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Lamb to the Slaughter and Other Stories

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,289 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
These five short stories offer a selection of Dahl's adult writing. Parson's Pleasure is a country tale, A Piece of Cake, a wartime reminiscence, Lamb to the Slaughter a story of vengeful murder, and the remaining two, The Bookseller and The Butler, are on favorite themes of greed and snobbery.
Paperback, Penguin 60s, 87 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Penguin (first published 1953)
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Sep 12, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories, humor
Roald Dahl is one of the most sardonic of short story writers. This little volume, with just five of his best stories, makes for a fast, but exceedingly high quality read. I should warn you that you had best be prepared for a near-lethal dosage of snark. The best and longest of the five, "Parson's Pleasure," is the classic example of a greedy antique dealer hoist on his own petard.

I did not care that much or "A Piece of Cake," about a World War II bomber crash injury, but the final three storie
Kevin Wilkinson
The title short story, "Lamb to the Slaughter", is a masterful short story that blends the kind of suspense that we see in the old, 1950s horror stories and films like Alfred Hitcock Presents or Twilight Zone, gender issues, and black comedy. The short story sets up with a conventional situation of a working, plain hubsand and doting, subservient wife. The story, however, slowly builds into a bizarre, murder story.The wife essentially murders the husband when he decides to leaves her and, all th ...more
Jan 05, 2016 Noel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction
What a fantastic little book! I was unaware of the fact that Roald Dahl wrote adult fiction until I saw it mentioned in The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, and then I decided I definitely needed to read this. I enjoyed all five stories, but I especially loved Parson's Pleasure, Lamb to the Slaughter, and The Butler. They were just delightful. In a twisted sort of way.
Jul 27, 2012 Shiran rated it it was amazing
Review for Lamb to the Slaughter only

I loved, loved, loved this twisted short story by Roald Dahl! It's no secret that Dahl is one of the greatest writers of his generation but he very rarely gets enough accolades for his adult books and stories.

When Mary Maloney, a devoted housewife, find out her husband Patrick is leaving her she reacts by taking a leg of lamb out of the freezer to took dinner. But when Patrick tells her not to cook him dinner, he is going out, she snaps and hits him in the he
Feb 03, 2012 Natshane rated it really liked it
Read : Lamb to the Slaughter

I was assigned to read Lamb to the Slaughter as a literature text and it was something different from my usual reads. First of all, I rarely read short stories, and this might be one of the best short stories I've ever read. Furthermore, I was surprised by the choice of book that was included in the University syllabus, this was far derived from my high school literature texts.

Mary Maloney was six months old pregnant when her husband came home one day and told her of
Nov 10, 2015 Olga added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jesse Goodglass
Dec 27, 2007 Jesse Goodglass rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: short story readers
Shelves: short-stories
A really interesting and surprising collection of stories from one of my favorite children's writers. So dark! I know Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach -- these were light and airy books that can be read to 4th graders. Some of the stories in Lamb, however, were so dark as to be almost sinister! It was delightful.
Sam Bryans
Mar 20, 2014 Sam Bryans rated it did not like it
In the story " Lamb to the Slaughter " it's about a pregnant stay at home mum called Mary Maloney, it was just a normal night when Mary was waiting at home for her husband Patrick but didn't expect what was going to happen when he arrived. When he did finally arrive he pours himself a very strong drink and for her a weak one, he seems angry and barely talks at all... He then tells her something that makes her very upset and angry but we do not find out what he told her. Once she comes to grip wi ...more
Anne Broyles
Jan 04, 2009 Anne Broyles rated it really liked it
My son found this slim paperback in a used bookstore in Wellington, New Zealand, and all four of us ended up reading it while traveling. Dahl's short stories are rich in character and humor (with one exception: a serious World War II story) and most end with a delightful twist. The humorous stories made me laugh out loud: always a plus!
Mar 31, 2014 Coenraad rated it it was amazing
As an introduction to Dahl's writing for adults, this selection is delightful, delicious and delectable. The priceless Chippendale bargain, the murder weapon eaten by the police, the extremely profitable book trade, the butler knowing more about wine than his employer - all these stories entertain elegantly. The text about an air force pilot in the Second World War in North Africa demonstrates a lesser known aspect of Dahl's writing. Thoroughly worthwhile.

Dahl se verhale vir volwassenes is op 'n
Marigold Haske
Aug 22, 2007 Marigold Haske rated it it was amazing
Unexpected, wicked, deeeeelicious! If you like his children's stories, definitely pick up some of his stories for adults.
Jul 29, 2007 Ben rated it it was amazing
i really want to adapt THE SOUND MACHINE into a stage musical, but i'm not sure about the legality of doing that.
Oct 26, 2007 Ruth rated it really liked it
This was a borrowed book from Jack's mom (or "mum"). We bookworms are everywhere!
Oct 09, 2007 Shannon rated it liked it
One of the first short stories I remember reading as a kid, in third grade.
Mar 20, 2014 Jack rated it liked it
Lamb to the Slaughter was a very strange story with a pregnant lady named Mary Maloney and her husband Patrick who have a an awkward discussion which quickly turns into a violent murder. She also uses a very peculiar weapon for the murder. Then she calls the cops who get straight to the scene and can not find the weapon she used...
I enjoyed this story because it had that edge of spookiness and suspense. I would recommend this story to other people because you may be a Roald Dahl fan and this is
Sarah Key
Jul 11, 2014 Sarah Key rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
"Hell hath no fury like a woman's scorn."
Traeson Rubenstein
Mar 27, 2014 Traeson Rubenstein rated it liked it
In the story "Lamb to the Slaughter" it's about a stay home mum called Mary Maloney that's pregnant and devoted to her husband. Her husband Patrick Maloney is a police detective and seems standoffish, and angry in the beginning. Mary is waiting for Patrick to come home, and when he does she makes him a very strong drink and herself a weak one. He seems very angry and hardly speaks to her at all, but when he does speak to her... He tells her a secret that will change their relationship. Then Mary ...more
James Swenson
Mar 11, 2012 James Swenson rated it it was amazing
Five short stories:

* Parson's Pleasure
* A Piece of Cake
* Lamb to the Slaughter
* The Bookseller
* The Butler

"A Piece of Cake" is, I believe, the first story ever sold by Roald Dahl -- a half-fantastical memoir of being shot down in North Africa while flying a Gladiator for the RAF. The rest are lovely twist-ending stories; "Lamb to the Slaughter" is a genuine classic. I hope it's not too much of a spoiler to give the final score: one perfect crime, and three nearly perfect ones.

One thinks of Roald
Sep 04, 2013 Colton rated it liked it
In Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter,” Mary Maloney, a pregnant, stay-at-home wife, is at home. It’s an ordinary evening; she is waiting patiently for her husband, Patrick, to come home from work. When he comes home, his behavior isn’t the same. He seems quiet and far away. Mary gets worried, asking him if he wants to have dinner at home instead of going out to eat like they do every Thursday evening. He responds saying no to almost every request she offered. Finally, he reveals what was maki ...more
Kylie K.
Sep 04, 2013 Kylie K. rated it really liked it
In “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl, stay-at-home wife, and almost stay-at-home mother, Mary Maloney is married to police detective Patrick Maloney. This story takes place probably sometime in the 1940’s. Mary waits for Patrick to get home, Mary gets Patrick an alcoholic drink, and barely talks to Mary. Mary and Patrick seem to be kind of distant from each other, they barely talk to each other in the story. Every Thursday Mary and Patrick go out to eat, but Patrick was to tired to go out s ...more
Amber H.
Sep 04, 2013 Amber H. rated it liked it
In “Lamb to Slaughter’’ by Ronald Dahl, Mary Maloney is a stay at home wife that’s pregnant and devoted to her husband. Her husband Patrick Maloney is a police detective and seems standoffish, and angry In the beginning, Mary is waiting for Patrick to come home, and when he does, she makes him a stronger drink and her a weak one. He seems very angry and hardly speaks to her. When he does speak to her, he tells her a secret that will change their relationship. Then Mary gets a leg of lamb to make ...more
Mary G.
Sep 04, 2013 Mary G. rated it it was ok
In Roald Dahl’s short story, “Lamb of the Slaughter”, Mary Maloney is an average, six month pregnant housewife who stays at home while her husband, Patrick Maloney, works as a detective. One day after the workday has ended, Mary sat alone, waiting for her husband to return home. Just like every other night, Mary takes his coat from him, hangs it up on the rack and follows him into their living room. She sits back and continues her sewing. After a while, she notices Patrick’s silence. Mary then s ...more
Alyssa C.
Sep 04, 2013 Alyssa C. rated it it was ok
“Lamb To Slaughter” by Roald Dahl
Book Review by Alyssa Candy

“Lamb to Slaughter” by Roald Dahl is one of those short stories that leaves you with many unanswered questions. Housewife Mary Maloney is expecting a child and waiting for her husband to come home from work. To help him wind down from the days events Mary Maloney gets her husband, Patrick Maloney, a drink. While drinking he tells her some shocking news that ends up changing their lives forever. To get her mind off the news, Mary Malone
Cordell B.
Sep 04, 2013 Cordell B. rated it liked it
In Roald Dahl’s short story “Lamb of the slaughter” the main character Mary Maloney is a pregnant stay-at-home wife. At the beginning she is waiting on her husband police detective Patrick Maloney who is to come home from work, once he comes home, Patrick has a drink and hardly ever talks. This day he tells her a secret that will change their relationship forever. After he tells her the secret they don’t talk, but when they do talk to each other they are very mean and harsh. She wants to cook di ...more
Aug 27, 2008 Felicia rated it it was ok
If you're not familiar with Penguin 60s, they are a series of little paperbacks that Penguin published in honor of its 60th anniversary. There are 60 titles in all, and each is around 4x3x.25". They are wee little tomes, and they fit delightfully inside this tiny punkrock purse I have: it's got sort of 70s fake-leather material that's been spraypainted on one side with fuscia paintin a sort of tagged, sort of Warhol-silkscreen way. Love the purse, but it has major drawbacks: not only is it way t ...more
Sean Daniels
Mar 20, 2014 Sean Daniels rated it really liked it
My English class got assigned to read this short story. I thought it was not going to be a good book but when I actually started reading it I really started enjoying it.

This short story is about a six month pregnant lady who receives bad news from her husband. Shen soon retrieved a frozen lamb leg she was originally suppose to cook for dinner and hit her husband hard on his head eventually killing him. She quickly put the lamb leg into the oven and ran down the road and went to the butcher so s
N.J. Ramsden
Feb 07, 2014 N.J. Ramsden rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Dahl's shorts are a tad over-rated I think. They're predictable, repetitive, and often rather flat; at their best, they are mildly entertaining without saying a great deal about anything. This tiny volume, while perhaps giving the uninitiated a palatable glimpse into Dahl's short fiction, is barely worth the effort of picking up – those with a taste for the material should go to his collected stories instead.
Apr 18, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I have only read in 6th grade "Lamb to the slaughter" but now i am in 10th grade and I have always remember these stories from 6th grade especially this one because they are a bit odd but I want to read some of the other short stories that Ronald Dahl has written...

Read in 6th grade...
- "Lamb to the Slaughter"
- "The Surgeon"
- "The gift of the Magi"

Now have read...
Freda Labianca
Dec 30, 2014 Freda Labianca rated it it was amazing
Clever Story!
You start off thinking the wife is sweet as punch. In hindsight, which we know is 20-20, after what her husband does, I can empathize why she wasn't what I originally thought.
I wasn't expecting what happened and how she cleaned it all up.
Sick and twisted but in all the right ways!
For the record, the story was much better than the short film I saw.
Jan 10, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
It's been quite some time since I've read any of Dahl's work, the last being Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I was surprised by his sinister ness in these short stories, but nonetheless impressed by his writings. I'll have to look more into his work.
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Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who rose to prominence in the 1940's with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's bestselling authors.

Dahl's first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was Shot Down Over Libya. Today the story is published as "A Piece of Cake". The story, about his wartime a
More about Roald Dahl...

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