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Madness

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  940 ratings  ·  96 reviews
From Roald Dahl, the master of the sting in the tail, a newly collected book of his darkest stories.

'There is a pleasure sure in being mad, which none but madmen know'

Our greatest fear is of losing control - of our lives, but, most of all, of ourselves. In these ten unsettling tales of unexpected madness master storyteller Roald Dahl explores what happens when we let go
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 25th 2016 by Penguin
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  940 ratings  ·  96 reviews


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Pip
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh wow, unsettling as heck. Took me a little while to get into but when it was good, it was GOOD. Definitely recommend if you fancy something more on the disturbing side.
Randee
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
This is the first time I've read anything by Roald Dahl. Somehow I managed to miss his stories for children in my own childhood. As an adult, he's a writer I always meant to get around to and never quite got there. Recently my favorite BookTuber (shoutame) reviewed it quite favorably and I knew it was time to buy a copy and read him. I have often found my book paths cross with Amy and share her opinion on a wide variety of different genres. Again, I find myself sharing her opinion of this ...more
Katy
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this at the local literature festival. Dahl's short stories have been re-edited into 4 new themed collections, bringing out the darker side of his writing. Interesting to read them grouped in this way, as it shows how often he returned to the same ideas, although inevitably some fit the theme better than others.
Alice Lippart
Enjoyed most of the stories.
jerica
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this because I wanted to read Dahl's work for adults and to be disturbed.

I am now Creeped Out and Disturbed. I enjoyed the writing immensely, as it is the kind of writing I favor--it is easy to digest and not pompous. It never overexplains and leaves a lot of room for imagination, while still ending the stories completely and neatly. This is something I struggle to find in recent books, where most information is obvious or fed and explained to the reader.

I do think "Katina" would have
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Varvara
What an amazing collection! Usually I consider a book of short stories good if I like about 60-70% of it. I think it’s a full 100 with this one :) The stories are wonderfully written, sometimes terrifying, and weirdly satisfying to read. I’ll definitely have to check out other Dahl’s adult books now.
Anastasia
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like this book very much. Stories are sometimes scary, sometimes philosophic, and always thrilling! What a great discovery is Dahl’s adult prose.
Eloise Mcallister
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Roald needs to learn to make his stories short amirite
Michael Clark
Roald Dahl is a master storyteller. He's capable of weaving carefully-crafted, intricate stories that thrill, delight and (more often than not) send chills down any reader's spine. Dahl writes with simple precision, giving his stories an endearing and conversational quality.

Madness, a newly published collection of Dahl's classic short stories, is filled with dark, disturbing tales of mental illness, trauma and violence. My favourite stories in the collection were Katrina (a deeply unsettling
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Jack Wolf
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"I stood staring into the flames, and as I stared, the fire became a deeper red and I saw beyond it not a tangled mass of smoking wreckage, but the flames of a hotter and intenser fire"

Well these stories got dark fast...
I remember the gold old days of oompa loompas and giant peaches, but upon finishing this I felt creeped out, yet mystified that the author who wrote about Matilda also came up with these stories. I read a lot of Roald Dahl when I was younger and loved his books, but upon reading
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Safia
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
These were sort of creepy and unnerving, which is the point so it was good. They were so well done that for some the twist was either expected but in a way that made you feel uneasy and apprehensive rather than disappointed, or unexpected and surprising. The first story took me a while to get in to but the stories towards the end were the best ones. Am thinking about picking up the other three books in this set to read now as well.
Ova - Excuse My Reading
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
A few of the stories were quite disturbing(Pig, for instance). I am once more impressed by the talent of Dahl who can write beautifully for both adults and children. 4 stars, not to Dahl but to Penguin actually as some stories, imho, did not have the 'madness' connection.
Alexandra
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
a boy riding a turtle, giant pickled walnut, and the man who would be coming soon to repair the lift... lovely.
Annabelle
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own-it
My first book, because I don't recall ever having read any of his children's books--by Dahl. And it ain't bad at all. I got this at the Big Bad Wolf sale at Davao for a measly P190, and I doubt I would have bought this at regular price at Fully Booked, never having read him before. Also, I am not a fan of the movies made from his books (James and the Giant Peach, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory).

The book's preface promised to "entertain, amuse and shock generations of readers even today,"
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Charlotte Langstroth
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is such an unsettling read and whilst I found it so difficult to put down I didn’t enjoy ALL the stories (so no 5). Having so many frightening short stories is an easy way to finish a book within a week
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I’ve wanted to read the whole series for a while (I picked up this one and “Lust” in Victoria) because of so many reviews of all the collections being so shocking and scary. And whilst it really is, you shouldn’t be surprised if you think that Roald Dahl gave us Oompa Loompas, The Twirs and
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Jess Hill
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really really wanted to enjoy this more. Roald Dahl? Great! Short stories? Amazing. It wasn't meant to be. The stories are ok, but in most cases don't delve as much into madness as I would have liked, probably because the theme and curation of the stories was done after his death. They were, after all, written as stand alone stories for newspapers, and I think if I came across them in this context I would have enjoyed them a bit more. I see a book with the theme of madness and want some full ...more
Ian Dominic
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book will have you thinking that Dahl was an absolute madman. There could be no other reason he could write stories that are so unsettling. This book is a pretty solid collection of stories, most of which were very enjoyable. Some were so bleak and unsettling that it took me a while before I could move on to the next.
Dan Coxon
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dahl is as brilliant as ever in this collection, and there's a nice varied spread of stories from throughout his career. My one complaint would be that the 'Madness' theme feels arbitrary at best. You couldn't really say that more than a couple of these are about madness, and in some cases it seems to have been simply interpreted at weirdness or eccentricity - in which case, practically every story Roald Dahl ever wrote could be included. Still, if you're not specifically looking for stories ...more
Mike Steven
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been crap at finding time to read this year so I chose another selection of short stories to dip in and out of. Happily, I enjoyed these so much that it's kind of kick started my reading again. Some of the stories are very much of their time, but other than that, every story is thoroughly enjoyable.

There is a darkness to several of the stories that is evident to some extent in Dahl's children's books but, in his work for adults, he's allowed to go that bit further.

I'm looking forward to
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Carine
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a really really lovely short story collection and right up my alley!
My favourite stories were 'Edward The Conqueror', 'The Landlady' and 'The Way Up To Heaven'. Some stories slightly dissapointed, so over all I could give this collection 4 stars. But God, this was a really good reading experience!
Michael Ritchie
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
With the exception of "Pig", which doesn't feel unlike his children's work (and yet is probably the darkest of the stories), the Dahl writing these things is a very different beast to the one we are more familiar with. A good collection, very interesting.
Chelsea
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Most stories are full of suspense and have you guessing the ending to the last sentence.
I found it so interesting to see this side of Roald Dahl especially after growing up reading his childrens books. I recommend reading this book and I will be reading the rest of the short story collection.
Jules
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
The theme of madness in the shorts stories was not really as I expected but I enjoyed reading most of them (especially The Landlady and Pig). It was interesting to discover a darker side of Dahl's writing.
Salome Berechikidze
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The question is: Where does madness come from?

Some of the novels are okay and some absolutely fascinating.
The very last tale about Mrs Foster and her pathological fear of being late makes grande finale for the whole collection. Here is another small question about why Mrs Foster made the choice she made: A) Because she finally understood her husband's true intentions; or B) Just because her fear was so close to turn into reality.
Answer is almost so clear that it makes me wonder: can we really
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Yahli
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: roald-dahl
I enjoyed most of the stories, but I really liked only a few of them. Some of the stories were great, some could have been better with a bit more development, and a few of them I didn't like so much.

Individual ranking for eatch story:
1) Edward the Conqueror - 3 stars
2) Katina - 5 stars
3) The Sound Machine - 3 stars
4) An African Story - 2 stars
5) The Landlady - 3 stars
6) Pig - 4 stars
7) The Boy Who Talked with Animals - 3 stars
8) Dip in the Pool - 3 stars
9) William and Mary - 4 stars
10) The Way
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Merryn Turner
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
After reading lust, my expectations weren’t so high, but this was OK. There was a lot more variety in these stories than there was in lust, and they covered a wide range of topics.

I was sure I knew the plot of ‘Katina’, or at lead the details of the location - possibly a reference to a real event I read in his biography by Sturrock.

Reading ‘The Landlady’ late at night certainly did not help me in getting to sleep.

I really enjoyed the concept in ‘William and Mary’, and this was probably my
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Chelsea
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annikin
Roald Dahl's collection of short stories was the first book I read in English. I still remember that. I found it in the local library after finishing reading all the stories he wrote for children. I haven't read the short stories since, so it was surprising to discover that I still remembered the plot twists of the most stories in this collection. I guess it goes to show what an impact Dahl's witty writing had on me when I was younger. Anyway, my favorite short stories in Madness were Katina, ...more
Btari
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Every story left me feeling uneasy and something else that is just... Awkward? Confusing? Not sure how to put it. It's just that everytime i finish a story, I always just stare into emptiness and not feeling anything passionate in particular (not even curiosity) before i move on the the next story. Strangely, I got this surge of relief/calmness over the fact that whatever madness the characters were going through, because i knew it would last.
Novelle Novels
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
3 out of 5 stars
This is quite a challenging read as the title suggests all the short stories are about madness although some are harder than others. I found some very challenging to read and they really push the boundaries. However there are some to me that are lovely and enjoyable which is what stopped me dnf the whole book. I think you need to be in a good place to read these Roald Dahl adult books.
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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
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