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The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More

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Seven stories of fantasy and fun by the fantastic Roald Dahl.

Henry Sugar is a man with an amazing talent: he can see with his eyes closed. But will he use his power for good or personal gain? Find out in "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar," one of seven short stories in this extraordinary collection.

A clever mix of fact and fiction, this volume also includes the tale of a boy who can understand animals, the magical true story of Mildenhall treasure, and Roald Dahl's own account of how he became a writer (with a wealth of tips for aspiring authors).

Included in this volume:
- The Boy Who Talked With Animals - in which a stranded sea turtle and a small boy have more in common than meets the eye.
- The Hitchhiker - proves that in a pinch a professional pickpocket can be the perfect pal.
- The Mildenhall Treasure - a true tale of fortune found and an opportunity lost.
- The Swan - a fantastic story about youthful misdeeds.
- The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar - in which a modern-day Robin Hood brings joy to the hearts of orphans - and fear to the souls of casino owners around the world.
- Lucky Break: How I Became a Writer - an account in Dahl's own words on how he came to be.
- A Piece of Cake: First Story - 1942 - Dahl's first story, which tells of how he was shot down over the Libyan Desert.

232 pages, Hardcover

First published September 12, 1977

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About the author

Roald Dahl

1,084 books24k 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 adventures, was bought by the Saturday Evening Post for $900, and propelled him into a career as a writer. Its title was inspired by a highly inaccurate and sensationalized article about the crash that blinded him, which claimed he had been shot down instead of simply having to land because of low fuel.

His first children's book was The Gremlins, about mischievous little creatures that were part of RAF folklore. The book was commissioned by Walt Disney for a film that was never made, and published in 1943. Dahl went on to create some of the best-loved children's stories of the 20th century, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach.

He also had a successful parallel career as the writer of macabre adult short stories, usually with a dark sense of humour and a surprise ending. Many were originally written for American magazines such as Ladies Home Journal, Harper's, Playboy and The New Yorker, then subsequently collected by Dahl into anthologies, gaining world-wide acclaim. Dahl wrote more than 60 short stories and they have appeared in numerous collections, some only being published in book form after his death. His stories also brought him three Edgar Awards: in 1954, for the collection Someone Like You; in 1959, for the story "The Landlady"; and in 1980, for the episode of Tales of the Unexpected based on "Skin".

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5 stars
9,060 (40%)
4 stars
8,279 (36%)
3 stars
4,195 (18%)
2 stars
719 (3%)
1 star
151 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,406 reviews
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
December 10, 2020
A (somewhat) delightful variety of short stories.

After reading Switch Bitch (also a short story collection by Dahl), I did not have much hope for this collection. If you have not read those stories, I could sum them up on three words: Pervy, Misogynistic and Disturbing. While this one was certainly better, this is definitely not one of my favorites.

The Boy Who Talked to Animals - An enormous sea turtle becomes caught by fishermen - who themselves are caught between killing, eating and dismembering the poor creature. A little boy can understand animals and begs them to let the beast go.

The Hitch-hiker - Quirky Dahl at his best! A fancy-car driver picks up a hitchhiker and gets far more than he bargained for - this man has some very deft fingers and could steal the anything from anyone.

The Mildenhall Treasure - bit of a disappointment. One man discovers a treasure but is swindled out of it. No comeuppance or revenge.

The Swan - I disliked it from start to finish. Two bullies get ahold of a gun and threaten a wimpy kid into doing dangerous stunts for their amusements. These bullies were absolute monsters - culiminating in them dismembering a mother swan, tying her severed wings to the wimpy kid, forcing him to climb a tree and jump off (for him to "fly"). Absolutely terrible.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar - This one was...surprisingly good. We start with a rich, snotty man who wants to learn the secrets of the yogis to win at casinos. We end with a well-rounded, sweet and generous man. Love the transition.

Lucky Break - Dahl reflects on how he began writing. Includes several instances from his past (including events from Boy and Going Solo). Dahl uses his signature style to describe the terrible beatings he suffered and the crazy behavior he witnessed throughout his time at boarding school. While there were more good times than bad, I would not recommend such an experience.

A Piece of Cake - Dahl's first-ever piece of writing (as mentioned in Lucky Break). I already read the longer version in Going Solo by Dahl so it was fun to connect the snippets to the longer story.

Audiobook Comments
Well-read. The voice did not inflect too much or vary in tone. Became a bit monotonous.

The Finer Books Club - 2018 Reading Challenge: A book of short stories

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Profile Image for Julie G.
897 reviews2,933 followers
February 10, 2022
My 11-year-old is currently on a Roald Dahl kick. When I asked her, the other day, what she likes so much about his work, she said, “He writes about things like potions that make your grandmother small.”

I've been trying to find a way to please her current taste with his books, while trying to satisfy the requirements of my 1970s reading project, and this has opened up the door to several new reads for us, some of which were completely unfamiliar to me.

A recent one on our search was this one, which is basically a novella by the name of “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” and six other stories that Mr. Dahl wrote, spanning the time period of 1945-1977. As an interesting aside: three out of these 7 stories are non-fiction, which Mr. Dahl rarely contributed. According to him, "the pleasure of writing comes with inventing stories."

This was promoted as a book for children, and the cover has been playfully illustrated by Quentin Blake, as was often the case with Mr. Dahl's work, but. . .

Well. . . um. . . after those first three stories, I would not call this a book for children.

It's not that it's sexual, or violent, or contains adult language; it's just that the themes and the stories are mature. Too mature for children. My daughter listened to the first three with adoration, then drifted away. It was as though she could sense they weren't written for her.

But, turns out, they were written for me.

These stories are great. So great. Fantastic, really. The very first story that Mr. Dahl ever had published, “A Piece of Cake,” that was published in The Saturday Evening Post is included in here, and I had goosebumps, after reading it. It must have been obvious, when that story appeared in 1942, that a certain magical chord had been struck in readers. Potions, indeed.

My esteem for Mr. Dahl's writing has multiplied, exponentially, after reading these.

Wow. What a writer.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews41 followers
September 7, 2020
The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar And Six More, Roald Dahl

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, is a collection of seven short stories written by Roald Dahl. They are generally regarded as being aimed at a slightly older audience than many of his other children's books.

The Boy Who Talked with Animals
The Hitch-Hiker
The Mildenhall Treasure
The Swan
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
Lucky Break (non-fictional)
A Piece of Cake

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز نوزدهم ماه جولای سال 2005 میلادی

عنوان: داستان شگفت‌انگیز هنری شوگر و شش داستان دیگر؛ نویسنده: رولد دال؛ مترجم: ساغر صادقیان؛ تهران، چشمه، کتاب باران؛ 1383، در 260ص؛ چاپ دوم 1386؛ شابک 9643621952؛ موضوع داستانهای نوجوانان از نویسندگان بریتانیایی - سده 20م

عنوان: داستان شگفت‌انگیز هنری شوگر؛ نویسنده: رولد دال؛ مترجم: تیمور قادری؛ تهران، مهتاب، 1396؛ در 100ص؛ شابک 9786001510427؛

دربرگیرنده‌ ی هفت داستان كوتاه با عنوانهای: «پسری كه با حیوانات حرف می‌زد»، «مسافر مجانی»، «گنج میلدن هال»، «قو»، «داستان شگفت‌انگیز هنری شوگر»، «شانس خوب» و «مثل آب خوردن»؛

در «داستان شگفت‌انگیز هنری شوگر»، «هنری» باید تصمیم بگیرد، در صورت دیدن با چشمان بسته، آیا توان خویش را، باید در راه امور خیر، یا در راه اهداف شخصی، به کار گیرد

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 16/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Calista.
4,075 reviews31.3k followers
April 19, 2019
The short story collection contains 7 stories:
The Boy Who Talked with Animals 4 stars
The Hitch-Hiker 3 stars
The Mildenhall Treasure 3 stars
The Swan 3 stars
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar 4 stars
Lucky Break 4 stars
A Piece of Cake 2 stars

There are several of these that I really enjoyed and the rest were well done. I love Henry Sugar and the method Henry goes about getting 'powers' after reading about a yogi. Concentration is a powerful thing. That was a well done story and I enjoyed the way it started. A super story.

I thought his auto-biographical piece on how Roald began his writing career was wondering and it tied into this autobiography as well with the fighter pilot. He basically walked right into his career. It was pre-ordained, pretty much. He has some great tips for writing as well and he goes into what his English Lit professor said about his writing, which made you realize they probably didn't know what they were talking about. They were just meanies.

The last one I really enjoyed was the Boy who could talk with animals. I loved the compassion in this story and the boy riding around on a turtle. It has that magic twist a Roald DAhl story can spin.

I think these 3 stories are the strongest.

The Swan is a good story, but it was stressful. It's about bullying and it doesn't have a happy ending in my opinion. This is obviously how he felt at school as a boy being bullied. I was driving home in traffic and this story was not good for that as it was so stressful and hard to read. It is painful, just painful in all ways. It's about human cruelty. It's good, but I won't read it again.

I thought the Hitchhiker and Mildenhall Treasure (which is non-fiction) were fun and cute. They didn't blow me away, but they rounded out the book nicely.

The last: Piece of Cake was filler. It was ok, but it did not hook me

I'm glad I was finally able to finish this up and I think that this finishes off all the books of Roald Dahl that are considered his children's books. I still need to read his adult works like Uncle Oswalt, but I'm mostly done with his stuff. It has been a pleasure.
Profile Image for PorshaJo.
467 reviews672 followers
February 7, 2017
I picked this one up after seeing a review on GR and started it almost two months ago. It's a book of short stories and I would pick it up when I needed a quick break from work, current reading, chores, etc. So it taking me two months to read was not a sign of it being boring. All this and I probably had too many books going on at once.

This book contains stories that are quite different from some of the usual Dahl books. Some are pretty short and some are longer, with a total of seven stories. There is even a story of how Dahl got started writing. During my reading of this book, I picked up and read and small book on Dahl's life. Nice to get a big picture view of his life along with how he got his start writing. It's hard to pick one story that I liked best. Could be the story of the pick pocketer, the true story of the buried treasure, or that wonderful story of Henry Sugar. There was one story I didn't much care for due to the subject matter - the story of the swan. But that was just issues I have (touchy w/anything w/animals).

Overall, glad I read this one to get a different take on Dahl's writing.
Profile Image for Mariah Roze.
1,029 reviews934 followers
March 4, 2017
This book is made up of multiple short stories by Roald Dahl.
- "The Boy Who Talked With Animals - in which a stranded sea turtle and a small boy have more in common than meets the eye.
- The Hitchhiker - proves that in a pinch a professional pickpocket can be the perfect pal.
- The Mildenhall Treasure - a true tale of fortune found and an opportunity lost.
- The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar - in which a modern-day Robin Hood brings joy to the hearts of orphans - and fear to the souls of casino owners around the world."

I did not enjoy The Boy Who Talked With Animals. I thought it was very slow, random and not entertaining. It took me a long time to get through this short story.

The Hitchhiker was very entertaining and actually scary. There was some violence that was very unexpected in this story and the whole story definitely kept me on my toes.

The Midenhall Treasure was a true story about treasure that was found and Roald Dahl got the opportunity to write about it for a magazine. It was interesting to read about all the laws of finding treasure in that country.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar did not have an interesting beginning to it's story. Henry read about Imhrat Khan, an Indian man with an amazing special talent. As Henry learns more about Khan he discovers that Khan's special powers is being able to see the world around him without using his eyes. Khan is able to do this because of training with a yogi. This story motivates Henry to learn how to do the same skill, so he can become a great gambler and be able to read cards. After this part is when I started to enjoy Henry Sugar's story more. Henry became a wealthy man from gambling, so he wanted to do something great with the money, so he opens many orphanages.

The ending of the book is Dahl talking about his childhood and growing up experience. As much as I enjoyed reading about it, I was disappointed because it was so similar to the book Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl. There was a ton of overlapping stories and there were stories that was in this book but not his autobiography. That bugged me. It should have been in his autobiography if he wanted to share it. It was a weird ending to the whole book, having it be an autobiography of random stories of his childhood.

This was not one of my favorite Roald Dahl books, but I am glad that I read it and experienced it.
4 reviews11 followers
January 7, 2013
Re-reading one of my all time favorite books or more accurately short stories by Road Dahl. While the story of Henry Sugar is far less known than James and the Giant Peach or Charile and the Chocolate Factory ... as much as I loved those stories growing up, its Henry Sugar that stuck with me the most. And despite having first read this over 30+ years ago, enjoy it just as much as an adult. Highly recommended
Profile Image for Quirkyreader.
1,541 reviews43 followers
June 14, 2018
This book was full of short stories that can be enjoyed by all.

I especially liked "The Boy Who Talked With Animals".
Profile Image for Hilda.
200 reviews144 followers
January 6, 2010
Roald Dahl's books always have wonderful effect on me.

When I read The Witches, I thanked God I didn't meet any witch as a child.
When I read Matilda, I think she's the brightest girl ever.
When I read Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, I believe that there is a very big and magical chocolate factory somewhere in this world.
When I read the Magic Finger, suddenly I have some hatred to these animal hunters.
When I read Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator, I wish that I can go to space hotel as well.
When I read the Twits, I want to thrown up.
When I read James and The Giant Peach, I want to go inside the amazing peach.

When I read this book, I can't say more than amazing. This book makes me almost believe about something, which I tell you, almost impossible.
But who's Roald Dahl? He knocks the 'im' in 'impossible' word.
Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.7k followers
July 9, 2021
i reread the wonderful story of henry sugar this year and guess what! it holds up! i don't remember any of the other stories in this collection but they're probably good too!

part of my review-books-i-read-forever-ago project! exclamation point!
Profile Image for Ioanna ms✨.
193 reviews122 followers
July 13, 2020
Κανένας συγγραφέας παιδικών βιβλίων δε το κάνει όπως ο Ρόαλντ Νταλ!
Και λίγο backstory: πρόσφατα διάβασα το βιβλίο του Trevor Noah, Born a Crime, στο οποίο εξιστορεί πως το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο ήταν από τα αγαπημένα του ως παιδί και πως ταυτιζόταν με τον σκανταλιάρη Χένρι Σούγκαρ. Ως εκ τούτου, όσο το διάβαζα έκανα εικόνα τον Trevor ως Χένρι😂.
Πρέπει να γίνει ταινία, απαράδεκτο να έχουν κάνει το ΜΦΓ αλλά όχι τον Χένρι Σούγκαρ!
*3.5 για την αργή αρχή, επειδή είναι μικρό βιβλίο θεωρώ ότι έχασε λιγάκι από αυτή.
Profile Image for Rachel.
107 reviews
January 1, 2017
Jumping back into Roald Dahl literature has been one of the best experiences in terms of reading this year.

I never considered that I would enjoy short stories so much. Stories that you start and finish before going to bed. Such a refreshing feeling. As a lover of Roald Dahl's stories in childhood, his writing style is one of the most easy to read and grabs-you-by-the-writing-and-plot-and-never-lets-you-go. This was such a great read and overall, my rating was based on my enjoyment.

Ratings for each short story:
The Boy Who Talked with Animals: 2/5
The Hitch-hiker: 4/5
Mildenhall Treasure: 4.5/5
The Swan: 2/5
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar: 5 BRILLIANT STARS/5
Lucky Break: 4/5 (3.5)
A Piece of Cake: 4/5 (3.5)

The Boy Who Talked with Animals, I found it to be kind of pointless. The title is the story. (spoilers) Basically a boy begs a fisherman not to sell the enormous turtle so the fisherman lets the turtle go. Next day parents say their boy is missing and police are searching for him. Natives who were fishing tell police they see a boy riding a turtle into the horizon. They see the boy but he gets on turtle and rides off into the sunset.

The Hitch-hiker was damn hilarious. This hitch-hiker with a career he won't speak off, has the most interesting banter with the main character and the story was absolutely genius.

Mildenhall Treasure was amazing to believe that Roald Dahl had written this story of someone's recount of finding treasures that is now in the British Museum. Roald Dahl had written this story with the pure motive of telling the true story of how these treasures were found after seeing an article in the newspapers.

The Swan, for a birdlover, was like being stabbed in the throat. A twisted story with a twisted moral.


Lucky Break went into details on some parts Dahl has written about in Boy: Tales of Childhood and Going Solo. I enjoyed seeing his perspective/role in history like World War II and the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour.

A Piece of Cake, though the lower rating, was quite a good story. A story he wrote not with the intention of it being a story, was one of humour and a life threatening situation.

All in all, a great compilation of stories and I recommend it to people who love Roald Dahl or short stories :)
Profile Image for Tasshin Fogleman.
Author 3 books61 followers
August 2, 2010
Re-read the main story but I read all of them as a kid. Was poking through the others and found this gem, from Lucky Break:

"Here are some of the qualities you should possess or should try to acquire if you wish to be fiction writer:

1. You should have a lively imagination.
2. You should be able to write well. By that I mean you should be able to make a scene come alive in the reader's mind. Not everybody has this ability. It is a gift, and you either have it or you don't.
3. You must have stamina. In other words, you must be able to stick to what you are doing and never give up, for hour after hour, day after day, week after week and month after month.
4. You must be a perfectionist. That means you must never be satisfied with what you have written until you have rewritten it again, making it as good as you possibly can.
5. You must have strong self-discipline. You are working alone. No one is employing you. No one is around to fire you if you don't turn up for work, or tick you off if you start slacking.
6. It helps a lot if you have a keen sense of humor. This is not essential when writing for grown-ups, but for children, it's vital.
7. You must have a degree of humility. The writer who thinks his work is marvelous is heading for trouble."
Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,808 reviews800 followers
July 2, 2019
This book was a pretty big disappointment after how much I’ve loved all of Dahl’s other work that I’ve read. I feel like he just didn’t capture my attention with these stories. I found myself flipping forward to see how much I still had to struggle through before each story was done. I think I’ll stick to Dahl’s novels from now on and skip past the short stories!
Profile Image for Yuthika.
530 reviews42 followers
December 28, 2016
I've always been mesmerised by Roald Dahl - but Henry Sugar holds a special place in my heart. A story I could read again and again.
Profile Image for Şafak Akyazıcı.
112 reviews41 followers
May 11, 2022
İçerisinde sekiz keyifli öykünün olduğu, adını da kitabın en uzun, kurmacanın doruklarında olan Şeker Henry’nin İnanılmaz Öyküsü’nden alan muzip bir Dahl kitabı. Fonetiği çok tatlı olduğundan kitabın adı da şeker gibi olmuş ama etkilendiğim hatta tek etkilendiğim öykü Kuğu’ydu. Derinliği, edebi lezzeti ile ve kesinlikle seyirlik bir öykü Kuğu.
Hoş bir dinlenme kitabı. Dahl okumakla beraber izlemesi de keyifli yazarlardan biri olabilir. Sinematografik bulduğum Kuğu öyküsü ile Laura Wandel’in Playground filmi birbirine selam veren eserlerden bence.
Ayrıca Dahl’ın Matilda’sı en sevdiğim kitaplarından.
Profile Image for Shankar.
167 reviews4 followers
May 23, 2021
With the COVID initiated imprisonments continuing to come back again the uncertainty of stepping out of our home continues. As I am sure with everyone else boredom and helpless absence of choice of how to spend non professional time at home increases. The news is full of gloom and doom and everything pandemic.

The unexpected find of this book in our shelf was a welcome break. ‘Roald Dahl to the rescue’ was what I thought when I ‘discovered’ this. My daughter had gifted this to my wife many years ago.

And my interest in this made me finish this. As almost in two sessions I was captivated by some “Dahl-esque” moments. Inimitable as he is the stories are timeless.

Highly recommended for two hours of undiluted fun and promise to make you stay rooted to your seat.

PS - I did not know until I read this that he was 6’ 6”. Tall tales 🙂
Profile Image for Neda.
435 reviews77 followers
December 7, 2015
Well I enjoyed this collection of short stories much :) Especially the first two & the last two :)
The Boy who talked with Animals was just a great one & the Hitch Hiker was hilarious :D
The Wonderful story of Henry Sugar was indeed wonderful & the last one which was rather autobiographical was amazing :) Wish these stories wouldn't end..
Profile Image for lecturas_niponas.
102 reviews108 followers
September 21, 2023
Realmente son historias extraordinarias.
Son relatos llenos de color, divertidos, ingeniosos, personajes únicos.
Dahl tenía una capacidad para interconectar temas que era asombrosa.

Hacia mucho que no disfrutaba tanto de unos relatos, me abstrajeron de cualquier realidad y me transportaron a su mundo de ficción fantástica.
Profile Image for Guillermo Castro.
154 reviews55 followers
July 10, 2018
Famoso por sus historias para niños (Matilda, Los Gremlins, Charlie y la fábrica de chocolates), el escritor Británico Roald Dahl escribió también cuentos para adultos. La producción disponible en castellano consta de cuatro libros que pueden encontrarse con relativa facilidad en Editorial Anagrama. El que hoy habremos de comentar es "Historias extraordinarias", volumen que consta de siete relatos de naturaleza muy diversa, tanto en procedencia, como en temática y estructura. El calificativo de "extraordinarios" no significa que estos sean los mejores cuentos del autor, pero sí los más atípicos.

Efectivamente, se trata de un volumen variopinto, con ficción, pasajes autobiográficos y algunas muestras de cuento fantástico. Si bien, el género puede variar, la forma de narrar siempre será simple y fácil de asimilar. La principal cualidad del autor es la prolífica imaginación que dota a la realidad de ese elemento mágico que tendemos a olvidar mientras vamos envejeciendo. En el mejor de los casos, Dahl logra posicionar su propia visión de la literatura fantástica, liberándose de la seriedad, la moral y la rigidez del realismo literario; en el peor de los casos, sus descripciones pueden ser un tanto redundantes y sobre-explicadas, y sus historias (al menos en este libro) demasiado heterogéneas. Por lo tanto, "Historias extraordinarias" puede llevarnos de la ilusión a la decepción, o en su defecto, del escepticismo al entusiasmo ferviente. Aquí todo es posible.

Algunos de los cuentos parecen estar basados en leyendas populares (como "El chico que hablaba con los animales") o en notas periodísticas (como "El tesoro de Mildenhall", único cuento de no-ficción que escribió Dahl en toda su vida). Estas obras cumplirán con la labor de hacernos pasar un buen rato, pero quizás no nos lleguen a deslumbrar. En cambio "El autoestopista" es un relato más interesante, cercano al realismo americano de nuestra época y que trata sobre un personaje bribón y sagaz cuya construcción psicológica no tiene nada que ver con la literatura para niños.

Por su parte, "El cisne" provoca una respuesta emocional muy significativa. Este cuento se ubica en el terreno argumental que más naturalmente se le da al escritor británico; es decir, la infancia y sus dificultades. La trama es la siguiente: dos pubertos idiotas procedentes de un estrato social marginado, se divierten a costa de un niño más pequeño, llegando a niveles de despreciable crueldad. Esta historia de bullyng extremo provoca gran indignación. De no ser por el atinado (y muy literario) desenlace, estaríamos hablando simplemente de un ardid melodramático y vulgar.

La joya del libro es "La maravillosa historia de Henry Sugar" cuento largo en forma de "muñecas rusas" (es decir, una historia dentro de otra; como las famosas matrioshkas). Trata sobre un hombre rico y ocioso que descubre el secreto para desarrollar los poderes espirituales de los yoguis hindúes. Sin embargo, sus intenciones no parecen ser muy nobles. Durante catorce capítulos, Dahl convence y emociona como en ningún otro cuento de este volumen. Por si fuera poco, la presunción de "veracidad" de la historia, permite al narrador proponer dos desenlaces diferentes (un final literario y un final verídico) y como suele suceder en estos casos, la ficción literaria supera a la realidad.

Por último, encontraremos los dos únicos relatos autobiográficos que Dahl escribió en vida, entre ellos "Pan comido", redactado en plena segunda guerra mundial, cuando el escritor aún se desempeñaba como aviador de la Fuerza Aérea Británica. En su primer esbozo, el autor narra el accidente aéreo que sufrió en una misión al norte de África. Curiosamente, este es el único ejemplo de modernismo que encontraremos en todo el libro, pues el narrador salta de la realidad a la inconsciencia, desarrollando el conocido recurso del dialogo interno.

"Racha de suerte" es lo más cercano a una autobiografía, pues tiene como objetivo explicarnos cómo es que Dahl se convirtió en escritor. Los fragmentos más interesantes son (usted adivinó) aquellos en los que habla de su infancia. Al leerlo uno podría conjeturar que ese grave problema que enfrentamos en la actualidad llamado bullying podría tener sus orígenes en el antiguo sistema educativo Inglés. Verá usted; en los internados de ese país (todavía en pleno siglo XX) "educar" significaba validar una cadena de palizas propinadas por los más fuertes en detrimento de los más débiles. El director inicia la cadena humillando al profesor; el profesor tiene la facultad de golpear a los alumnos y el alumno mayor tiene el derecho a golpear al alumno menor. Es posible que la organización represiva de los antiguos internados ingleses, persista hoy en día en forma de Bullying. Bueno, si no queremos concederle crédito a Dahl pues ahí está Charles Dickens para despejar nuestras dudas.

Como detalle curioso, el autor nos ofrece una muestra de su propia grafología, reproduciendo pequeños textos de su puño y letra, pertenecientes a su original cuaderno de apuntes.

"Historias extraordinarias" es un buen libro, pero quizás no el adecuado para iniciarse en la apreciación de este escritor, ya que no corresponde a una muestra verdaderamente representativa de sus trabajos más celebrados. Este libro es más bien un compendio de sus trabajos más originales y atípicos. Me parece además que el estilo del autor no es perfecto, quedando en desventaja frente a los grandes maestros del cuento fantástico. Sin embargo, es posible que en otras obras (me viene a la mente "Relatos de lo inesperado") podamos hacernos una mejor idea del genio narrativo de Roald Dahl.
Profile Image for Dominick.
Author 15 books29 followers
September 8, 2018
Odd collection. Though clearly marketed as a book for young readers, if not children per se (it says 12 and up), this does not really seem like a kids' book to me. While none of the stories include content that would be inappropriate for young readers (by many people's estimation, anyway), none of it really seems aimed at young readers, particularly. Indeed, some of the pieces--e.g. Dahl's war memoir, or his somewhat fictionalized account of the discovery of a Roman treasure hoard--were clearly NOT written with children specifically in mind. Even the stories with important child characters--"The Boy Who Talked to Animals" and "The Swan" (both intriguing fables)--do not read like stories for kids. The title story is long, involves multiply embedded narrative levels, and has meta elements--again, nothing a younger reader couldn't handle, but also not elements that signal an intent to appeal to children, either. On the other hand, Dahl's memoir about his childhood and how he became a writer often explains and defines things one would assume most adults know, so does seem aimed at younger readers. Anyway, the result is a somewhat puzzling mix. Four of the stories are pure fiction, one is a narrativized account of fact, and two are straight-up autobiographical pieces. It feels more like Dahl had a few pieces lying around that hadn't been collected, and which he decided to combine, than it does like a coherent collection.
July 26, 2016
I enjoyed reading this book. It is a collection of Short Stories. Some of my favorites where:

The Boy who talked with Animals. - I love the turtle!!
The Mildenhall Treasure - which is based on a true story
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar - Sugar Yes Please!! hahaha!!
Lucky Break

I love Roald Dahl. I love how his imagination works. I love his books and it is such a great joy to read them. This book tells us of 7 Different Stories which all of them are amazing. I love the story of Henry Sugar and the story of the Man who sees without his eyes, it is so well written and just beautiful. Lucky break also one story that I like because it is Roald Dahl's story, His first time being a writer and finding what he really wants to do. Roald Dahl's books are always such a delight to read and whenever you read his books sometimes your mind starts to wander and starts to imagine beautiful things and just feel so happy. ^^
Profile Image for Rachelle.
47 reviews
September 18, 2007
After falling in love with Dahl (via Matilda), I read this fantastic collection of short stories. A couple are actually written for adults but were tame enough to transfer well to a younger audience. The tales had such a profound effect on me that I remember them clearly to this day (despite not having read this collection since the umpteenth time when I was in my teens), and I still think fondly about one of them in particular on a regular basis. If I were to be trapped on a desert island with just a handful of books to read again and again, this would definitely be one of my picks.
Profile Image for Sofie.
130 reviews41 followers
September 1, 2023
Mijn tienjarige dochter vond dat ik dit moest lezen, want het is één van de beste boeken die ze tot nu toe gelezen heeft, zeker het titelverhaal en het verhaal over hoe Roald Dahl schrijver werd. Ik heb het met plezier op haar aanraden gelezen. Zelf was ik op die leeftijd ook enorme fan van Roald Dahl - en liet ik mijn moeder onder lichte dwang Matilda lezen - maar dit boek heb ik destijds niet gelezen. Bonus: over enkele weken verschijnt er op Netflix een verfilming van het titelverhaal.
Profile Image for Manuel Alfonseca.
Author 73 books161 followers
December 24, 2021
ENGLISH: A collection of six short stories by Roald Dahl, plus an autobiographical note on how he came to write. Among the stories, two are special, as they are the only ones he wrote based on real events, without inventing anything. One of them was the first thing he published.

The other four fictional stories are more in line with typical works of the author. "The Hitch-Hiker" contains a high dose of typical Dahlian humor. "The Swan" shows two typically evil characters, pure Roald Dahl style, those characters that the reader has no choice but to cordially hate. Finally, "The wonderful story of Henry Sugar" is based on an original idea: a man capable of seeing without eyes, by using powers developed by practicing yoga.

ESPAÑOL: Colección de seis cuentos de Roald Dahl, más un apunte autobiográfico sobre cómo llegó a escribir. Entre los cuentos, dos son especiales porque son los únicos que escribió el autor basándose en hechos reales, sin inventar nada. Uno de ellos es lo primero que publicó.

Los otros cuatro cuentos de ficción se ajustan más a las obras típicas de su autor. "El autoestopista" contiene una elevada dosis de típico humor Dahliano. En "El cisne" aparecen dos típicos personajes malignos, puro estilo de Roald Dahl, de esos personajes a los que el lector no tiene más remedio que odiar cordialmente. Finalmente, "La maravillosa historia de Henry Sugar" se basa en una idea muy original: la de un hombre capaz de ver sin ojos, utilizando poderes que ha desarrollado practicando el yoga.
Profile Image for Patrick .
449 reviews44 followers
April 20, 2020
"In his short story “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” Roald Dahl develops the theme of generosity as virtuous and greed as meaningless. The protagonist, Henry Sugar, is a wealthy and lazy playboy who one day at a party reads an account written by a Dr. John Cartwright about Imhrat Khan, a man in India who could see without his eyes. Reading the account of Imhrat’s training to gain this ability, Henry Sugar decides to practice the same techniques in order to be able to see through cards at casinos. After training for three years, he wins thousands of pounds at a casino in one night, but finds that his perspective has changed. Finding meaning only in giving away his earnings, he continues to go to casinos and uses his earnings to establish twenty orphanages throughout the world."
Profile Image for Dystopian.
207 reviews25 followers
October 2, 2023
This collection is being labeled by the publisher as teenage fiction which in my opinion it's not. Anyway, grown ups should read this collection too, especially these who only knows Dahl by his children books.
Profile Image for PurplyCookie.
942 reviews205 followers
April 25, 2009
If you could see with your eyes closed, how would you use your power? That’s what Henry has to decide in one of the seven stories in this extraordinary collection.

"The Boy Who Talked With Animals" >> Is about a young tourist boy at a beach resort who seeks to free a giant sea turtle which has been captured by the hotel management. This sounds like a children's story, but the characterization and the setting are quite adult.

"The Hitchhiker" >> Is an amusing tale about a British hitchhiker who reveals himself to be a "fingersmith", a master classman of the pickpocketing profession. The interplay between three different levels of British society: the journalist driver, the rough cockney passenger, and a belligerent traffic cop proves to be an entertaining read. Certainly my most favorite stories in this collection, followed closely by that of Henry Sugar.

"The Mildenhall Treasure" >> Is an incredible story about an amazing discovery. On a cold winter morning, a farmer plowing another man's land stumbled upon the greatest cache of Roman silver ever found in Britain. Regrettably, Gordon Butcher didn't know what he had found because the silver had tarnished during its years in the ground. His boss did know what it was and took the stuff home where hid it for a few years before the authorities discovered it. The crux of the story centers on a British law that says the person who FINDS any treasure receives compensation for the full market value of the items. The Mildenhall plates, bowls, and spoons would have netted Butcher nearly a million pounds. By allowing his boss to walk off with the silver, Butcher received only one thousand pounds. In a way, this book is similar to the Mildenhall Treasure: a great find even if you have little idea of it at first glance. This is one of the only two non-fiction stories that Dahl ever wrote.

"The Swan" >> About a precocious child named Peter Watson who runs into two local tormentors, Ernie and Raymond, while out bird watching. The two goons march Watson around at the point of a gun for no other reason than alleviating their boredom on a weekend. The final indignity occurs when Raymond and Ernie shoot a beautiful swan, tie its wings to Peter's arms, and force him to climb a tree so they can see him "fly." There is something magical and memorable about what happens next as Peter learns that he is one of those precious souls which all the bullies in the world will never triumph over.

"The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar" >> It's really two stories in one, about a wealthy but frivolous soul named Henry Sugar (of an affluent British family) and his discovery of an unusual book in a friend's library. The book tells the story about a man in India (Imhan Khan) who has learned to see through objects without the use of his eyes. Sugar gets the sudden inspiration to attain this ability and soon discovers that he is a natural at it, one of the rare people with the amazing gift to learn this art in just a few years. Henry's motivations are highly suspect at first: he wishes to use this newfound talent to cheat at the casino, thereby earning himself a fortune. But something rather odd occurs during his training process when Sugar soon discovers that he has little interest in accumulating money for selfish ends. Dahl writes the story in such a way that the reader becomes convinced Henry Sugar was a real, breathing person.

In addition to these imaginative and magical tales, this book also contains the true story of how Roald Dahl became a writer, as well as a copy of the very first nonfiction story he wrote for The Saturday Evening Post:

"Lucky Break: How I Became A Writer" >> This story is really a short autobiography of the writer from his early school days through his war experiences. The sections outlining his years at one of England's public schools should be read by anyone who thinks American places of learning are terrible. English public schools, Dahl writes, are actually very private academies devoted to the total education of their pupils. During the writer's childhood, this meant harsh, rigid discipline of a type usually seen in the military. The brutality exhibited by teachers and elder classmates at the school is shocking: the older students routinely whipped younger pupils with switches, an activity mirrored by the teachers whenever students misbehaved. There are great, tension filled descriptions of the beatings endured by Dahl at the hands of these tormentors. I would've loved to have had Mrs. O'Connor as a professor! She was indeed a fountain of information for the greatest of English literature.

"A Piece of Cake: First Story-1942" >> This was Dahl's first published story, which appears to be based on his wartime experiences without necessarily being 100% accurate in its minor details. For an enthusiastic Dahl fan like myself, getting a glimpse of the man behind the curtain is exciting, and getting to know more about Dahl is a real treat.

Book Details:

Title The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
Author Roald Dahl
Reviewed By Purplycookie
Profile Image for Sam.
235 reviews30 followers
November 23, 2019
I was utterly, completely bowled over by this book of short stories by Roald Dahl. Never in a million years did I expect the person who entertained me throughout childhood to evoke an entirely different range of emotions in adulthood.

The book contained 7 stories and all 7 of them broke my heart in a million pieces. The most poignant story for me was "The Swan" and I recommend that everybody and their dog should read it. The main story, “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” was equally engrossing and thought-provoking.

What made me completely fall in love with the book was the author's memoirs and his tips on how to become a fiction writer and how he got his start in the writing world. Of course, I can't forget to mention, the book also included the very first piece he had written describing his RAF days during WWII.

Roald Dahl is a certifiable chameleon in terms of writing and I will be looking into his other books for adults as soon as possible
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