Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Roald Dahl: A Biography” as Want to Read:
Roald Dahl: A Biography
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Roald Dahl: A Biography

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  160 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The first full-length biography of the successful and controversial author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. Introduction by the Author; Index; photographs.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 5th 1995 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1994)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Roald Dahl, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Roald Dahl

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 430)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Leanne Britt
a bit boring, I have to say. overall, I was disappointed.
Jan 12, 2011 Lindsay rated it liked it
I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would. At the beginning I was turned off by Treglown's initial claims that Dahl was a quarrelsome bully, liar, and plagiarist. These harsh criticisms of a favorite author forced me to read the first few chapters with an equally critical eye, much of the time feeling loyalty to Dahl. It didn't help that Treglown's first couple of chapters were a bit sloppy. When discussing Dahl's family tree there is a lot of pronoun confusion (is "he" Roald or Ro ...more
Todd Stockslager
Decently good biography of Dahl, an often unlikable author of famous children's books, and a few less famous adult ones.

Most famously, of course, are James and the Giant Peach and Willie Wonka (later Charlie) and the Chocolate Factory, both made into major Hollywood movies with loving attention to detail and no expenses spared.

Dahl would have approved.
Jun 07, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
This was fairly good book. It tells about the life of Roald Dahl by writing a biography about him. He did go through a lot of things, which makes it pretty interesting.

I thought it was kind of cool to read about a well-known and famous author. I read this book to do a project on him, and it gave me a lot of information about him in the biography.
Rebecca Davidson
Feb 04, 2013 Rebecca Davidson rated it really liked it
While Treglown does little to make Dahl likeable, I think it an honest telling of his life. I found the book interesting and engaging - even somewhat sympathetic. I had a preformed opinion of Dahl, based mostly on biographies of Patricia Neal and while this volume reinforced much of my negative feelings, it also presented a view into the difficult soul that made him more comprehensible. It does nothing to diminish my enjoyment of his children's books, Fantastic Mr. Fox and James and the Giant Pe ...more
Jun 24, 2011 Ants rated it it was ok
I found myself wishing I were reading one of the books authored by Dahl instead of his biography. The book was an extremely slow read. I still wonder why I bothered to finish reading it.

The book has too much information for an easy read. The book contains the largest collection of "red herrings" of anything I can remember reading.

For a serious Dahl fan, the book may be considered nirvana. I am not a serious fan of the details of his life. However, I wouldn't mind reading more of his books.
Charlotte Winnen
Oct 06, 2015 Charlotte Winnen rated it it was ok
Ik denk dat dit wel een goed boek is, maar voor mij was het gewoon te moeilijk en er zat heel weinig dynamiek in...
Sep 13, 2015 Emily rated it it was ok
really made me not like the man, still love his books though!
Maddie Knight
Aug 24, 2015 Maddie Knight rated it it was amazing
a book that shows the real man well written in a way that tells a great narrative and insight into his life couldn't put down
Ilana Waters
Oct 31, 2013 Ilana Waters rated it really liked it
Well-researched, fair, and very balanced view of a famous figure. I found many interesting details about the author's life I hadn't known about, such as the role of editors in changing many of his stories. I'm also glad Treglown chose not to deify Dahl, but instead portray him as the contradictory figure he often was.
Dec 18, 2010 Ellen rated it liked it
I have discovered another side to the "beloved children's book author". He was a cold, selfish, social climbing, braggart and outright lair. Still I am fascinated to read about the reality of his ascent to literary fame, especially in light of his frequent plagarisms of both his previous works and other authors.
Diana Coe
Feb 08, 2008 Diana Coe rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-ve-read
An interesting look into the life of the famous children's author of James & Giant Peach, Witches, Matilda, Charlie & Chocolate factory. I definitely see where he got some of his characters from in his real life. Boy was the discipline harsh in those days.
Leanne Britt
Dec 07, 2010 Leanne Britt rated it liked it
didn't even finish before it was due back to the library...the author's clear distaste for his subject made it difficult to get through, or something. overall, I was disappointed and sort of wished that I never read any part of it.
Mary Cawthon
Oct 30, 2012 Mary Cawthon rated it liked it
Roald Dahl was a real dickface. That said, Treglown managed to make the story of his life pretty boring. Well researched and, at times, fair to a fault.
An okay book. I read it for school and did a book report on it so I had to skim over the last half of the book to turn it in on time.
Nov 22, 2008 Magda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished, biography
A rather unsettling view of this children's author. There were many things I would much rather not have known about.
After 35 pages I was lost, confused and gave up. :(
Mar 29, 2010 lita rated it it was amazing
Review menyusul
John added it
Feb 09, 2016
Kay marked it as to-read
Feb 05, 2016
Travis marked it as to-read
Feb 01, 2016
Hannah Wilkinson
Hannah Wilkinson marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2016
Katherine marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2016
jane gibbs
jane gibbs rated it liked it
Jan 23, 2016
Ham added it
Jan 17, 2016
Maxwell marked it as to-read
Jan 13, 2016
Mary Norell Hedenstrom
Mary Norell Hedenstrom marked it as to-read
Jan 07, 2016
Dan marked it as to-read
Jan 04, 2016
Brooklynn marked it as to-read
Dec 29, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bosie: A Biography Of Lord Alfred Douglas
  • It's Been a Good Life
  • Rimbaud: A Biography
  • Beatrix Potter's Journal
  • The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul
  • Tamara De Lempicka: A Life of Deco and Decadence
  • Nero
  • Lives of the Poets
  • Errata: An Examined Life
  • Things My Mother Never Told Me. Blake Morrison
  • Shakespeare: A Life
  • English Fairy Tales and Legends
  • Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul
  • Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America
  • Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl
  • Ted Hughes: The Life of a Poet
  • How Hard Can It Be? (World According to Clarkson, #4)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: The Man Who Created The Lord of the Rings

Share This Book