PurplyCookie's Reviews > Someone Like You

Someone Like You by Roald Dahl
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May 02, 09

bookshelves: short-stories, on-loan-to-a-friend
Read in July, 2008

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 possibly guess the wine (it's year and vineyard from whence it originated) you've presented for tasting?

Lamb to the Slaughter >> About the wife of a police detective who kills her husband in a most unconventional way and then disposes of the murder weapon in a manner that would make any criminal proud.

Man from the South >> Imagine a man coming up to you and giving you great odds on a bet. He bets his brand new car against something trvial about your person. The catch? He gets to chop off the little finger on your left hand, after all, you don't really need it, do you?

The Soldier >> "You can kick out a dangerous thought if you put another in its place." The story of a soldier adjusting to his supposed normal life after the trying times that was the war.

My Lady Love, My Dove >> A genteel couple gaining an "upper hand" on their weekend visitors, literally and figuratively.

Dip in the Pool >> A man's foolosih attempt at winning in a ship's auction and the events that followed afterwards. What a huge pool that turned out to be!

Galloping Foxley >> Most of us would consider ourselves to be pretty much set in our commuting routine; and the epitome of such is the character of Mr. Perkins, the contented commuter. How shall he ever deal with the sudden presence of somebody who's undoubtedly there to shake his routine just a bit?

Skin >> What if you had fallen on hard times and the only thing left that you could "sell" is that of a painting done by a world-famous painter painted on your the canvass that is your skin?

Poison >> You fell asleep reading alone one night and when you woke up, you find a krait (a rather poisonous snake native to India) nestled and sleeping on your tummy. What would you do? One small jerk of your body, an attempt to run awake will invariably result in a deadly snake bite.

The Wish >> I can't help but think of the antics of toddlers with this story, specifically the great imaginings from the cartoon "Rugrats". Oh, the days we had to let go; of the imagination that we had to curb, in order to be replaced by what is deemed as maturity.

Neck >> How far can you push a cuckold man? Apparently everyone has a breaking point...

The Sound Machine >> An invention to end all inventions--certainly it shall surpass the recording machines and the telephone for its contribution to modern technology. Certain to make anybody an environmentalist after one reading.

Nunc Dimittis >> Describes the lengths to which a society playboy goes for revenge for the embarassment done to him. Ah, money does grant power to one, doesn't it?

The Great Automatic Grammatizator >> What if the creativity and imagination that goes into producing stories be bottled up and sold? And they say that machines are incapable of original thought...

Claud's Dog >> Four stories told from the perspective of Claud's dog, Jackson. Made up of the following snippets: The Ratcatcher, Rummins, Mr. Hoddy and Mr. Feasey.


Dahl pulls off the neat trick of making the macabre laughable, though--he's not trying to scare the reader as much as make us shout with laughter and recognition and then settle back to enjoy a shiver of anticipation.


Book Details:

Title Someone Like You
Author Roald Dahl
Reviewed By Purplycookie
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