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Boy: Tales of Childhood (Roald Dahl's Autobiography, #1)
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Boy: Tales of Childhood

(Roald Dahl's Autobiography #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  67,483 ratings  ·  3,007 reviews
In Boy, Roald Dahl recounts his days as a child growing up in England. From his years as a prankster at boarding school to his envious position as a chocolate tester for Cadbury's, Roald Dahl's boyhood was as full of excitement and the unexpected as are his world-famous, best-selling books. Packed with anecdotes—some funny, some painful, all interesting—this is a book that ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 5th 2001 by Puffin Books (first published 1984)
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Taylor Brady This book did include the use of profanity (the A word is used a couple of times by Dahl). The context is definitely something the students would enjo…moreThis book did include the use of profanity (the A word is used a couple of times by Dahl). The context is definitely something the students would enjoy, however they must also have some understanding of how the British English language can be used differently and note some of the spelling changes (color>colour).(less)

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Luca Ambrosino
English / Italiano

Chosen by my daughter as bedtime reading, this book immediately got an excellent response from her. It's easy for a writer like Roald Dahl to produce novels for kids. Even his life takes the form of an extravagant novel for kids. Imagination is fundamental to the writer, and life experience is no less. Probably it's the perfect mix of experience and imagination to constitute the perfect recipe for a successful writer.

Vote: 7


Scelto da mia figlia come lettura serale prima di anda

Ahmad Sharabiani
Boy: Tales of Childhood (Roald Dahl's Autobiography #1), Roald Dahl

Boy: Tales of Childhood (1984) is an autobiographical book by British writer Roald Dahl. It describes his life from birth until leaving school, focusing on living conditions in Britain in the 1920's and 1930's, the public school system at the time, and how his childhood experiences led him to writing as a career.

It ends with his first job, working for Royal Dutch Shell.

His autobiography continues in the book Going Solo.

Miranda Reads
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
We all have our moments of brilliance and glory, and this was mine.
This novel consists of a myriad of short stories that centered on memorable events throughout Dahl's childhood. Each story had bits of wonder, adventure, intrigue and terror. Lots of terror.
When writing about oneself, one must strive to be truthful. Truth is more important than modesty.
The stories about doctor's visits and accidents were the most memorable - for they were described in extremely explicit detail. I
I should probably give this 5 stars as I really enjoyed this, liked this and it's so good. I mean there is a lot of pain here and it's so funny.

Dahl is telling stories from his childhood. He would holiday in the summer in Norway with his family every year. He also went to boarding school. You can see how this is the seeds for almost all his stories. All the horror of adults he tells come from his experience at school. I can't believe some stuff he had to live through. It was abusive.

There was ca
Mariah Roze
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading nonfiction, especially autobiographies. This book was not just any autobiography but a book about Roald Dahl's childhood. Growing up I loved the book Matilda and enjoyed James and the Giant Peach and the BFG and now as an adult I am making it my goal to read all his books. I just set this goal a couple weeks ago and have read this book and The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me.

Roald Dahl told fascinating stories about his childhood up the the age of 18. He explained his extreme love of
Feb 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I just reread this book after reading it many times during my childhood. It was as compelling as ever. As was I rereading I picked up on so many influences that I unconsciously carried through the rest of my childhood and perhaps even adulthood. Places and ideas that as a child I romanticized; Going to Norway swimming in the fiords and filling a pipe with goat's tobacco with my pack of siblings-- heaven. The way Roald Dahl tells a story--with such good humor and without ornament--makes even gett ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
"When writing about oneself, one must strive to be truthful. Truth is more important than modesty."

Memoirs are always interesting.

Roald Dahl's Boy: Tales of Childhood is an interesting book. It is about the eventful and adventurous childhood days of Roald Dahl. The book is written in a simple language, which makes this a good read, a delightful memoir.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read many autobiographies but even then I feel that this was a completely different take on what an autobiography should be. Fun and witty, Roald Dahl really manages to take the reader on a ride through his childhood and early adult days and shows a realistic picture of what it was like growing up in England in the early 20th century. I loved how the book is interspersed with his personal photographs taken with his family and in his different schools and well as the letters he writes h ...more
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a charming collection of stories from Roald Dahl's childhood. I loved his books when I was a kid (my favorites were Danny the Champion of the World, The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and it was fun to hear some true tales from the great storyteller.

One of my favorite stories was about the free candy bars he got when he was at boarding school. Cadbury's would send over boxes of test chocolates, and the boys would sample the new flavors and write their reviews. Dahl said the b
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
(Deciding to re-read this book was inspired by the wonderful ladies at Gathering Books and their fantastic bimonthly meme‘Everything Dahl and Magical’. Which I absolutely adore. )

“When writing about oneself, one must strive to be truthful. Truth is more important than modesty. I must tell you, therefore, that it was I and I alone who had the idea for the great and daring Mouse Plot. We all have our moments of brilliance and glory, and this was mine.”

I first read this glorious memoir aged twe
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
One of the great authors of children's stories, Roald Dahl entertains readers with this piece that encompasses his life to age twenty. While Dahl clearly states that this piece is not an autobiography (for those sorts of books are filled with stale and dusty tales), this is a fabulous compendium of memories from his early years. The eldest son of two Norwegians, Dahl's early years were a mixture of pain (he lost his sister and father within a single week) and childhood frivolity (he loved to pla ...more
James Hartley
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a good little book - quite a historical artefact now as Dahl, writing in the mid-80´s, talks about events which are taking place about 100 years ago from today. He´s a very clear, cutting writer, with plain yet highly original style. This is mostly because of he sticks to writing about what HE finds interesting - caning, for example, which is described over and over in great detail. As he says, he is revolted by it - especially luxuriating in describing the ritual his Repton headmaster w ...more
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Roald Dahl
Recommended to Sita by: Yr 7 English Teacher
I read this in year 7 for English and I loved it.

Me, I normally hate school books. But this one was different, I really liked this one. It was just so interesting. I can still remember half the stuff that happened in the book. That is how much it stuck with me. I recommend this to fans of Roald Dahl and even non fans, this book is different from all his other work.


Good different...

I still recommend it, the things that happen and how he describes it is just...


That is the only word to describe
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Both children and adults
My interest in reading this novel was stimulated a few weeks ago when I visited some friends, one of whom over the course of the evening dug up his collection of Roald Dahl books and proceeded to reintroduce us the magic we had near forgetten we had experienced as children in reading them.

I have always loved the sheer dottiness of the tales of Roald Dahl - the horrid nature of the some of his adult characters and the heroic nature of his young but strong willed main characters.

What I loved abo
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Before this year, I'd never read any of Dahl's work, and when I picked this up I didn't realize that it was an autobiography. So imagine my surprise when I crack the book open and see nothing at all whimsical or silly. Which is cool, but just not what I expected. Not reading the description strikes again!

Anyway, this is a nice collection of stories from Dahl's childhood and while I think that maybe a bit is embellished (who can remember that much detail from early childhood?), I enjoyed it quit
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first instalment of Dahl’s autobiography – written with his customary wit, style and accessibility. ‘Boy’ provides an entertaining insight into Dahl's early years and upbringing. Included here are some events that undoubtedly provided influence and ideas for some of his later novels.

Minor quibble – in the edition I was reading, many of the facsimiles of excerpts from letters / reports etc. from Dahl’s childhood were somewhat difficult to read due to the size of the writing and maybe
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those eye openers for me as a child; I read Boy countless times (and back home still have the well worn edition from 1986). The concept of an autobiography was so new and radical, at a time when reading was all make believe and fiction; it 'really happened', it wasn't made up! Rather, a magical book that opened up another world, glimpsing a life I would never experience.

His remembrances of childhood and school life are frank, vivid and frequently horrific. In particular, his acc
Jul 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely charming stories about Dahl's family and his early school days. As he says, it's not actually an autobiography, but its the bits and pieces he remembers. And you can see how those memories informed his books, and how his intelligent, close knit and fantastical family inspired him as well. Complete with illustrations and snippets of his letters home as well. ...more
Jane Stewart
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
3 ½ stars. I was sad and angry that so much punishment and cruelty was done to boys in the school system.

Roald went to a Welsh school for kindergarten. The teacher beat him with a cane. His mother then sent him to different English schools thinking they were the best schools in the world. But sadly, in every school he went to he was beaten with a cane either by teachers, headmasters, or boys with the title Boazer(Prefect). When Roald was a teen he was a star athlete. That usually would have made
Joey Woolfardis
A really lovely, endearing and funny account of a very lovely, endearing and altogether adventurous childhood from a wonderful author. Full review to follow.

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Like so many children, I grew up with Roald Dahl’s classic tales: James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Matilda. I was aware that he had published work for adults, too, but hadn’t experienced any of it until I was asked to join a blog tour in advance of Roald Dahl Day (September 13th). Last year Penguin brought out an eight-volume paperback set of Dahl’s short stories, grouped thematically. I focused on Innocence: Tales of Youth and Guile, which opens with a reprint o ...more
Paul Christensen
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Funny and moving account of a 1920s chlidhood in Wales, England and Norway, written by a master storyteller.
What child is not completely enamored by the stories written by Roald Dahl? For that matter, what adult does not have a special place in their heart for his audacious, fantastical, magical, whimsical tales? Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, James & The Giant Peach, Fantastic Mister Fox, Matilda. To name only a few. Not to mention his equally magnificent fiction / nonfiction for adults.

Here is a chance for a behind-the-scenes look into this storyteller's world. What was this man's childhood like t
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am very fond of reading books about children’s bitter experiences. Perhaps I believe in American psychologist, Erik Fromm’s belief that “ to understand children, we, adults, try to think like a child again.”Unfortunately, not all adults are aware of this fact. That’s why the main purpose of literature is to educate people about life, basically about children life. I have read some books about children. I can hardly ever forget Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt ( 5 stars ), The Butcher’s Boy by P ...more
Rebecca (whymermaids)
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't know if it was the book itself, my affinity towards Roald Dahl, or Dan Stevens' narration, but I absolutely adored this and, like listening to your grandfather's old stories, would most definitely listen to it again. ...more
Feb 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not usually one for autobiographies, but this one rocked. Ronald Dahl was a fortunate child. Fortunate that he wasn't killed many times by events in his life and by the awesome adventures and memories he was privileged to have.
I will give you my favorite excerpt from this book.
"It won't take two seconds, " the doctor said. He spoke gently, and I was seduced by his voice. Like an ass, I opened my mouth.
The tiny blade flashed in the bright light and disappeared into my mouth.

You must read the
Oct 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I think Roald Dahl is probably the best children's storyteller. When my third grade teacher read "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" to our class I remember thinking, "This guy is really good." But as good as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is (or The Twits or The Witches or Matilda or pick your favorite), it is "Boy", his memoir or childhood written for children, that I read so many times that the copy I found in my basement last week is completely ripped to shreds. He writes for children a ...more
Molly Porter
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really good book about Roald Dahl's life asa a kid. ...more
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-biography
Reading this was such a pleasure, since Roald Dahl’s books were among our favorites when my children were younger. I haven’t yet seriously ventured into his books for adults. I tried to read one of them, but it was dark and I was sitting alone in the car and got seriously scared. I still want to give them a go and haven’t quite given up yet. Anyway, I digress. This is an easy and quick read as far as autobiographies go. It’s not a complete autobiography, however, just enjoyable stories about his ...more
Reading_ Tamishly
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Review coming up soon 💌
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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

Other books in the series

Roald Dahl's Autobiography (2 books)
  • Going Solo (Roald Dahl's Autobiography, #2)

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