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Collected Stories

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  360 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
The only hardcover edition of Roald Dahl’s stories for adults, the Collected Stories amply showcases his singular gifts as a fabulist and a born storyteller.

Later known for his immortal children’s books, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and The BFG, Dahl also had a genius for adult short fiction, which he wrote throughout his life. Wh
Hardcover, Everyman's Library, 850 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Alfred A. Knopf
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Jan 21, 2008 Sarah added it
Shelves: fiction
I can't get enough of Roald Dahl! I'm in the middle of too many books right now, but I couldn't resist when I came across this treasure at the library!

Dahl is a marvelous storyteller--simply brilliant!--but I sometimes wonder if I would enjoy his adult short stories as much if I hadn't first loved his children's books as a young girl. (This--which is probably true for most of us--is actually a reversed order. Dahl began his writing career with these short stories, and most of his children's clas
Feb 13, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
There are a few weak stories in here -- The Last Act and The Surgeon: oy -- but for the most part this collection is definitely one to pick up if you're a Dahl fan. A lot of the classics are in here, like Lamb to the Slaughter and Man from the South, but so are a lot you've probably never read. The stories are in chronological order, complete with parallel a time line showing what was going on in Dahl's life and in the rest of the world when each story was published, which alone is worth the pri ...more
At nearly 900 pages this book is a force to be reckoned with. And being as it's a collection of short stories, it's not meant to be read all at once. If you check it out from the library you may need to renew it once or twice. The stories are in chronological order. Most of the first ones about about flying, reflecting Dahl's experiences as a pilot in the RAF during World War II. The stories are of varying lengths, but all are of about the right size to read in bed at night before you fall aslee ...more
Dec 16, 2010 Patrice rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
An African Story :(
Only This :)
Katina :/
Beware of the Dog :)
They Shall Not Grow Old :(
Someone Like You :(
Death of an Old Man :/
Madame Rosette :)
A Piece of Cake :(
Yesterday Was Beautiful :(
Nunc Dimittis :)
Skin :)
Man from the South :)
The Soldier :(
The Sound Machine :/
Mr. Botibol :)
Vengeance is Mine Inc. :)
The Wish :)
Poison :)
Taste :)
Dip in the Pool :/
The Great Automatic Grammatizator :)
Claud's Dog: The Ratcatcher :(
Claud's Dog: Rummins :(
Claud's Dog: Mr. Hoddy :(
Claud's Dog: Mr. Feasey :(
My Lady L
Jul 23, 2011 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
To many readers around the world, Roald Dahl is known as a inventive, witty writer of children's stories such as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "The Witches", "Matilda", "The Fantastic Fox", "The BFG", "James and the Giant Peach", just to list a few. He is also, however, equally prolific in adult literature, especially short stories. Dahl began writing around the same time as Ray Bradbury, and his short stories have that same feel as early Bradbury...not in the style of prose, but in the d ...more
Oct 26, 2012 D rated it really liked it
Shelves: love-these, british
I remember, as a child, enjoying Roald Dahl's children's books so much that I eagerly began to look for more of his work. I eventually found a collection of his short stories in the general fiction section for adults and gladly took it home with me, despite my secret suspicion that the library had misfiled his book. After reading various stories, including "Bitch" and "The Great Switcheroo," I realized too late that the book was, indeed, filed correctly, and that through my curiosity I had stumb ...more
Like most people, I am very familiar with Dahl's Children's books. They are still favorites of mine and I would think this is the same with most people. I knew he wrote adult books as they used to give his books away with Tea back in the 90's. And after they finished with the kids books, they gave away 'Tales Of The Unexpected'.

As a kid I always really struggled to get into them, I found them very dry and forced myself to finish one of them. Which was why I was a bit hesitant about this collec
Sep 08, 2012 Cyndi rated it it was amazing
Roald Dahl proves himself to be even more multi-faceted than the tales spun in The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda.

He has an uncanny ability to draw the reader into a story, leaving the discovery of the ending, whether humorous, horrifying or just strange unrevealed until the very end.

This book contains I short story I remember reading over 40 years ago in an old collection of stories published under the Alfred Hitchcock collection of strange stories that I've never forgotten,
Apr 12, 2015 Douglas rated it really liked it
How I miss the golden age of short stories, when every magazine from Good Housekeeping to the New Yorker and the Saturday Evening Post featured at least one good story.

This collection shows you the incredible range of Mr Dahl. Not just creepy stories, but also sensitive and ribald ones. He show real insight into a huge variety of people of different classes and backgrounds.

I am still very touched by his description of the loneliness of a woman after her kids grow up and her husband dies.

Full dis
Fernando Gonzalo Pellico
Excelente libro de un autor magistral de relatos. El autor es conocido fundamente por sus relatos infantiles y muchas veces parece obviarse la obra destinada a un público más adulto. Finales sorprendentes, cuentos a veces serios, a veces divertidos, a veces picantes. Leer Dahl es como leer a varios autores a la vez, parece imposible ver en ocasiones el núcleo aglutinador de tanta cosa.

Para leer, para regalar, para disfrutar.
Casey Hampton
Mar 06, 2015 Casey Hampton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star, short-stories
Pure delight. /shivers
Roald Dahl furthered my understanding as to the writerly shape of story.

I enjoyed recognizing how much of Dahl's biography is present within so many of these stories. You don't need to be a Dahl fan to enjoy this collection. You just need to be a fan of a good story.

From a reader's point of view, I'd probably give this 4/5. But when I combine my writer's brain reaction and my reader's brain reaction I have no choice but to score this 5/5
May 16, 2010 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So much fun to have returned to fiction after my recent non-fiction binge. Loved it! I think he's just as twisted and clever a writer of adult stories as he is of children's books. I think it's amazing how he can consistently generate characters that are ridiculous caricatures of people, but that still somehow feel very true to life. Not every story was a winner, but I think that's to be expected in a collection this large.
Jan 26, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Well-known for his books for children, Dahl is a wonderful writer of stories. His stories are delicious: macabre, twisted, well-crafted vehicles for character and suspense. Best of the lot: "Man from the South," "The Way Up to Heaven," "Taste."
Ardà Rbo
Feb 23, 2016 Ardà Rbo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hay algo de padre negligente en las colecciones de cuentos o poesía que reúnen toda la obra de un autor. De algún modo, la renuncia del editor a seleccionar se siente como la renuncia del progenitor a la censura de su retoño: el editor recoge todo lo que escribió el autor y lo presenta en su plenitud, como uno de esos padres excesivamente orgullosos. Recae de este modo en el lector la tarea de hozar entre los relatos y encontrar su particular selección de «Mejores Cuentos», que al fin y al cabo ...more
Jan 14, 2009 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish that Dahl had published the full Uncle Oswald diaries... It's fascinating to read his adult stories in sequence, starting with boys own war stories through tales of martial revenge, crime and increasingly licentious fantasy. It's also good to see him return to some of the same characters throughout the book. The collection would be good to dip into but I'd really recommend soaking up the introduction and then reading through each tale in sequence.
Dec 18, 2008 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars, is I haven't read them all! Wonderful little stories. Witty in a Classic Alfred Hitchcock Show kind of way. (Some of these were on that show)

Should be enjoyed by anyone that likes, for example, Saki, or John Collier (Fancies and Goodngihts).

Gal Shadeck
May 25, 2013 Gal Shadeck rated it really liked it
Shelves: misc
Dahl is a master of a short story, hands down. In this collection you get everything - from his trademark scary tales to lesser known war memoirs, which i found particularly compelling. One personal note - that's the only book i ever read that mentions Haifa, the city i called home for 10 years. Apparently, Dahl was stationed there during the WWII.
Phil Zimmerman
Jul 15, 2013 Phil Zimmerman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: collection
It took a while but I finally made it through this book. Very long and also very good. I was reading a story between each book I read.

The war stories at the beginning were not my favorite but once he found his voice it is easy to track many of these stories to the children's tales he became famous for.

Highly recommended!
Alexis Versandi
Jan 04, 2015 Alexis Versandi rated it it was amazing
I love Roald Dahl. Great stories - eclectic, strange, and entertaining.
Jul 31, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
I think Dahl is on the whole a great short-story writer; he pretty consistently delivers very inventive plots with memorable characters & surprising or shocking endings. But not all the stories in this collection were good. In particular, I thought most of the war stories were boring, repetitive, and kind of smug (with the exception of "Beware of the Dog," which is genius and very suspenseful). There are also some very negative portrayals of women (some of which are quite sexually explicit); ...more
Feb 09, 2008 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think what I found most amazing about Dahl's short stories, aside from the twisted sense of humor, has got to be his uncanny ability to craft each sentence in a way that makes you eager to read the next and to ultimately find out what happens in the end. And he never seemed to disappoint. Absolutely amazing.
Um yeah, I lost this book at some hotel in LA, so I never got to finish it. That said, I think that Roald Dahl is a brilliant writer. That he can so seamlessly transition from whimsical children's books to witty short stories for adults is a testament to his skill and versatility. Anyone who's read his children's books should definitely give his adult stories a try!
Jun 19, 2007 Katy rated it it was amazing
I loved all of Roald Dahl's books when I was younger, so when this collection came out last fall I knew I had to have it. I pick it up from time to time when I need a good short story. The stories I've read so far have been very different than the books I read as a child, but very enjoyable nonetheless.
Rebekka Istrail
Aug 21, 2007 Rebekka Istrail rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: adults who like Roald Dahl's writing and/or the grotesque
When I learned that children's author Roald Dahl had also written lewd and violent stories for adults, I was not a little disturbed. I'm tagging the complete collected stories, but I've only read some. Those I read were good.
Dec 30, 2010 Glen rated it it was amazing
Dahl has a fantastic ability to draw the reader into the worlds he creates in his short stories, whether it be the stories based on his time in the air force during the war, or his numerous fictional stories with odd twists.
Mar 29, 2013 Rudy rated it it was amazing
I originally had to borrow this book from the library for a class. However, i loved the book so much i purchased it from This is an amazing book with many short stories that can be read any time.
Liam Bradley
Feb 06, 2013 Liam Bradley rated it it was amazing
An awe-inspiring collection of classic stories from that ol' Master of the Macabre which retain their bleak humour even today. Brilliant, in a word. My personal favourite is "The Visitor", in which a charming yet promiscuous man of abundant wealth finds himself in a tight spot.... essential.
Jul 09, 2009 Mac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roald Dahl was clearly a balla. 99% of the stories of genius, simple and dark. The one that actually has a happy ending is just as good.

Most of these are fairly dated...but the dark humor is timeless. Almost as timeless as this review.

Oct 22, 2007 Lori rated it liked it
I had to return it to the library 500 pages in and 300 to go...they wouldn't let me renew it because it was on hold...looks like I'll have to put it on hold again!
Miriam Green
Dec 26, 2012 Miriam Green rated it really liked it
The overall tone of unexpectedness made these stories hard to get into, but once I grasped Dahl's humor, I couldn't put the book down.
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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 adv
More about Roald Dahl...

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