memories of his childhood and schools days. He embellishes and exaggerates them to make sure that there is never a dull moment in this collection of unforgettable stories. This book is also filled with magical sceneries, vile characters and many quirky moments from his school life. Roald Dahl uses various techniques such as embellishing, exaggerating, character building and building suspense in his writing to make his stores that much more interesting.
There are many aspects of Roald Dahl’s writing that makes Boy an excellent book. He uses embellishment to enhance his stories, he thinks of memories in his childhood and school days but it is impossible for him to remember every single detail. So he “makes them up” or makes them more interesting, this produces a much more gripping story because he can recreate the characters personality, appearance and speech. So, in a way his memories might be very boring but his stories are masterpieces.
Another aspect of Roald Dahl’s writing is his ability to create characters not only through description but through the way they speak. Dahl uses an array of adjectives, similes and metaphors to accurately describe the characters. One particularly vile character in his stories is ‘Mrs Pratchett’, Dahl’s description of her is, ‘a small skinny old hag with a moustache on her upper lip and a mouth as a sour as a green gooseberry’. Straight away, this paints a clear picture of her in your mind. Dahl also uses voice to determine the personality of the character, Dahl says that the only time she spoke she said things like this ‘I’m watchin’ you so keep yer theivin finger of em chocolates’. From this we can tell that she was a very short tempered woman and that she was possibly not well educated.
The final aspect of Dahl’s writing that turns his otherwise ordinary stories into thrillers is his ability to build suspense through questions, clues and unusual details that make us ponder on what will happen next. In the story Mr Coombes Dahl and his friends walk past the sweet shop the day after he had planted the mouse they see the CLOSED sign on the door. Then they ask each other “What’s happened, what’s going on?” this question wasn’t particularly necessary but Dahl wrote it to start the suspense. He makes us want to know what had happened and what will happen next. He also uses anticlimaxes or digressions to delay the story. For example, in his story drive in the motorcar he tells us all these unnecessary details such as the weather, how many cars passed, how they beeped their horns at passing cars and that there were very few motorcars on the road. He makes you concentrates on these details so when the climax came it hit you even harder because you were not suspecting it.
Roald Dahl is an excellent author and his book Boy is filled with all kinds of mischief and mayhem. My personal favourite story was ‘Goats tobacco’, I liked this story because of the way Dahl writes it, he creates so much tension in the story that I could practically feel it. I recommend this book to all readers between the ages of 6-13 as there are some gory scenes which might be inappropriate to younger readers. This book might not be much at the start but, once you pick it up you won’t be able to put it down until you read every last word of it. I guarantee it!

fullbodyarmour says that 'It is an autobiography of life up until the age of 20' i disagree that it is an autobiography because Dahl says himseld that 'an autobiography is filled with boring details so Boy cannot be an autobiography'.
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LibraryThing member kittu26
Boy Book Review by Kristen Naidu 7N
The book boy, written by the renowned children’s author, Roald Dahl is another magnificent read conjured up by the master storyteller. He composed a selection of entertaining anecdotes, each containing a component of a different genre which he then expertly
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combines to produce one of his greatest works, the book “Boy”.
This novel, published in 1984, is a classic story of his own childhood at home and on holidays as well as his disliked school. Dahl most likely created this book to reveal the most interesting and important events of his lively childhood and schooldays, consequently leading to the conclusion that this book is a recollection of memories, more commonly known as the genre, memoir. Roald Dahl along with the addition of his own detail focuses on the key points of his childhood, which construct the majority of the book. These events consisted of the many family holidays to Norway, where many comical, adventurous and exciting scenes occur.
His reminiscences are conveyed through a series of entertaining short stories each of a different genre, be it fantasy, adventure or comedy. These stories are all interweaved expertly to form this masterpiece. He chose these ideas or memories to convey as they were his most colourful events from his past.
The master story teller employs literary techniques in his story to add meaning, life or just create a picture. He is a master at utilizing embellishment as well as pen portraits. He reminisces boring, uninteresting people from his past, and embellishes them into characters exploding with life, filled with lots of exquisite detail, be it good or bad. He develops the image of these characters through pen portraits filled with all sorts of interesting details.
Another technique wildly used by the master would be figurative language. Using such language such as personification, hyperbole, metaphor, simile and alliteration he creates more description for settings and characters, as well as adding more meaning and flow to the novel itself.
Points of view or perspectives are very important and Dahl successfully incorporates it into his masterpiece. It allows the reader to view the minds of the other characters and experience first – hand what the culprit or the victim felt about something. My most memorable experience was Mrs. Pratchett’s perspective of the rat in the gobstopper compared to Dahl’s and his gang.
He adds extra life to characters by giving them a voice. In the case of Ms. Pratchett her colloquial, uneducated and rough speech is unique to her and a reader will recognise her just from the speech. This is called characterization.
Suspense is a key element in any story and when it is applied well, an excellent story is produced. Dahl does apply it well and keeps us questioning continuously throughout the book. I continued flipping pages until I found the answer. But, as well as awesome suspense building his climaxes were all fantastic and gave us what we wanted, what we expected.
The scene or part in this book that dominated the rest of this book was the thriller of the rat in the gobstopper jar. I liked it for the comical, spine- tingling and suspenseful aspects in it. This scene explains to us that Dahl, as a kid, was like all others, a figure that wanted a laugh and didn’t look before he leapt.
This fantastic book is so well written and structured that most people could read it for a while without putting it down. I believe the excellent combination of genres allows most readers to enjoy this book as their favourite genre would be included. There are little weaknesses, but those that are there are barely recognisable as the strengths outweigh them. These are fans of embellishment and the rest of Roald Dahl’s literary techniques, as well as a fan of most of the genres used in this novel. Readers between the ages of 9 – 17 would greatly enjoy it, but much older may find the book childish and uninteresting. I disagree with user chris.raimoto where he says I would recommend this book to all readers aged 8 and above who love humorous plots of stories and of course to those who want to know more about the breathtaking life of Roald Dahl. This is not true as 8 year olds wont grasp the full meaning as they wont understand the greatness of what dahl says.
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LibraryThing member acx10
Book Review of Boy
Roald Dahl is a popular children’s author and probably one of the best. He has written many well known novels such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches and Boy is one of them. The book Boy is an autobiography however; it is not a proper one. What Dahl has done,
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is that he has chosen only the most memorable moments of his childhood and school days and put them together to create a short yet compelling collection of stories, which have been enjoyed by readers since 1984. Furthermore, these stories have been embellished with some fiction to replace the boring details and make the stories far more enjoyable.
The book spans the life of Roald Dahl since he was born until he was about 20 and had just joined the Shell Company. In the first couple of chapters, Dahl has also included a brief collection of memories originally from his father about how he ran away from home, travelled to South Wales where he set up a successful company and met his wife, Sofie Hesselberg, up until the moment Roald Dahl was born. Some of the highlights of this novel include The Great Mouse Plot in which Dahl placed a dead mouse in a gobstopper jar in a sweet shop to scare the old shopkeeper and Goat’s Tobacco in which Dahl put some goat droppings into the pipe of his half-sister’s lover. Other major events include Dahl’s first day at school, his first ride in a motor car and him and his family going on a trip to Norway in the holidays. These are just some of the events which have occurred in the book and Roald Dahl may have not only written this book to write some interesting stories for others to read but also to keep a record or a memoir of the highlights from his past because he had left out the details and he would not want to read details about his own life, just the interesting parts.
This novel is not just one story but it retells a whole collection of stories from different time periods and as a result, there is a different message for each story and there is also a variety of themes and topics for each of the four sections of the book. For example, in the section called Llandaff Cathedral School, the main themes are to do with Roald Dahl growing up as a child and attending school but in the section called Repton and Shell, the themes are different because Roald Dahl attends high school and joins the Shell Company whereas, in a normal novel there are usually only a few themes because the book generally only spans a week, a month or sometimes a few years. The ideas in Boy are mainly shown by the time periods in which they occur. An example of this is The Great Mouse Plot because only young children about the same age as Roald Dahl was would put a dead mouse in a jar to scare an old woman.
Many writing techniques have been used in Boy to convey ideas. One of these techniques is using figurative language such as adjectives, similes and alliteration to create a clearer picture in the reader’s mind about the noun or verb being described and enhance its effectiveness. Other techniques used include building up suspense, characterization and describing settings.
My favourite part is Goat’s Tobacco because all of the techniques mentioned above were used. First, Dahl’s half sister’s lover is described to show that everyone except for the half sister found him annoying and this makes the reader also dislike him. Then, the setting is being described to delay the climax and make the reader more curious about what is going to happen. After that, the suspense slowly builds up as Dahl places the droppings in the pipe and the climax is when the lover smokes the goat’s tobacco. This part represents Boy as a whole because these techniques have been used in each story.
Its strengths are building suspense and characterization and but some parts were a bit over emphasised so I would recommend Boy to readers of all ages, especially if you enjoy Roald Dahl books.
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LibraryThing member Ryan.Kwok
Book Review: Boy
The book Boy was written by Roald Dahl in 1984. This book is an autobiography. The main subject matter is Roald Dahl’s early life. The purpose of this book is for Roald Dahl’s life to be shared with everyone.
The period of time covered by this book is from 1877 to 1936. The
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major events in this story were:
1. When Roald Dahl put a mouse in a shop’s candy jar
2. When he got caned for the first time
3. The summer holiday
4. His first boarding school,
5. When he put goats tobacco in his sister’s fiancé’s pipe
6. When he went to Repton high school
7. When Roald started working for Shell.
The main topics of the book Boy is when Roald went to school and started a career at Shell. This book’s themes are an autobiography and a memoir of memories. One of the messages of Boy is that never let someone tell you that you can’t do something and no matter what people say to you, always strive for what you want. These ideas are shown as stories about Roald Dahl’s childhood. Roald Dahl chooses these ideas because he thinks they are interesting and cannot get them off his mind that is why he chooses to write about them.
Roald Dahl conveys these ideas by using descriptive language. He uses a wide range of words and uses a lot of absolutely magnificent similes to describe them. He uses characterization by describing characters through their actions, speech and thoughts. Roald vividly describes the settings of Boy in terrific detail. The point of view is almost always from Roald Dahl’s. He also creates a lot of suspense in his story, for example when Roald and his friends put a rat into the gobstopper jar the next day the store was closed so this created suspense until we found out why the shop was closed.
My favourite part of Boy was when Roald put goat’s droppings into the ancient half sister’s fiancé’s pipe. In this part of the story all of the Dahls except for the ancient half sister hated the sister’s fiancé. So Roald found some goats droppings and put it into his pipe when the sister called him away for a swim. When he came back, he started smoking his pipe when suddenly he screamed. He said that his lungs were on fire. When he found out he was smoking goat’s droppings he chased Roald all the way into to the water. I like this part because it is really captivating and funny. This part tells us that the book is filled with interesting stories and that the book contains highly described segments.
My overall judgment of the book if I were to give it a score out of ten, it would be 8. One of this book’s strengths is that it is really descriptive so you get a very clear picture in your head such as the personalities of all the characters and their appearance. Another one of its strengths is that Roald somehow always makes stories seem a lot more interesting than it actually is. This is how he captures readers to pursue his works. One of the weaknesses of this book is that it sometimes describes some of the settings too much causing the reader to skip parts of it. Another one of its drawbacks is that the title is not very interesting, for example if I just saw a book on the internet with this title without a cover I wouldn’t read it because Boy is an really boring title. I would recommend this book to readers who like interesting non-fiction books and also readers who like vivid autobiographies because this book is really interesting and the description is absolutely fantastic.
Chris.Li saidsThis book might not be much at the start but, once you pick it up you won’t be able to put it down until you read every last word of it.
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LibraryThing member fullbodyarmour
Boy by Roald Dahl

Boy is a thrilling and entertaining book written by Roald Dahl. It was published in 1984 by Heinemann Windmills. It is an autobiography of life up until the age of 20.

The main part of the book is set in 1917-1936, mostly set in England and Norway. Roald firstly talks about his
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father’s life and how he lost his wife and had to marry again. Roald’s father died from pneumonia when Roald was 3.

Roald’s descriptive words portray the main events in this book, such as going to Llandaff Cathedral School, finding a dead mouse and hiding it in a jar, travelling to Norway, starting St Peters School, going for a drive in a motor car and almost losing his nose, meeting the mean Captain Hardcastle, going to Repton, getting caned many times and finally getting a job at Shell.

Dahl uses a lot of humorous language in this book and will make you laugh a lot. He uses figurative language to fully show what is exactly happening. He foreshadows a lot, such as the time he hid the mouse and when they came back, the shop was closed, so the children thought the owner was dead.

Dahl cannot completely remember all the incidents that happened in his life, so he embellishes, adding events that may not have happened. He also uses many descriptive words to portray perfectly what the many characters looked like and what happened. He uses descriptive words includung "drooping bloodhound cheeks and filthy clothes" and "black with dirt and grime". There are also many pictures and snippets of letters situated in the book, giving the reader further understanding. The illustrations are drawn by Quentin Blake.

Dahl's characterisation skills are also shown through his dialogue. He portrays Mrs Pratchett, the grubby shopkeeper at the candy store, as an uneducated woman as her speech drops the "h" at the start of a word and the "g" at the end of a word, so instead of saying "leave them hanging", she would say "leave 'em 'angin'". He also characterises in voice through what the characters actually say. An example is Mrs Pratchett's word choice and grammar. She uses very low level words and her grammar is very poor. Dahl takes voice characterisiation to the next level by stating the type of voice the characters use, such as Mrs Pratchett's high pitched shrieks.

I believe this is a great book to read, and I would recommend this book to any reader. The many caning incidents may cause distress though. Roald Dahl has used very descriptive language and figurative language along with spontaneous embellishment to employ a great mental image and a wonderful autobiography written by one of the greatest story tellers of all time. If you love this book, don’t forget to read the second part of his biography, Flying Solo. Flying Solo recounts Roald’s experience as a fighter pilot in the war, but that is another story altogether.
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LibraryThing member jf13
Book Review of Boy

The book Boy was written by Roald Dahl in 1984. This book is written in the style of an autobiography and it tells us what happened to him when he was a boy. Roald Dahl wrote the book to tell us what his childhood was like and to entertain us with his slightly exaggerated tales.
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The book Boy covers a time frame of 1920-1936, from when he was two to when he was twenty. Through this book, Roald Dahl reveals to us all the funny, painful and unpleasant memories and experiences he had during this timeframe. Some of the events that he talks about are The Great Mouse Plot, A Drive in the Motor-car, Goat’s Tobacco and Boazers. These are only some of the events that occur to our storyteller.
The book Boy is mainly centred on adventure themes. Most of the topics Roald Dahl uses are to do with humour. The main message of the book is to have fun, but to also do work while you’re at it. Many of Roald Dahl’s ideas are shown through his humorous stories and he often adds a paragraph of what he was trying to convey through his stories. Other ideas of his are shown through the language he uses and the simplicity of his story. Roald Dahl chose his ideas because help him pass on the message, topic and themes of his book further. Also readers could understand the meaning of his individual stories better as well.
Some techniques Roald Dahl use to convey his ideas are descriptive language, the setting, the suspense, his embellishment of the story and what he thought and felt when something happened to him. The descriptive language he uses to describe his characters really brings them to life and it also makes the setting more realistic. The setting he uses to place his story in makes the story believable and convincing. The suspense Roald Dahl places in the story is vital in making the story exciting and it makes you want to keep on reading to find out what finally happens. His embellishing of the story exaggerates what the characters or places actually are, but it enhances our image of the setting or character. Adding what he thought and felt to the story puts the finishing touches onto the story and lets us into what we would also feel if we were in the author’s place.
My favourite part of the story is when Roald Dahl puts the mouse inside the Gobstoppers jar and he got beaten by Mr. Coombes for it. I liked this part because it shows how cheeky Roald Dahl was and most children probably have been beaten by their parents once in their lifetime. I think that it tells us that the book is going to have some humour in it, but there will also be some pain in it as well. It also hints that the following stories will be very exciting and suspenseful. My judgement of this book is that it is a humorous book with many painful, funny and unpleasant memories turned into individual stories in the book. The strengths of this book are that it conveys its messages quite clearly and the stories have just the right amount of humour and pain in it. The weaknesses of this book are that it sometimes exaggerates a bit too much and some scenes are very gruesome. I would recommend this book for children above 10 years old.
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LibraryThing member DAHU
Boy Book Review
Boy is a book written by the famous and popular author Roald Dahl in 1984. It is an autobiography which retells the entertaining stories of Roald Dahl’s joyful, and at times rough, childhood adventures at boarding school. His memorable anecdotes about growing up have not only
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amused the audience through time, but have also presented messages to us.

The stories of Boy span between 1922 -1936. It begins with Dahl and his family’s history. It talks about his father’s (Harold Dahl) childhood experiences such as breaking his elbow, losing his first wife and how he his next wife[My mum(Sofie Magdalene Hesselberg)]. Then it shows a picture of Dahl’s birth and a letter to from his dad. This is then followed by his life during the kindergartens, primary school and then high school years.

One of the major events that happened was the ‘Great Mouse Plot’ and what made it so perfect was the use of characterization of the old woman. It happened in 1924 when Roald Dahl and his friends wanted to prank an old woman who owned a lolly shop. They had a grudge on her because she was unhygienic so they put a mouse in the gobstopper jar and they were severely punished at school by being caned.

Another time, Dahl’s nose was hanging by a thread of flesh after his sister had a car crash whilst turning at a sudden bend. He described it brilliantly of what had happened before it and then he’s nose. ‘Goats Tobacco’ was also a significant event and where Dahl tried to drive away his ‘ancient half sister’s’ boyfriend by putting goat dropping in his pipe. One of the sisters let the cat out of the bag and Dahl was chased into the seas. The suspense of what was going to happen was great.

The message conveyed by Roald Dahl is that a naughty boy can change dramatically and become a mature and a fine boy and through time, have a job beyond anyone’s wildest expectations such as a Cadbury Chocolate tester. Dahl chose these ideas to tell us, readers, that not everyone that not all people remain the way they are, good or bad. By using descriptive language, characterization and suspense, he displays the hardships and what can be achieved through time.

My favorite part of the book was the ‘Great Mouse Plot’ as it was entertaining and exciting. It makes you curious of what would happen next after the shop got closed and then it is revealed. This part already tells me that whatever happens next isn’t going to be dull and boring. Generally, this book is fantastic because it is short, amusing and easy to read. The only let down is that it can only be seen as a children’s book. I definitely recommend this book to children around the age of 10 and others who have interests in autobiographies and are prepared for exciting tales.

I agree with 'kittu26' that it is a great book
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LibraryThing member shinshinshin
Boy By Roald Dahl
“Boy” is the first autobiographical novel written by renowned British writer Roald Dahl. Published in 1984, Boy is a collection of hilarious and adventurous reminiscences that almost resemble Roald Dahl’s masterful fictionalised stories. Based on his life, this compelling
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novel engrosses readers by detailing Roald Dahl’s entertaining memories throughout his early years.
Recalling the adventures that ranged from 1918-1936, the storyline of Boy also branches down into his father’s adulthood and unfortunate death. The mainly describes the events between childhood and school, focusing on the difficult times that Roald Dahl had experienced in schools of Britain, when the cane was a legal object in terms of discipline. In Boy, you are able to learn about the early influences during Roald Dahl’s life that had led him into becoming a renowned writer. Apart from school, Roald Dahl also mentions the adventurous holidays that included the hilarious moment when Dahl replaced the fillings with goat droppings in his step-sister’s boyfriend’s pipe (found in Goat’s Tobacco).
“An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details. This is not an autobiography.” - Roald Dahl
Through this quote, Roald Dahl intended to only write down the events that stood out in his life, not the countless boring events that would have been displayed in an official autobiography. Roald Dahl shows that his ideas are not there just to inform his reader, as shown in most autobiographies, but rather to entertain them. Despite what he said, Boy is still an autobiography nevertheless.
Utilising his masterful techniques of story-telling, Roald Dahl, through his point of view, uses descriptive language and embellishments which makes the storyline almost seem “too good to be true”. The characters in Boy were given detailed descriptions with his distinct characteristics through dialogue that makes the story easy to understand for the reader. With the endless complications, the level of suspense would literally be seared into the reader’s imagination with the urge to turn to the next page become unstoppable.
The particular event that caught my interest was no doubt the incident when he had experienced an atrocious. The beginning of the story began with a sense of happiness and tranquillity as Dahl’s family go on a drive with his step-sisters new motorcar. However the suspense builds up as the motorcar gains speed, which then resulted in a car accident. It turned out the story didn’t stop there. Roald Dahl’s nose had nearly been cut right off! Would Dahl make it to the doctors before his nose would fall right off? That’s a question I would leave for you, out once you have read the book.
Because Boy is such a thin book, the story’s over before you know it. Don’t worry; there is another book that follows (the renowned Going Solo). With no mistake, Boy is a preferable book for children, adults and most definitely for Roald Dahl fans. The book would make you laugh, and allow you to experience his outrageous stories, such as the mouse found in the jar, but also it would make you agitate with disgust by the atrocious stories that included the cane and operation with adenoids. It is such a fantastic book that would entertain you non-stop through every page.
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LibraryThing member NYCX7
Book Review of Boy
Roald Dahl’s book Boy was first published in 1984. Its genre is controversial as can be seen to be an autobiography though the author states that it is not. It can also be seen as a narrative, recount, reminiscence and a memoir just to name a few. It is a collection of short but
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true stories that cover the most unforgettable experiences in his life as a boy both pleasant and dreadful such as holidays at Norway and school life, respectively.
The stories of Roald Dahl when he was a boy start from when he was age 6 and continue to age 20, which was from 1922 to 1936. The major events are The Great Mouse Plot and ‘goat’s tobacco’ and being caned by the headmasters.
The book shows the ideas of what the world was like in the 1920’s. It shows how dreadful it is to be in the presence of a headmaster. Roald Dahl shows this by exaggerating the size of the headmaster. ‘A giant of a man.’ In The Great Mouse Plot, the group consisting of Roald Dahl, Thwaites and three others have a foreign feeling. The author describes it as ‘jazzed up’ and ‘We felt like a gang of desperados setting out to rob a train or blow up the sheriff’s office’
Roald Dahl uses techniques of fiction in Boy, using description to create life-like characters and settings, figurative language intensify the description, suspense to tempt us to keep reading and embellishment to make everything more exciting and interesting.
I enjoyed the part when the dentist removed his adenoids the most because it was vividly written and very suspenseful. As I read it, I clamped my mouth shut and tried not to think about it too much.
‘The tiny blade flashed in the bright light and disappeared into my mouth. It went high up into the roof of my mouth, and the hand that held the blade gave four or five very quick little twists and the next moment, out of my mouth into the basin came tumbling a whole mass of flesh and blood.’ – Page 65 Boy
This part could lead me to believe that the whole book is a monstrous nightmare if it was one long story instead of lots of short stories. It also leads me to believe that the rest of the book is also as gripping as this paragraph.
It is a great book as expected from one of the world’s greatest storytellers. It is filled with thrills and well-written plots that ‘defy invention.’ It is a relatively short book but this minor weakness is overcome by its sequel Going Solo. Although Roald Dahl states that the headmaster of Repton who caned him became the Archbishop of Canterbury. Records show this headmaster left Repton a year before Roald Dahl’s arrival. I recommend this book for anyone. It contains magnificent techniques but written in colloquial language that children can easily comprehend.
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LibraryThing member koalanigel
Boy Book Review
Roald Dahl’s book Boy is an embellished autobiography of Roald Dahl’s childhood. Roald Dahl is a famous writer of fiction. In this book Roald Dahl adds fiction to some parts of it which helps him to embellish and it makes the book more interesting. This book was written in 1984.
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However he says “A real autobiography has boring details. So for this reason my book is not an autobiography.” He talks about the mean characters that he meets, the schools that he went to and exciting events that occurred like trips to Norway. He also talks about his family, the devastating deaths that occurred in it and the great times he had with them. He even talks about how certain parts of his childhood inspired him to write some of his fictional stories. He says that when he remembered about Mrs Pratchett’s sweets shops it inspired him to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
His childhood happened between the years of 1916 to 1936. He talks about a certain period like it were a different episode. One period was about his school at St Peters and what he did there like writing letters to his mother.
The main part of the book is about how Roald Dahl’s life was and what happened in his life at school and outside it. The two parts he talks about the most in the book is his time at Repton and St Peter’s school. He talks about his hobbies and what would normally happen each day at his schools. One of his hobbies was photography. He was the best photographer at his school. He also played fives and squash racquets. For those sports he became the captain but he didn’t become one of the boazers of his school. A boazer was a prefect of the school.
Roald Dahl uses descriptive languages and pen portraits to convoy a visual image of the people he met along with the amazing landscape. He says that thing like, “Blood hound cheeks” to describe his teacher Mr Corkers. He also uses figurative language to show the similarities of someone or something to something different. He embellishes fictional details to his characters to give us a better visual of his characters. He keeps saying that the character Mrs Pratchett has filthy hands which make us think about the look of it. He also makes the characters say horrible things of kind things but he would actually remember everything they said. Roald Dahl creates a lot of suspense by using repetition to constantly make us think about what he is describing. He also uses dialogue and makes the characters ask questions. He makes the boys that he walked to school with say “What is that?”
My favourite part of the book was when the family were at their “tiny, secret” island. It was when the “ancient half sister” and her “manly lover” went swimming and Roald Dahl put goats dropping into the man’s pipe. Then the couple came back and the “manly lover” smoked it and started choking. This part of the book doesn’t tell much about the book Boy other than that Roald Dahl likes to do tricks and how their family holidays were like.
Roald Dahl strengths in this book are his descriptive language, the building of suspense and the personalities of the characters. I would recommend this book to fans of Roald Dahl and for young readers.
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LibraryThing member TimBazzett
Delightful, dark - and thoroughly enjoyable. I have never read any of Roald Dahl's children's stories, but have always wanted to. His first memoir, BOY, is a very slight volume, less than 200 pages, but it is full of perhaps the most delightful and whimsical vignettes of childhood ever penned.
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While it is true there are some very shocking references to beatings and "canings" which were apparently quite common in English public schools, administered by both the masters and the older boys, the overall tone of the book is one of wonder and fond reminiscing. This is particularly true when Dahl talks of his home life, which was obviously a very loving albeit often unsupervised time, when boys could just be boys. Dahl's father, a very successful businessman, died when Roald was very young, but his mother, a Norwegian immigrant, kept her large blended family (6 children in all) very well, and stayed in Wales (then England) to raise them all, as her husband would have wanted her to. What I found most interesting in the book (although it was ALL absolutely wonderful) were the stories of young Roald's experiences at various boarding schools. These things happened back in the 20s, and yet many of these tales were so much like my own stories from one year in a Catholic seminary (a boarding school) that I was astounded. For example, when he explains "Prep," which was the same as what we called evening "study hall" at St Joe's in the late 50s.

"Every weekday evening the whole school would sit for one hour in the Main Hall, between six and seven o'clock, to do Prep. The Master on duty for the week would be in charge of Prep, which meant that he sat high up on a dais at the top end of the hall and kept order ... The rules of Prep were simple but strict. You were forbidden to look up from your work, and you were forbidden to talk ..."

This simple descriptive passage took me immediatley back to St Joe's Seminary in Grand Rapids when I was just 13 or so, and sat at my study hall desk right next to my friend Tom Cassleman. We often skirted these strict rules by raising the tops of our desks, ostensibly to get a book or pen, so we could whisper to each other or pass notes, smirking and huffing silently to each other, immensely pleased with ourselves at fooling the priest "master" up on the dais in the center of the hall. Ah, yes, Mr Dahl got it right, even though he himself was a fearful little boy of only nine in his tale, which took place in an English school over thirty years before. I could relate, as could any St Joe's student from those years in the 1950s. As for the canings, they were gone by the 50s in American schools, but we could be sent to see the dreaded Dean of Discipline, Fr Leo, if we were caught for any infractions of the rules. And I did hear rumors of a certain perhaps predatory short Monsignor who invited the smaller boys into his rooms to "counsel" them. Thankfully, since I was already over six feet tall, I never got the call. Another passage in Dahl's story which I immediately felt a kinship with was the one where he talked of the propensity of doctors and dentists in his day who never bothered with anesthetic when operating on children.

"Pain was something we were expected to endure. Anaesthetics and pain-killing injections were not much used in those days. Dentists, in particular, never bothered with them ..."

Yup, I had an old-school dentist, even in the 50s, who didn't believe in "wasting" novocaine on kids. The prevailing theory was that kids didn't really feel pain. I remember crying every time I got a filling, and I got a lot of them back in those pre-fluoride days. Dr Brown would frown and tell me to "stop being such a baby." Bastard! Once again, Dahl understood and got it right. If it isn't obvious yet, I loved this book.
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LibraryThing member aussieguy

“Written by Roald Dahl”. Immediately you know that that book is going to be an exciting one, one filled with daring adventures, scary moments and surprises you’ll never expect. Roald Dahl is an exceptional author, using techniques such as embellishment which means there is never a dull
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moment in any of his books. “Boy” is another great book in his collection which describes his adventurous, scary and amazing time as a kid.

“Boy” is not an autobiography, as he says, because it doesn’t contain all of the boring events in his life. However, it still tells his childhood from when he was a baby in Wales, to when he was 20 and leaving school.

The story begins, telling some information about his parents such as how his father lost his left arm and how he quickly became very rich. Roald Dahl is finally born, along with his 3 sisters and a step brother and sister (his first wife passed away). Even though his father and one of his sisters, his mother stayed rather than leave for Norway and soon, he began schooling at Landaff.

He didn’t remember much about his kindergarten school, nor at the Cathedral school. However, there was one memory which stuck out. They had a delightful sweetshop around there, owned by an old, nasty lady called Mrs Pratchett. They had their revenge on her by placing a mouse in one the jars. However, they soon regretted it as Mrs Pratchett reported to the school and Dahl and his friends were beaten by the principle, Mr Coombes.

Every summer holidays was in Norway and they were always great. The magic islands, the lake, the motorboat and all his relatives were there and he enjoyed every bit of his stay. His only unpleasant memory was when he had his adenoids sliced out.

Soon he went to St Peter’s boarding school where it was a great new adventure. He met many friends such as Arkle, who fed slugs to his secret pet frog, The most dangerous person in the school is probably the Matron. She is a frightening woman who is always alert around, waiting for an excuse to send them down to the principal’s office, where you will get beaten. Once, a brave boy named Wragg sprinkled castor sugar all over the corridor after lights were out. It wasn’t long before the Matron stomped into the room, furious. She screamed and screamed but none of us owned up. They were punished, but didn’t complain.

With homesickness, a terrible car accident and more school mischief, he miraculously survives the 4 years in St Peters and soon moved onto Repton Public School. There were many things that had changed. Firstly, there are Boazers at the school, who are prefects who can thrash any student who has done something wrong (eg- failing to dust their study), while he met many teachers, such as Captain HardCastle, who took a deep disliking for him . School wasn’t that bad: they got to taste test the chocolate given in by Cadbury and they had a wonderful maths teacher who taught anything but maths.

He reached his final year in Repton and had the chance to go to Oxford or Cambridge University. However, he wanted to join a company that would send him to faraway places such as China. He eventually chose to join Shell Company. After he left Repton, instead of spending the summer holidays in Norway, he went to Newfoundland with the Public School Explorers. It was not much leisure, but it was a genuine adventure.

He and the other trainees spent 2 years of intensive training with the Shell Company. They had a special trainer who taught them all about the fuel oil, kerosene, gasoline and so on. They were then sent off to various Shell branches in England to study salesmanship. He was soon summoned back to the Head Office and was told to leave for Egypt. Refusing, he was summoned again for East Africa, and Dahl was overjoyed. He soon left off for East Africa, and had great experiences there, not to mention in the War, which is continued in his next book “Going Solo.”

This is an exciting book written by Roald Dahl for all ages, telling about the unforgettable moments of his childhood. Once you start reading, you won’t be able put it down until the very last page.
Great book!
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LibraryThing member shikaramu
The book Boy written by Roald Dahl, one of the most renowned children story writers in the world, is a classical book which recounts Dahl’s best memories. For a book that was written in 1984 when Dahl was 68 years old, it is exceptional.

This book is not an autobiography as it clearly states in
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the preface of the book that
“An auto biography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of boring details.” Thus this means that Boy cannot be an auto biography as the book isn’t full of boring details but full of interesting stuff where some are funny, some are painful and some are unpleasant.

Dahl writes only his childhood time period between 1916 and 1930 in Boy. The next book in the series named Going Solo covers the rest of his period until 1946. He remembers his childhood memories so well that he’s able to recollect the interesting events that occurred when he was young. One of the major events is when he takes revenge on Mrs Pratchett by putting a dead rat in her gobstopper jar.

Dahl absorbs readers into the book by embellishing fictional techniques into his childhood story. He uses metaphors, for example “an ungainly man with drooping bloodhound cheeks and filthy clothes.” to describe Corkers. This is used to convey an image into reader’s mind that Corkers is most probably like Mrs Pratchett as he is described as being filthy. Then Dahl writes that Corkers was probably the best maths teacher he had, as he learnt interesting stuff from him.

In the goat’s tobacco episode of the story, Dahl adds suspense to readers with his use of effective words. “The entire family watched me as I did this. Nobody said a word, but I could sense a glow of approval all round. I replaced the pipe on the rock and all of us sat back to await the return of the victim.” Automatically readers will get questions in their minds such as, Will the victim take it? Will he know and go furious at Dahl? Will the family be able to shut their mouths and not give the game away?

The part where Dahl pretends to have appendicitis so he can go home is probably my favourite part. The reason I like this so much is that Dahl uses so much persuasive language that he has appendicitis that the matron and the school doctor actually believe him. But Dr Dunbar realises that Dahl has been telling a lie so he can go back home. The doctor takes pity on him and allows him to go home on the condition that he should never ever try the trick again. This part shows that the book Boy is a well structured book that uses a lot of techniques including the hook and suspense. This chapter hook readers into perusing the book to find out more of Dahl’s interesting activities.

The strengths of Boy are how Dahl uses his language to convey a message in readers’ minds, to create suspense and most probably the best of all is how he draws readers into the book. Both students and teachers can learn from this book. Students can learn how to write an excellent autobiography and teachers can learn how to teach writing autobiographies and still make it very interesting.
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LibraryThing member Demon_noobslayerX_ra
Boy By Roald Dahl

“Boy” is one of Roald Dahl’s hilarious and entertaining biographies. This is a book written by Roald Dahl in the year 1984. He talks about his fond memories such as the ‘Mouse Plot’ which made him a hero for the day, the goat’s tobacco where he played a great prank on
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his ancient half-sisters manly lover and the ‘Drive in a Motorcar’. In this ‘biography’ he talks about his young years from 1920s till 1936. This book was supposed to be an autobiography but in Roald Dahl’s words he says that a biography is boring and doesn’t have many good moments therefore this is not a biography.
This story tells great times in Dahl’s life and tells us messages through them of mistakes and accomplishments in his life. He chooses these especially because these were the kinds of mistakes we are still making these days. He tells us that even if a person is horrible and nasty, you still can’t be nasty as well if they haven’t done anything wrong. He tells us that we should enjoy our life as we have it as life in the old days was much stricter. And conveying these ideas with descriptive language, characterization, settings, points of view and suspense, he also makes these time enjoyable to read.
In this book there are many interesting parts. In the ‘Mouse Plot’, Dahl puts a dead mouse in disgusting Mrs Pratchetts jar of gobbstoppers! Yuk! Imagine if you were the first person to buy gobbstoppers while the mouse was still in there. And the striking from the headmaster, ouch! Being whipped on the but by the headmaster. That’s gotta hurt. And making it worse, being whipped while Mrs Pratchett was watching. You would be humiliated. But the most hilarious of all was the ‘Goats tobacco’. Imagine you being the ancient half-sisters manly lover, feeling the horrible, horrible taste of goats tobacco. Especially when it’s your wife’s half- brother shredding goat crap on your pipe!
Well the best part of this story for me was the ‘Drive in a Motorcar’ chapter. This is when Dahl’s half-sister drives the motorcar then crashes it and making it worse, Dahl’s nose gets cleanly sliced to the very last skin by the jagged glass. This part of the book is obviously embellished (exaggerated, emphasised etc.) but tells that this book will be interesting and exciting to read.
I would recommend this book to children’s of ages around 10 as even though it is a bit childish, some parts of this book may make small children sad as they take things more seriously and the repeating of being whipped by the headmaster, cutting off his nose and enraging the manly lover, may be taken in offense of some kind. But saying this, there are some entertaining parts of the story which would make a smile on your face.
This book does have strengths and weakness in my opinion. A strength is the use of words he uses. Putting them together in the right way makes the book a whole lot interesting and describing the landscape makes you feel like you’re actually where Dahl is as well. A weakness, is as I said, the repeating of canings, going to doctors, breaking limbs, cutting off noses and other horrible things make this book like a horror story rather than a good, entertaining biography.
Overall, I think this is a great book and could be read by anyone over the age of 10, even adults could read this book and enjoy it which make Roald Dahl such a great writer.
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LibraryThing member thecreatr
BOY: Tales of Childhood
Author: Roald Dahl
Illustrator: Quentin Blake
Genre: autobiography (sort of)
Published: 1984
Advantages: Funny, amusing, short
Disadvantages: seems like a children’s book
Recommendations: Anyone who can read

Boy: If you have read any of Roald Dahl’s other
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marvellous stories, you should guess that this book is just as wonderful. It is a recount of Roald Dahl’s life and is the prequel to: Going Solo.
At the beginning of the book, Roald Dahl explains that the book is not an autobiography which is true since it is a recollection of his embellished childhood experiences.
“An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and is usually full of all sorts of boring details. This is not an autobiography. I would never write a history about myself. On the other hand, throughout my young days at school and just afterwards a number of things happened to me that I have never forgotten.”
The story starts with an introduction on Roald Dahl and his Norwegian background and relatives but focuses a lot on Roald’s school days. Roald paints illustrious pictures of his characters using embellishment. Photographs, letters and pictures by Quentin Blake create more accuracy to the stories.
The stories themselves are unputdownable and are filled with suspense leaving readers on a hook. The book can appeal to older audiences and adults. The language is descriptive and witty with lots of feeling which builds characters in your mind.
Roald Dahl’s stories usually appeals to children but is still enjoyed by many adults around the world. The book is an honest, exciting recollection of Roald Dahl’s experiences which revisits his childhood life.
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LibraryThing member Clurb
Dahl's early childhood reads just like his books. Horrible teachers, wonderful sweets, scrapes and mischief all round.
LibraryThing member Roman_Totale
An enthralling series of anecdotes from Dahl's childhood, richly embellished with humour, suspense and vivid description. Dahl's brilliance as a storyteller is as much on show here as in his fiction. Particularly recommended for anyone who has suffered at the hands of bullying teachers.
LibraryThing member cacv78
Dahl, Roald. (1984) Boy: Tales of Childhood. New York: Penguin Books.

This autobiography by the author looks at his early years before he became a writer. He spent a lot of his time in boarding schools in England. It is a quite lengthy autobiography because it goes into a lot of detail about his
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family and his life away at school. It is geared toward an upper elementary school school because of the length and the language. It would also be for someone who was a fan of the authors writing and will show them how although he had difficulties growing up, he had a great time overall.
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LibraryThing member saroz
Dahl's great talent somehow makes tales of childhood fear, mischief and loneliness into the most engaging kind of wicked fun. From the promised land of sweet shops to the uncharted territory of boarding school, the memoir is breezy and quick, never settling too long on anything, certainly alluding
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to the heartache but never allowing it to sink in. It's only after reading that you realize the extent of what happened to Dahl in his youth, and even then, all you really want is to go back and read it all again.
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LibraryThing member siew
It's been 15 years since I first read this as a child, and it still delights me reading about this amazing writer in his own words.
LibraryThing member LibraryLou
This is the first of two autobiographies of Roald Dahl, this one dealing with his childhood. Written so well that it can be enjoyed by any age, this book introduces us to the people and events that inspired Dahl's stories.
I loved the innocence of the schoolboy stories, and the love for his family
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really shines through.
This is a fabulous insight into the early life that created an author whose books will be loved forever.
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LibraryThing member LAteacher
I think everyone in sixth grade should read this because it's an interating stoy about Roald Dahl's childhood. Also, i think many people can relate to this book.

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