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The Roald Dahl Omnibus: Perfect Bedtime Stories for Sleepless Nights

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  2,191 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
Ever since his stories first appeared, people have been telling and re-telling each other Roald Dahl's sometimes shocking and always brilliant and bizarre assortment of terror-tinted gems. Bawdy, funny, touching, and downright outrageous, there's simply no one else like Roald Dahl.

This volume is a diabolical collection of 28 of Dahl's best stories. Shiver to classics like
...more
Hardcover, 681 pages
Published June 13th 1993 by Barnes & Noble (first published 1986)
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El
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: roald-dahl
The first time I realized that Roald Dahl wrote anything other than children's stories was somewhere around 7th or 8th grade when our English class was assigned to read a short story by Dahl called Lamb to the Slaughter. I fell in love with it at that time, I've referenced it numerous times over the years, I've re-read it a few times, and each time it never fails to completely amuse me. It never gets old. After reading his books for a younger audience as a child, the idea that there was this who ...more
Melissa
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Hitchcock films or Roald Dahl's children's books
Shelves: short-stories
The tagline for this title is "Perfect Bedtime Stories for Sleepless Nights" but what that should actually indicate to you is that if you read these before going to bed, you will not be sleeping. Definitely intended for adults, this collection of short stories all seem to be suspenseful and most of the characters come to horrible, sometimes extra creepy, ends. I like that a lot of the time the stories kind of drift off at the end - he never comes out and says how the person ends up but just hits ...more
Akie
Apr 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: depressing, humor
Many people love Dahl for his absurdly comedic children's stories, but their interest unfortunately stops there. He is one of the most chilling, demented & skilled short story writers I have ever read, and this collection of adult fictions is enough to satisfy anyone's taste for macabre humor. Dahl twists the commonplace into the horrific, the sublime & the darkly hilarious in delectable tidbits that brim with the violence that seethes behind every moment of life. In retrospect, his chil ...more
Anina
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-fiction
stories differ from this collection.
I think with both you have every Dahl story.

This is more of a note to self than a review, sorry!

But I can tell you that if you read this book you will feel really accomplished because it has like 500 pages.
Jillian
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Roald Dahl is a brilliant storyteller. Omnibus is a great collection that showcases his ability to amuse, frighten & entertain beyond compare. Not the kiddie stories that we remember him so fondly for, but these might make you take another look at those childhood favorites to see what dark nuance you may have missed. It's not just the inventiveness of the scenarios themselves, but the way he presents them: the unique perspectives of narrators, sadistic twists & clever dialogue draw you i ...more
Laura Leilani
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Best collection of short stories I've read. All are interesting in their own way, and all have a twist at the end. Most short story collections have a few duds mixed in, but this book is an exception. I recognized a few stories that ended up being produced in Alfred Hitchcock Presents. This book is highly entertaining!
Mark
Nov 29, 2010 rated it liked it
So, having been on a short story kick for about a year, I was excited when a colleague of mine said he was reading this. I saw the recent movie version of "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and remembered how much I loved the caricatures of British life that Dahl seems to use so well, and that made me go to the library to pick this up. I've read about a third of the stories, and although I do enjoy the little plot twists at the end of most stories, sometimes they're a little underwhelming. Perhaps I'm desensit ...more
Nick
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: oddly-delightful
Well, the cover of the book says "perfect bedtime stories for sleepless nights," and that's pretty much how I got through Dahl's Omnibus. Though, I was a bit confused as to why you would want to bill your book as perfect for sleepless nights-- as if just cracking this one open would get you snoring in no time. Quite the opposite was the case for me, as this book usually induced sleepless nights rather than remedied them. Dahl's tone in this collection is a far cry from what I've been acquainted ...more
Kirstie
May 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of short stories and Roald Dahl in general, creative fiction, etc.
Just finished this today and I would say 4 is an overall score..there are some stories in this that knock you right off your feet with a 5 star quality and others that are more ho hum with a 3 star fare. Overall, a very enjoyable read from an author I hadn't realized even wrote for adults until recently. Like countless other girls, I imagined myself having the power of Matilda when I was younger but for many years I have strayed from Dahl as a writer.


Many of these stories are gruesome without b
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Lani
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jill
Shelves: modernclassics, own
I've had this book on my shelf for years, but couldn't bring myself to sit down and read it. Short stories aren't really my thing, and the book is a huge and heavy hardback.

I finally made it my 'bedtime book' and kept it by my bed. Since I got the kittens, I had plenty of excuses to lounge around in my room and power through these stories.

I was surprised how quickly I ripped through the book once I started in earnest. Several of the stories were hilarious, and one in particular is very familiar
...more
Mike
May 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
This is a collection of short stories by a man many consider to be the greatest children's writer ever. This book should end that discussion. First, these stories show clearly that he really never wrote for children. He was a children's subversive, in that his stories are really nursery tales meant for adults. Second, anyone who has read his novels gets the vague sense there is a darker story being told than the mere details suggest. These short stories reveal that dark side: violent, biting and ...more
orelia
Apr 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: for those who want intrigue and grotesque
This is the best collection of short story's Dahl has ever written. I was a fan of his children's books growing up, but his short story fiction is like a pure pre-Hollywood Alfred Hitchcock movie: eerie and wonderfully grotesque. I just can't of the stories about old hags, proprieters of boarding houses who entise young men and taxidermy them. And what about the one where the mysterious cigar smoking poolside sitting conman trades his Cadillac to chop off a man's finger? These are beautiful piec ...more
Justin
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wanted to visit an old friend. These are wonderfully wicked short stories. Dahl's control of character and pacing is incredible. Must read.

Favorites in this collection:
"Lambs to the slaughter" which is a warning to spouses and police investigators that pregnant women are very dangerous.
"Pig" which is a moral tale as to why parents should never go out on a date or how vegetarians are benefical to the meat packing industry.
"Royal Jelly" just read it and never underestimate a beekeeper. When the
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Mark
Jan 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a really good collection of stories. My one criticism is that a few of the stories seemed to be less inspired than the others. This makes perfect sense seeing as the book is a collection of many stories that span the writers career.

These stories delve into the strange workings of upper crust society that are just laughable. Bets, insults, fingers, wine, lamb legs, and other trivial subjects become dreadfully serious.

What a good read. This is not life changing, but HIGHLY entertaining.
Kacee
Apr 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Many of these short stories were adapted into Alfred Hitchcock Presents teleplays. They are delightfully dark and compelling with the whimsy and wryness one expects from Dahl presented in an entirely different, but still purely Dahl-ian way. These stories are indeed perfect for sleepless nights (I read them in between frequent nighttime feedings when my son was an infant) but I wouldn't recommend them for bedtime reading for the kids. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory they are not.
John
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Not all of the stories in this collection are hits, but the ones that are fairly blew me away. Years after reading, many of these stories still lurk in the grimy corners of my subconscious, sidling out every now and again to leer, reminding me that no one can ever totally rid themselves of the Darkness. And, maybe, you wouldn't want to if you could.
Mle
Nov 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a book of short stories about the small evils (and sometimes not so small ones) in everybody. The tales each feature some dark twist, and they become increasingly sexy and/or spooky metaphysical as the book wears on.

Olden-timey chauvinistic, but good eerie fun!
Christina
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked it. I feel like it was a more adult version of the books he writes for kids. It is gruesome, kinda raw.
sara frances
Jun 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I highly recommend this collection of Dahl's adult stories. Pages are splashed with sex, violence, and twists that knock you on your ass. What more could you ask for?
Whitney
Oct 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
I had heard so much about Dahl's stories for adults that I thought I would give this a shot. The few stories I did like were ones I'd read several times in other anthologies but hadn't really paid attention to the author's name - I would have sworn none of them were Dahl's. The rest seemed to blur together and overall I felt I wasted a lot of time. Maybe these were more shocking or interesting decades ago. I don't mean gore or whatnot, just something less blah. Would recommend Nightmare at 20,00 ...more
flossie
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my all-time favorite short story collections. Dahl was a master storyteller, whether the stories were directed at children or adults (in my opinion, all of his stories can be enjoyed by adults). Every tale in this collection has a twist, often diabolical, and genius in its execution. I come back to this collection repeatedly. It's just that good.
Steve Hynding
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mature
For any adult who ever loved Dahl, this book is for you. Be mindful, however, that this book is not for children and has very adult situations in some of the stories (it's not hard to figure out which were published in Playboy).
Maria Krol-Sinclair
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ugh, the BEST book I'd never heard of. Think of these as twisted Aesop Fables: quietly macabre and every story ends with a shot.
Bethany
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My sister gave this to me for Christmas years ago when I (and possibly, probably, she) was too young to be reading it. Roald Dahl is one of my favorite authors, and even though it was years after I received it that I really started reading it, I'm glad my sister gave it to me.

I haven't read all the stories in it, but Lamb to the Slaughter is one of my favorite short stories. Lamb to the Slaughter is a macabre story that one would expect Edgar Allan Poe to write, in fact I have mistakenly given
...more
Sarah
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it
The quality of writing in this book is superb, but the collection isn't suited for readers who want to read this straight before bed like the cover suggests. Nearly all of Dahl's stories end with an interesting twist that certainly doesn't lull readers to sleep, but does show that he was a master of the short story. This collection of stories for adults certainly makes me look at his books for children in a different light.

On a more personal and slightly spoilerish revelation, I found too many o
...more
Linda
Oct 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Part of me liked the stories because I could predict the outcome about 70% of the time. The other part enjoyed the descriptive experience, even though I knew what was coming. Since I'd been warned that his adult stories don't have happy endings, it didn't bother me unduly that his adult stories focus on the macabre parts of grown-up human existence, and some truly science-fiction flavored tales of humans being trussed up like pigs for processing, the rapaciousness of females, and the cleverness ...more
Jeff
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
"The Roald Dahl Omnibus". Roald Dahl, 1948. It would have been a great literary travesty if Roald Dahl would have suffered a brain injury before writing his great classics. Before becoming a famous writer, he was a WWII combat pilot. On his first mission in North Africa he becomes lost. Low on fuel, he crashes in the desert. His nose is broke, cranium fractured and he is blinded. This story, along with twenty five, amazing others are included in the "Omnibus". Fortunately Roald Dahl recovers com ...more
Sarah
Apr 06, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked this very much, but I take issue with the subtitle that says it's "perfect bedtime stories for sleepless nights," since nearly all of these stories left me feeling wound up or agitated or disturbed or just too delighted to even think about sleeping. I'd read some before, and I liked them even more the second time around, and some were just so surprising and dirty and I couldn't believe the words were coming from the same person who brought us James and the Giant Peach. Overall I'd say th ...more
Tami
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Every time I'm looking for something 'different' to read, this book comes off my bookshelf. A short story or two from Roald Dahls Omnibus is something I always enjoy! I'm always amazed at how different his writing is. I don't know - maybe Charlie and the Chocolate Factory gives me too many warm fuzzies - when I read Omnibus, I'm reminded that this guy has a dark side & a half! (Of course, I shouldn't be too surprised - anyone who dreams up oompa loompas & having all those bad things happ ...more
Allyson
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Definitely not a children's book, although we probably know Roald Dahl best as a children's author. But it is still definitely Roald Dahl - it's just that the fantasy, the twists, and the humor are all definitely darker... in a good way! And when you think about it, James and the Giant Peach did begin with James' parents being devoured by a rhinoceros on an otherwise happy family outing... and those kids at the chocolate factory did end up headed for the garbage incinerator or needing to be juic ...more
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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
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