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My Uncle Oswald

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  10,336 ratings  ·  880 reviews
Roald Dahl's first-ever novel presents the scurrilous memoirs of that delightful old reprobate from switch bitch, Oswald Hendryks Cornelius - connoisseur, bon vivant, collector of spiders, scorpions, odd walking sticks, lover of opera, expert on Chinese porcelain, and without doubt the greatest fornicator of all time. In this delightful picaresque story, it is revealed how ...more
Kindle Edition, Reissue edition, 288 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Penguin Books (first published October 1979)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  10,336 ratings  ·  880 reviews


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Fatin
Oct 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, dnf, owned, sexual
What bothers me the most about this book isn't even the sexism, although there is plenty of it to go around. By the truckload. What bothers me is the fact that the characters are so blatantly being raped by the means of a drug rape. Dahl makes light of this issue, tries to make us laugh at it, and probably succeeds. Initially, I was very amused by him. But over the course of the first hundred pages, I started to get a little angry, and then I got mad. What, you think that just because you're tal ...more
David
Roald Dahl might like us to dismiss the rank male chauvinism, tired stereotypes, and hackneyed writing in this book, on the grounds that his "Uncle Oswald" is a charming old rogue. But there's nothing charming about the implied contempt for women that oozes through the lazy prose of Oswald's creaky tale. There may be men still alive who share his sexist view of the world, but I doubt they read books.

Dahl has written some genuinely funny stories (published in Great Britain under the titles "Kiss
...more
Alexis Hall
Okay, there is just no defending this book.

It's unbelievably offensive and problematic in basically every possible way you could imagine. And some you probably can't. Or shouldn't.

But it's also ... y 'know ... utterly and unspeakably hilarious.

I made poor Kat read this because she's a fan of Roald Dahl's children's stories. She's recovering fine.

Honestly, I read it first when I was about eighteen. And, coming back to it, I wasn't quite prepared for the sheer scope and scale of its ... it's incre
...more
Caitlyn
Feb 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
My grandmother has this friend, a woman I have known as my "auntie" since I was very young. The woman always told me sweet stories when I was a child, ones suitable for a child. Last year at Christmas she got a little bit tipsy on wine and began to tell sexual jokes- which, coming from an 80 year old woman, was a bit unsettling. And yet hilariously comfortable.
This book is sort of the parallel to that story- the Roald Dahl we knew as children writing a story entirely revolving around sex. I was
...more
Christina
Mar 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What started off as a fun, entertaining, well-written frolic ultimately, due to its sexism, homophobia, and glorified rape-culture left a horrendous taste in my mouth.

(view spoiler)
...more
Paloma Meir
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stop whatever you're doing and read this book right now. You're welcome.
João Reis
Far from being Dahl's best (he's more a short story writer, in my honest opinion), but still a moderately funny book. This novel follows Oswald Cornelius, who the reader might know from the superb "Switch Bitch", and his attempts to get rich by selling sperm from famous artists and kings. Yes, it's racist, homophobic, misogynist, sexist, anthropocentric, shallow, chauvinistic, but it doesn't aim high. If you take it for what it is - a light comedy book -, it's quite enjoyable, though a bit repet ...more
Frieda Vizel
I laughed and cried out loud at the ludicrousness and obscenity of the diary record of “My Uncle Oswald”. This book is obscene, it is not erotic. Do not prepare to climb into bed early one night with this adult fantasy as a sexy treat. Roald Dahl’s adult work is Charlie and the Chocolate factory gone Oswald and the Sex factory. Sex is imagined in every shape and form and nationality and flexibility (heels hooked around the neck, WTF?) till all that candy makes you sick. All centered around a sch ...more
Milly
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious! This is Dahl for adults. I think this is a gem that has yet to be discovered by the general public. Definitely worth your time. Here is the summary from Amazon:

1938 diary of Oswald Hendryks Cornelius - his memories at age 43 of his escapades some 25 years earlier.

English youth Oswald makes his first fortune at 17 by journeying to the Sudan, purchasing a chunk of the world's most potent aphrodisiac (ground-up Blister Beetles), and selling it in pill form to the wealthiest men (and the
...more
Nandakishore Varma
I read this novel long back - and still remember it for being different from all the other Dahl stories. It is one dirty joke stretched across 200+ pages.

The Uncle Oswald of the title and two of his friends, with the help of the aphrodisiac the Spanish Fly (powdered Sudanese Blister Beetle) put a daring scheme into operation: extracting and selling the sperm of famous people. The idea is to get the said famous men to take a small dose of the medicine, in presence of Yasmin, one of the threesome
...more
Frances
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't added a book to my favorites page in FOREVER and I'm so happy that the honored spot is going to this one.

What a lot of fun. Just what a spectacular book. I mean, does this book reveal deep and special feelings within me? No - nor should it have. That would have been inappropriate and uncomfortable for everyone.

Instead, this book is just a savage, salacious jaunt through Europe with a few people who've decided that early 20th century morality wasn't that big of a deal and EVERYONEJUSTNE
...more
Netta
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
I love Roald Dahl dearly, but our relationship is on the rocks.
Roxana Chirilă
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've just finished re-reading "My Uncle Oswald" and I found it just as entertaining as I did last time. It's dirty, it's porn-y, it's ridiculous from start to finish, with mad metaphors substituting for some of the dirty scenes (Oswald pictures himself as a jousting knight defeating a giant man-eating woman during one of his sexual encounters). Definitely no children's book, this one.

Oswald is an immoral bastard in love with money, sex, wine and food, with a penchant for finding good business ev
...more
Chiara
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I kind of regret not taking the time to review this book when I first finished reading it. Since it was quite some time ago – around two years, if I'm not mistaken – main part of the plot is kind of gone and I'm now left with my overall impression of this book. I remember loving it. I knew Roald Dahl was brilliant when, 8 years old and just finished with Matilda, I decided it was too good a book and promised myself I'd never read a translated book again. So to this day I still owe him a great de ...more
Kenyon Harbison
Very funny at first, and then you realize it's very funny largely because this is a famous children's book author writing a book about a lecherous, greedy man who makes money by selling love potions and then by convincing the one woman he feels any connection with to extract semen (in the usual manner) from geniuses and royals, all with a view to selling the precious swimmers to rich, stupid women who want to have the children of the afore-mentioned gents. And then the episodes of semen-collecti ...more
Katie
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
B
Sep 28, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You guys! Roald Dahl is dirty! Dirty dirty dirty! This is my first go at reading his adult stories and I must say, I did enjoy it. Excellent back stage reading. This translates into being easy enough to pick up and put down at odd intervals and read in the dark, but also having content that is compelling enough to keep you interested while your ears are hearing the same play for the 27th time being screamed just on the other side of the curtain. I wasn’t quite sure about how he treated his lady ...more
Sun
Dec 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"My Uncle Oswald" is mad and outrageous and hilarious. I'd forgotten how funny Roald Dahl books were, not having read any since school days.

The story is utterly fantastic but I lapped it up like a cat does cream. Plot involves the discovery of a Viagra-like compound and features precursors to female Viagra, IVF, and sperm banks. Marvellous story-telling by Dahl through an unscrupulous but charming narrator.

Don't make the mistake of pegging Dahl as only a children's author. It's time for all gr
...more
Yoana
So this is an ode to ignorance, misogyny, and rape apologism. It also sucks as a novel because the characters are all carton cutouts without any shade of depth or complexity. I couldn't care less about what happened to any of them, and the ending, which I think was supposed to elicit glee, left me cold.

2015 EDIT: Joke's on Dahl though because intelligence is inherited from the mother. Misogynists are idiots.
...more
Venus Maneater
So much rape! All the men are stupid. All the women are whores. Such a horrible fantasy translated to Dutch in the most cringe way ever.
Zivile
I still can't believe I found this book in Children's section, I wouldn't be too surprised in some cases, but this is American library. Knowing how everybody's freaking out about children + sex topic, I was more than shocked.
This book is lavishly but bluntly written about fucking (I am not going to say "love making", there was no love making, just simple fucking). And a funny twist of how viagra and artificial insemination could have started.
I probably would have enjoyed this book much more If I
...more
Blake Johnson
Life is more fun is you play games.

It is better to incur a mild rebuke than to perform an onerous task.

This is #shortbookseptember and it was ironic that I recently saw an article about Sept. 13 being Roald Dahl month. I picked this up recently after a friend of mine recommended it... It was really funny! Sometimes it could be redundant, but it was pretty much perfectly articulated, uproarious, and with a logical sequence that I should've seen coming if I were a more intuitive reader.

White hot
...more
Jenn (Jenn’s Bookshelf)
I don't even know what to rate this because I'm pretty baffled. Strangest book I've ever read - but I also didn't hate it? Problematic, yes, but that was probably just the character, and not Roald himself. That, to say the least, was wild.

Edit: nah, I hate it. Bad.
Chris Waterford
The Evening Standard said this book was "Rollicking, raunchy and outrageous". It was all that as well as enjoyable , light entertainment.
6.5/10
Lynn Hoffmann
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Review: My Uncle Oswald, by Roald Dahl
I always enjoyed Dahl's brilliant and witty writings as a child, so it's no surprise that I equally enjoy his more adult themed books as well. When I was teaching, I used to use his short story "Lamb to the Slaughter" as an excellent example of situational irony. "Lamb" was originally published by Harper's in the early 50's. (Many of the best writers were published in Harper's and The New Yorker back in those days).
A few years back, I discovered his "Om
...more
Ian Laird
Beautiful Yasmin harvests the semen of the great men of Europe (and the USA).

An outrageous concept from Roald Dahl. Young boy entrepreneur Oswald Cornelius uses African blister beetle powder as a means to extract sperm from kings and generals and painters and writers and musicians to market to rich, vain women, bored with their husbands, who want to have outstanding progeny. Oswald does this partnership with the irresistible Yasmin, a scientist and looker, and Arthur Worsley, who has developed a
...more
Luci Block
Hilarious!
Absolutely LOVED it!!!
Reminded me of those great movies from the late 60s:
Casino Royale with Peter Sellers and Ursula Andress or any of the old Sean Connery 007 films.
~~~Seriously strange how they can't/won't make films or write books like these today because it may offend someone's delicate sensibilities!!! Get over yourself!!! It's all in fun!
Elizabeth
Apr 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book continues the adventures of Uncle Oswald instroduced in Dahl's short story collections. I thought I would get tired of the a full length story about Uncle Oswald and the making of his fortune but I was wrong. I couldn't put it down.
Edmund Bloxam
It's a comedy. It's only shallow in the sense that the entire thing is based around situational comedy.

At first I was going to compare it to a 'Carry On' film (and if you don't understand the reference, the humour may well not appeal). I, for one, would have put this book down out of boredom if it carried on (pun intended) like that.

Before long, the characters are wrestling with a wide variety of penises, of cows, then of men. I think the story appealed as a curiosity above anything else.

Is it s
...more
Luca Melchionna
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this is obviously not Dahl at his best, "My Uncle Oswald" it still is a stylish, shocking, exhilarating and masterfully provocative book. The main character is a vile rotten bastard - or, to sum it up with one of Dahl's exquisitely understated adjectives, "unscrupolous". He is also an enthusiast, a skilled entrepeneur, a team builder and a rational gambler. The reader is therefore left with the obligation of making up his mind. Which traits are values, and which are not? And why so, and is ...more
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20,681 followers
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

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