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The Roald Dahl Omnibus: Perfect Bedtime Stories for Sleepless Nights

4.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,046 Ratings  ·  158 Reviews
Ever since his stories first appeared, people have been telling and re-telling each other Roald Dahl's sometimes shocking and always brilliant and bizarre assortment of terror-tinted gems. Bawdy, funny, touching, and downright outrageous, there's simply no one else like Roald Dahl.

This volume is a diabolical collection of 28 of Dahl's best stories. Shiver to classics like
...more
Hardcover, 681 pages
Published June 13th 1993 by Barnes & Noble (first published 1986)
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Community Reviews

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El
The first time I realized that Roald Dahl wrote anything other than children's stories was somewhere around 7th or 8th grade when our English class was assigned to read a short story by Dahl called Lamb to the Slaughter. I fell in love with it at that time, I've referenced it numerous times over the years, I've re-read it a few times, and each time it never fails to completely amuse me. It never gets old. After reading his books for a younger audience as a child, the idea that there was this who ...more
Akie
Apr 19, 2010 Akie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: depressing, humor
Many people love Dahl for his absurdly comedic children's stories, but their interest unfortunately stops there. He is one of the most chilling, demented & skilled short story writers I have ever read, and this collection of adult fictions is enough to satisfy anyone's taste for macabre humor. Dahl twists the commonplace into the horrific, the sublime & the darkly hilarious in delectable tidbits that brim with the violence that seethes behind every moment of life. In retrospect, his chil ...more
Melissa
Feb 20, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Hitchcock films or Roald Dahl's children's books
Shelves: short-stories
The tagline for this title is "Perfect Bedtime Stories for Sleepless Nights" but what that should actually indicate to you is that if you read these before going to bed, you will not be sleeping. Definitely intended for adults, this collection of short stories all seem to be suspenseful and most of the characters come to horrible, sometimes extra creepy, ends. I like that a lot of the time the stories kind of drift off at the end - he never comes out and says how the person ends up but just hits ...more
Jillian
Mar 15, 2011 Jillian rated it it was amazing
Roald Dahl is a brilliant storyteller. Omnibus is a great collection that showcases his ability to amuse, frighten & entertain beyond compare. Not the kiddie stories that we remember him so fondly for, but these might make you take another look at those childhood favorites to see what dark nuance you may have missed. It's not just the inventiveness of the scenarios themselves, but the way he presents them: the unique perspectives of narrators, sadistic twists & clever dialogue draw you i ...more
Anina
Aug 18, 2008 Anina rated it it was amazing
stories differ from this collection.
I think with both you have every Dahl story.

This is more of a note to self than a review, sorry!

But I can tell you that if you read this book you will feel really accomplished because it has like 500 pages.
Mark
Nov 29, 2010 Mark rated it liked it
Shelves:
So, having been on a short story kick for about a year, I was excited when a colleague of mine said he was reading this. I saw the recent movie version of "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and remembered how much I loved the caricatures of British life that Dahl seems to use so well, and that made me go to the library to pick this up. I've read about a third of the stories, and although I do enjoy the little plot twists at the end of most stories, sometimes they're a little underwhelming. Perhaps I'm desensit ...more
Kirstie
May 20, 2008 Kirstie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of short stories and Roald Dahl in general, creative fiction, etc.
Just finished this today and I would say 4 is an overall score..there are some stories in this that knock you right off your feet with a 5 star quality and others that are more ho hum with a 3 star fare. Overall, a very enjoyable read from an author I hadn't realized even wrote for adults until recently. Like countless other girls, I imagined myself having the power of Matilda when I was younger but for many years I have strayed from Dahl as a writer.


Many of these stories are gruesome without b
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Nick
Oct 06, 2010 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: oddly-delightful
Well, the cover of the book says "perfect bedtime stories for sleepless nights," and that's pretty much how I got through Dahl's Omnibus. Though, I was a bit confused as to why you would want to bill your book as perfect for sleepless nights-- as if just cracking this one open would get you snoring in no time. Quite the opposite was the case for me, as this book usually induced sleepless nights rather than remedied them. Dahl's tone in this collection is a far cry from what I've been acquainted ...more
Lani
Mar 11, 2009 Lani rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jill
Shelves: modernclassics, own
I've had this book on my shelf for years, but couldn't bring myself to sit down and read it. Short stories aren't really my thing, and the book is a huge and heavy hardback.

I finally made it my 'bedtime book' and kept it by my bed. Since I got the kittens, I had plenty of excuses to lounge around in my room and power through these stories.

I was surprised how quickly I ripped through the book once I started in earnest. Several of the stories were hilarious, and one in particular is very familiar
...more
John
Apr 20, 2015 John rated it it was amazing
Not all of the stories in this collection are hits, but the ones that are fairly blew me away. Years after reading, many of these stories still lurk in the grimy corners of my subconscious, sidling out every now and again to leer, reminding me that no one can ever totally rid themselves of the Darkness. And, maybe, you wouldn't want to if you could.
Mike
May 31, 2008 Mike rated it it was amazing
This is a collection of short stories by a man many consider to be the greatest children's writer ever. This book should end that discussion. First, these stories show clearly that he really never wrote for children. He was a children's subversive, in that his stories are really nursery tales meant for adults. Second, anyone who has read his novels gets the vague sense there is a darker story being told than the mere details suggest. These short stories reveal that dark side: violent, biting and ...more
orelia
Apr 06, 2007 orelia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: for those who want intrigue and grotesque
This is the best collection of short story's Dahl has ever written. I was a fan of his children's books growing up, but his short story fiction is like a pure pre-Hollywood Alfred Hitchcock movie: eerie and wonderfully grotesque. I just can't of the stories about old hags, proprieters of boarding houses who entise young men and taxidermy them. And what about the one where the mysterious cigar smoking poolside sitting conman trades his Cadillac to chop off a man's finger? These are beautiful piec ...more
Justin
Sep 29, 2012 Justin rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
Wanted to visit an old friend. These are wonderfully wicked short stories. Dahl's control of character and pacing is incredible. Must read.

Favorites in this collection:
"Lambs to the slaughter" which is a warning to spouses and police investigators that pregnant women are very dangerous.
"Pig" which is a moral tale as to why parents should never go out on a date or how vegetarians are benefical to the meat packing industry.
"Royal Jelly" just read it and never underestimate a beekeeper. When the
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Mark
Jan 13, 2009 Mark rated it really liked it
This is a really good collection of stories. My one criticism is that a few of the stories seemed to be less inspired than the others. This makes perfect sense seeing as the book is a collection of many stories that span the writers career.

These stories delve into the strange workings of upper crust society that are just laughable. Bets, insults, fingers, wine, lamb legs, and other trivial subjects become dreadfully serious.

What a good read. This is not life changing, but HIGHLY entertaining.
Mle
Nov 04, 2009 Mle rated it really liked it
This is a book of short stories about the small evils (and sometimes not so small ones) in everybody. The tales each feature some dark twist, and they become increasingly sexy and/or spooky metaphysical as the book wears on.

Olden-timey chauvinistic, but good eerie fun!
sara frances
Oct 01, 2008 sara frances rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this collection of Dahl's adult stories. Pages are splashed with sex, violence, and twists that knock you on your ass. What more could you ask for?
Sloan Peterson
Jun 09, 2013 Sloan Peterson rated it really liked it
I liked it. I feel like it was a more adult version of the books he writes for kids. It is gruesome, kinda raw.
Jenny churchill
Feb 20, 2008 Jenny churchill rated it it was amazing
we need more fairy tales for grown folk.
Bethany
Aug 08, 2013 Bethany rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
My sister gave this to me for Christmas years ago when I (and possibly, probably, she) was too young to be reading it. Roald Dahl is one of my favorite authors, and even though it was years after I received it that I really started reading it, I'm glad my sister gave it to me.

I haven't read all the stories in it, but Lamb to the Slaughter is one of my favorite short stories. Lamb to the Slaughter is a macabre story that one would expect Edgar Allan Poe to write, in fact I have mistakenly given
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Sarah
Jan 11, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
The quality of writing in this book is superb, but the collection isn't suited for readers who want to read this straight before bed like the cover suggests. Nearly all of Dahl's stories end with an interesting twist that certainly doesn't lull readers to sleep, but does show that he was a master of the short story. This collection of stories for adults certainly makes me look at his books for children in a different light.

On a more personal and slightly spoilerish revelation, I found too many o
...more
Sarah
Apr 26, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
I liked this very much, but I take issue with the subtitle that says it's "perfect bedtime stories for sleepless nights," since nearly all of these stories left me feeling wound up or agitated or disturbed or just too delighted to even think about sleeping. I'd read some before, and I liked them even more the second time around, and some were just so surprising and dirty and I couldn't believe the words were coming from the same person who brought us James and the Giant Peach. Overall I'd say th ...more
Jessica
Apr 01, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing
It rocked my face off! I had only read his kids stuff before this, and had no idea what a dark grown up world he would take me into. It was twisty, unexpected, and had a variety of stories full of suspense and awesome. It was a long one, but every story was worthwhile--don't skip any of them.
Kirstin
Feb 18, 2016 Kirstin rated it really liked it
Although I have read a considerable amount of Dahl's fiction for young readers, before picking up this tome, I had never experienced his adult fiction. it was not a disappointment. In the entire collection featured here there weren't more than a small handful for stories here I didn't really enjoy. His token dark humor, schadenfreude, and even a few creepy crawley tales. Not to be missed for any fan or admirer.
Claire
Dec 19, 2015 Claire rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who enjoyed Roald Dahl as kids
Just imagine all of the creepy/weird shit from Roald Dahl's children's books cranked up and let loose for an adult audience, and you'll get a pretty good impression of what these stories are like. I personally feel that they're a little like Kafka's stories, in that they aren't explicitly supernatural, but they follow a strange and unsettling kind of symbolic dream-logic that reflects and distorts human nature while still managing to have a dark and wry sense of humor.
Madina Papadopoulos
Dec 25, 2014 Madina Papadopoulos rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
Was it a coincidence that as a fan of 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' I would also love Roald Dahl's short stories for adults? So many AHP episodes come from these short stories, and in many ways the two possess that similar dark humor and climactic ambiguity.
Norliza
May 22, 2015 Norliza rated it really liked it
A collection of short stories that will amuse, bemuse, intimidate, and make you think really hard after finishing. There were some memorable, wicked and cunning characters in it.

Written by Roald Dahl, but these are not children's stories :)

Linda
Oct 23, 2013 Linda rated it liked it
Part of me liked the stories because I could predict the outcome about 70% of the time. The other part enjoyed the descriptive experience, even though I knew what was coming. Since I'd been warned that his adult stories don't have happy endings, it didn't bother me unduly that his adult stories focus on the macabre parts of grown-up human existence, and some truly science-fiction flavored tales of humans being trussed up like pigs for processing, the rapaciousness of females, and the cleverness ...more
Amanda
Jun 01, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it
This book has a permanent home an arm's length away from my pillow. It helps unwind and free my mind with its mixture of light and dark humour.

"Perfect bedtime stories for sleepless nights." Enough said.
Tami
Oct 27, 2008 Tami rated it it was amazing
Every time I'm looking for something 'different' to read, this book comes off my bookshelf. A short story or two from Roald Dahls Omnibus is something I always enjoy! I'm always amazed at how different his writing is. I don't know - maybe Charlie and the Chocolate Factory gives me too many warm fuzzies - when I read Omnibus, I'm reminded that this guy has a dark side & a half! (Of course, I shouldn't be too surprised - anyone who dreams up oompa loompas & having all those bad things happ ...more
Jeff
Apr 28, 2011 Jeff rated it really liked it
"The Roald Dahl Omnibus". Roald Dahl, 1948. It would have been a great literary travesty if Roald Dahl would have suffered a brain injury before writing his great classics. Before becoming a famous writer, he was a WWII combat pilot. On his first mission in North Africa he becomes lost. Low on fuel, he crashes in the desert. His nose is broke, cranium fractured and he is blinded. This story, along with twenty five, amazing others are included in the "Omnibus". Fortunately Roald Dahl recovers com ...more
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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
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