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About the book
  • Published: 3 May 2010
  • ISBN: 9780141189642
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 270
  • RRP: $19.99

Someone Like You


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These eighteen tales of the macabre show Dahl's dark brilliance as a short story writer.

In addition to his celebrated childrens' books such as James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl wrote short fiction for adult audiences, and the tales collected in Someone Like You are dark, witty morsels of intrigue and suspense from a master storyteller. This Penguin Modern Classics edition is published with a foreword by Dom Joly.

These eighteen tales of the macabre show Dahl's dark brilliance as a short story writer. They are wicked (as an old man attracts the attentions of those more interested in his skin than his wellbeing), shocking (as distasteful bets are made - a daughter's hand on the identity of a glass of claret, a finger risked for a Cadillac) and blackly humorous (as a cuckolded husband receives a chance to take his revenge out on his wife's neck). Someone Like You is as devilishly ingenious and suspenseful as writing gets.

With the publication of James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the 1960s, Roald Dahl (1916-90) became the most successful children's author in the world, Roald Dahl. Nearly twenty years after his death in 1990, a fresh generation of children seek out his work with instinctive fanaticism. His creations endure - through Hollywood movies, theatre adaptations and musical works, but still most potently through the pure magic of his writing upon the page.

If you enjoyed Someone Like You, you might like Saki's The Complete Short Stories, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'Fantastic as Grimm, heartless as Saki' Guardian

  • Pub date: 3 May 2010
  • ISBN: 9780141189642
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 270
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Roald Dahl

When he was at school Roald Dahl received terrible reports for his writing - with one teacher actually writing in his report, 'I have never met a boy who so persistently writes the exact opposite of what he means. He seems incapable of marshalling his thoughts on paper!' After finishing school Roald Dahl, in search of adventure, travelled to East Africa to work for a company called Shell. In Africa he learnt to speak Swahili, drove from diamond mines to gold mines, and survived a bout of malaria where his temperature reached 105.5 degrees (that's very high!). With the outbreak of the Second World War Roald Dahl joined the RAF. But being nearly two metres tall he found himself squashed into his fighter plane, knees around his ears and head jutting forward. Tragically of the 20 men in his squadron, Roald Dahl was one of only three to survive. Roald wrote about these experiences in his books Boy and Going Solo. Later in the war Roald Dahl was sent to America. It was there that he met famous author C.S. Forester (author of the Captain Hornblower series) who asked the young pilot to write down his war experiences for a story he was writing. Forester was amazed by the result, telling Roald 'I'm bowled over. Your piece is marvellous. It is the work of a gifted writer. I didn't touch a word of it.' (an opinion which would have been news to Roald's early teachers!). Forester sent Roald Dahl's work straight to the Saturday Evening Post. Roald Dahl's growing success as an author led him to meet many famous people including Walt Disney, Franklin Roosevelt, and the movie star Patricia Neal. Patricia and Roald were married only one year after they met! The couple bought a house in Great Missenden called Gipsy House. It was here that Roald Dahl began to tell his five children made-up bedtime stories and from those that he began to consider writing stories for children. An old wooden shed in the back garden, with a wingbacked armchair, a sleeping bag to keep out the cold, an old suitcase to prop his feet on and always, always six yellow pencils at his hand, was where Roald created the worlds of The BFG, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and many, many more.

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