Someone Like You
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Someone Like You

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,601 ratings  ·  133 reviews
'Fantastic as Grimm, heartless as Saki'Guardian

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 Cadi...more
Paperback, Penguin Modern Classics, 288 pages
Published 2009 by Penguin (first published November 1st 1953)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Marvelous surreal stories (several first appeared in the NYer). Dahl insinuates a lethal twist into everyday life. A wife wants to kill her husband ("Lamb to the Slaughter"): she whacks him with a chunk of frozen meat and then cooks the weapon as the police arrive.

Spinning comic impudence : In "My Lady Love, My Dove," a snobby bridge-playing married duo plant a mike in the guest room of visiting couple and learn their secret bridge-winning codes. ~~ Forget bridge. I've always wanted to do this....more
C’est pour ainsi dire la première fois que je lis en anglais, je veux dire par cela que je n’ai jamais lu en anglais une histoire entière, des extraits plus ou moins long mais presque jamais une œuvre entière. Donc, c’est ma première expérience qui m’a beaucoup donne de confiance en soi. Pourquoi ? Eh bien, au début, je ne faisait que regarder le mot de vocabulaire, mais par la suite, j’ai délaissé les mots de vocabulaire en me concentrant sur l’histoire, c’est ainsi que je me suis rendu compte...more
Brilliant brilliant brilliant.

Roald Dahl is the King of the Macabre. He is the Charles Dickens of the 20th Century, with a sense of humour that can ONLY be described as deliciously wicked. This collection of short stories is decidedly grown-up, but reading it I often found myself sniggering like a little child.

My favorite stories by far were Lamb to the Slaughter and Taste, I believe they were the first two, although they were all darkly humorous and very entertaining.
Cameron Trost
I'm not going to write a long review of this book. All I'll say is that I love strange and quirky tales that explore the way human beings are and I consider Roald Dahl to be THE master of such tales. I hope that "Someone Like You" isn't really about you or me, but I'm afraid it very well might be. I'm not going to claim that this is the best short story collection ever written but it can't be far off the mark!
I went into this expecting some Tales-From-The-Crypt-style short stories with twist endings. With that expectation there were some real winners in this book. I had no idea that one of the most classic Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes was an adaptation from a story in this book (and further research told me that numerous Dahl stories served as the basis for episodes of AHP and subsequent imitator shows that followed). My only complaint is that several of the "twist" endings in these stories tur...more
Barbara ★
I'm absolutely mystified at the high ratings for this book. I only picked it up to complete a challenge what a mistake. Well I'm not a fan of short stories but I have read and enjoyed many shorts over the years but this was definitely not one of the finer ones. I will say that the stories were well-written but the conclusions were disappointing. The endings just fizzled out and left it up to the reader to determine what really happened. If I wanted to determine the ending, I'd write my own darn...more
Someone Like You is a bunch of short stories with a very interesting twist at the very end. Very different from his books for children, and yet very delicious reads for grown ups. I love his wicked sense of humour.
I know Dahl's work only through his children's fiction. What a pleasure it's been to discover, through this book, that he's indeed the quintessential writer, a delight for all ages.
Kelly Hoggons
For more reviews:

A friend recently lent me Someone Like You, by Roald Dahl. I've basically been a fan since I learned to read (it's been a good 13 years, Mr Dahl) but I had yet to explore his more 'adult' works. This, coupled with the fact that I was told it was 'very disturbing' (I'm a little twisted), gave me exceptionally high hopes for the book - despite my general disdain for short stories. Those hopes were dashed.

I know, I know. Who am I, a lowly seventee...more
A great collection of macabre, heartless and (blackly) comic tales.

Any adults who still re-read his more popular children's stories thinking that's all there is should be made to investigate this.

The Penguin Modern Classic's edition I have also includes a rather pedestrian forward by Dom Joly which is a shame both for this collection (that deserved something more) and for Joly himself. Anyone that comes up with Stupid & Son's removals has a brain that is capable of being far more engaging.
When I was a kid, I really loved Roald Dahl and I enjoyed his books pretty much. That was the reason why I picked one of his "books for adult readers" from our library. Roald Dahl didn't disappoint me.

This book consists of 15 short stories, some are very cool and funny, some are average. I decided to write something about each of them:

Taste - A story about betting and wine. This was the first story in my version of the book and it pretty much introduced Roald Dahl's style in short stories - a fu...more
Dominika Kaníková
I enjoyed every single one of the stories so much. They were captivating, strong, mystery and disturbing sometimes. I love the originality of the book and the fact that Roald can keep you interested in every single one of the story. My favorite was Lady with a lamb. I just felt that every story had to be done as a different book because sometimes i felt like i needed more and i read and story is over and i just didnt know the ending or what should i think about that. OMG Im close to the heart at...more
Nach Küsschen, Küsschen das mich wirklich begeistern konnte, wendete ich mich gleich diesem Buch von Roald Dahl (1916-1990) zu. Man darf ihn getrost als den Meister der makaberen Kurzgeschichten bezeichnen. Und so ist auch dieses Buch mit wunderbaren Erzählungen deren Schwarzer Humor seinesgleichen sucht gefüllt. Sprachlich und stilistisch gilt auch hier, dass Dahl sehr vielseitig ist und sehr ansprechend erzählt.

Die Geschichten im Einzelnen:

Geschmack: Ein Mann setzt sein ganzes Vermögen darauf...more
As some of you may know, Monday was World Book Night. I was lucky enough to be chosen as a giver, and I chose to give away copies of Someone Like You. I chose this book because I love Roald Dahl's writing, and because I think that his adult writing is hugely under-read, and (therefore) hugely underrated. I grew up with Matilda, The Twits, Esio Trot and Fantastic Mr. Fox firmly on my favourites list, and I think I've pretty much read everything that Roald Dahl has written.

As with Dahl's children...more
Sam Woodfield
This is a very strange but very good read, which is typical Dahl style but adult content.
This book is a series of short stories compiled together in one book. Some of the stories are really excellent such as that of Mary Malone and her interesting way of concealing a murder, to Claude and his dog and their various adventures. Some of the stories are very well rounded and come to a brilliant conclusion, where others are rather confusing and are left very open ended. Others need no conclusion as D...more
Roald Dahl is of Norwegian parentage but grew up in England and wrote extensively in English. Over the years he has published a number of collections of short stories, a genre in which he excels. His stories are not always macabre, but they invariably have a twist, making them unforgettable many years later.

Some of them, it is true, may have you writhing slightly, but even so, you will appreciate the intention, as well as the finesse. There are so many good writers around, it's hard to get to th...more
For anyone who thinks of Roald Dahl purely as a children's book author, this is the book to change your mind and make you think admiringly about Dahl's considerable powers as an adult writer.

Taste >> A bet goes too far between a man desperate to acquire a reputation of one who has refined culture and a man whose expert senses can guess the wine being served. Would you be willing to bet the hand of your only daughter in marriage if you're almost perfectly sure that the sommelier can't pos...more
Having whet my appetite for Roald Dahl’s Adult novels with “Switch Bitch” I immediately found myself reaching out for the next one.
I was going to exhausted the entire collection beginning with “My Uncle Oswald”; given that Oswald’s character in “Switch Bitch” was most unforgettable and prominent, I just had to read it, devour it!. But my hunt was vain; so, I settled with “Someone Like You”, which was another concoction of short stories by this marvellous, creative, sarcastic, Master of similes a...more
not as good as kiss kiss (can't think of stories like "royal jelly" or "georgy porgy" without feeling a bit sick and squicky inside) but still a wonderfully macabre selection.

(side note: i have a distinct memory of looking up the word "macabre" after encountering it on the back cover of - what else! - a roald dahl novel, way back in 4th grade. it might have been kiss kiss, actually; can't remember. all i know is that the word was deliciously evocative of all those things i could feel so visceral...more
*Someone Like You* by Roald Dahl

A collection of stories that were written in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Dahl is best known as a children's writer but his work for adults is also extremely accomplished. Although these stories are perhaps a little long-winded in the sense that it generally takes ten or twenty pages to deliver a single twist ending, Dahl's style is crystal clear, cool and very effective. My favourite among these stories is 'Claud's Dog' which is actually a novelette made up of...more
Brilliant, intelligent and also very disturbing short stories. Some reviews complain about the endings left open etc. They're not - the stories are multidimensional and reading between the lines there will be no doubt what and why has happened. Though... As the truth is not said out loud in a banal way you can comfort yourself with your own (happier) ending.
I didn't even know Roald Dahl wrote children books until I was in my twenties. My first introduction to this author was the TV scripts from the Alfred Hitchcock Show of the 50s and 60s, noticeably "Lamb to The Slaughter" in which a betrayed housewife kills her husband with a frozen leg of lamb, and "Man From The South" where a man bets his fortune for another man's little finger. I didn't know these clever stories came from Mr. Dahl until I found them in these nifty little collection. Dahl wrote...more
In Dahl's distinct style and voice, these are stories for adults (not as innocent as The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar: And Six More, not as explicit as Switch Bitch). Often slow-burning, focusing on idiosyncrasies and mishaps, they cover similar subjects - mainly betting, deception or revenge, with a subtle or inferred macabre end for the trickster. I found them to be sometimes too slow and introspective, and Dahl's style of repetitive dialogue began to grate - but most were just rescued by co...more
May 17, 2008 David rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: Crystal Sasaki
This is one of those books that I couldn't really get into until about half way through. It seems like he puts all the good stories at the end. Like everyone else has written, this isn't the Roald Dahl of children's books. Lots of revenge stories, lots of built up resentment, meek men, overpowering women, and a good deal of misogyny and irony to tie it all together.

I think it's worth reading for those who like the era of short stories of JD Salinger, Hemmingway, etc., but it's nothing I would st...more
Sometimes (when it's the most interesting narrative option) the protagonists of these stories get away with whatever scheme they're trying to pull. When they don't, they end up humiliated and/or dead. These stories are formula, but it's a great formula. They won't change your life but some, especially "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "Dip in the Pool", may make you cackle evilly in spite of yourself when Dahl brings the hammer down in a shocking parody of morality. The brutal "Galloping Foxley" might...more
Read it for the weirdness, if you're in a weirdish-sort of mood. I read this two years ago (2010) while getting in the mood for my own weird writing. I recommend all of Dahl for those looking for something truly different - quite often his novels and stories are about the 'normal' child or adult who finds him/herself set down in strange or unsettling circumstances. Unlike some stories written today in which the MC must have superpowers (dormant or otherwise) or be a supernatural creature (which...more
Emily Hughes
Love Roald, but this wasn't my favorite of his shorts, hence the harsh judgement.
Darkly hilarious and wickedly clever- The Sound Machine is a great one, and has been stuck in my head for days.
Devious, shocking, bizarre, macabre, humorous, vibrant, twisted, ironic, witty, horrifying — Roald Dahl is more awesome than I ever gave him credit for. Having only read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I was pleasantly surprised by the Dahl's quirky twists and dark slivers of human nature. Someone Like You is such a strong collection of stories; even the less distinguished ones stand out as solid works. Naturally my favorite stories are Taste, Lamb to the Slaughter, Dip in the Pool, Neck, Nun...more
Stuart Conner
Dahl for grown ups.
A collection of short stories where all the protagonists are the cause of their own downfall, either through hubris or stupidity.
The most memorable one for me was a dog racer who never wins but comes across a really fast dog who looks just like his other loser dog. He enters him under the same name to fool the bookies who give him long odds based on his dog's track record. Then he suspiciously places bets with every bookie present. When his dog wins and he tries to collect, no...more
Dahl is a storyteller without compare. It is surreal getting such deep/disturbing content from an author I'd pigeon-holed as a writer of children's fiction. The Claud's Dog quartet of stories was amazing, all seemingly unrelated but it left me with a real sense of the characters.

My favourite was "Taste" where the gourmand wine connoisseur is caught out by the maid.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Killer in the Rain
  • Black Butterflies
  • Rumpole and the Age of Miracles (Rumpole)
  • What You Make It: A Book Of Short Stories
  • Tales Of Unease
  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume One
  • Consider Her Ways and Others
  • The Small Assassin
  • Grantchester Grind (Porterhouse Blue, #2)
  • The Man from the Diogenes Club
  • Terra Incognita
  • The Tooth (Penguin Mini Modern Classics)
  • The Shuttered Room And Other Tales Of Horror
  • The Dark Country
  • The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime: Con Artists, Burglars, Rogues, and Scoundrels from the Time of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived
  • Call Me Elizabeth: Wife, Mother, Escort
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
More about Roald Dahl...
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) Matilda James and the Giant Peach The BFG The Witches

Share This Book

“I was observing her closely as I talked, and after a while I began to get the impression that she was not, in fact, quite so merry and smiling a girl as I had been led to believe at first. She seemed to be coiled in herself, as though with a secret she was jealously guarding. The deep-blue eyes moved too quickly about the room, never settling or resting on one thing for more than a moment; and over all her face, though so faint that they might not even have been there, those small downward lines of sorrow.” 13 likes
More quotes…