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The Great Automatic Grammatizator And Other Stories

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  3,797 ratings  ·  316 reviews
This selection of Roald Dahl's short stories is specially chosen for teenagers. The stories are a perfect introduction to the breadth of Roald Dahl's work for adults, as well as a wonderful collection in its own right.
Paperback, 263 pages
Published September 27th 2001 by Puffin Books (first published April 6th 1982)
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Jake Werner I was gifted this when I was around 13 I believe. I thought that there were some really great stories then with a few duds. I should really revisit…moreI was gifted this when I was around 13 I believe. I thought that there were some really great stories then with a few duds. I should really revisit some of the stories I thought were just boring then...(less)

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4.06  · 
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 ·  3,797 ratings  ·  316 reviews

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Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this on Halloween with my 11 year old as a bed-time read aloud. I will review the stories here as we read them, not necessarily in the order of the book.

Vengeance is Mine, INC--this is cute, but more than a little dated (they are going to retire with $20K as if they are super rich). They also can simply disappear (which is much more difficult in modern society). He liked the story though as as concept and I think the evidence of a historic time period was interesting.

The Butler
Jun 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, short-stories
”The Great Automatic Grammatizator” (from “Someone Like You”): A mechanically-minded man reasons that the rules of grammar are fixed by certain, almost mathematical principles. By exploiting this idea, he is able to create a mammoth machine that can write a prize-winning novel in roughly fifteen minutes. The story ends on a fearful note, as more and more of the world's writers are forced into licensing their names-and all hope of human creativity-to the machine.

”Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coa
Bought this collection at Foyle's in London, because a) I was at Foyle's flagship store in LONDON, b) I was on a literary pilgrimage through the UK where I would be doing a presentation to the rest of my group about Dahl, and c) the only story I knew was the superb Royal Jelly. Loved these stories, so chilling and wonderful! Dahl's children's books are great, but his more adult short stories are DIVINE. This was shelved in the YA section at Foyle's, and I agree: I think the American practice of ...more
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Magnificently macabre comic confections. Devilish Dahl delivers hilariously Hitchcockian hits from the kinkily inky depths of his magically poisonous pen.
Dylan Moore
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great story, I thorougly enjoyed it. It makes you infer alot and has a great ending/cliffhanger!
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
He is a smart character that knows what he is doing
Sep 26, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Matilda was captivating as read out loud by my fourth grade teacher. So I had high hopes for this collection but came up wanting more. Considerably more.

This collection starts off with the zingers of "The Great Automatic Grammatizator," an indictment of greedy publishers and lazy writers (the message will never be outdated) that doubles as a plain fun story.

Other shorties worth the look are "Parson's Pleasure" and "Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat" - karma, baby! - and the sickest of the lot, "
J.M. Giovine
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Specifying, this collection contains Roald Dahl's:
- Katina: Which is an overwhelmingly touching little war-tale that plays with the atrocities of war and its casualties turned into something almost celestial.
- The Great Automatic Grammatizator: An hybrid between sci-fi and classic-old-fashion dept into the writer's creativity with certain elements of satire.
- Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat: A particularly funny little tale that mocks over the adultery and loving affairs with a certain fashio
"The Great Automatic Grammatizator"
"The Landlady"
"Royal Jelly"

I like these titles. I also like the stories they entitle. "The Great Automatic Grammatizator" is Charley-in-the-Chocolate-Factory Roald Dahl. "The Landlady" is Roald Dahl writing horror fiction. "Royal Jelly" is a combination of the two.

I recommend this to anyone looking for creative short stories!
Mar 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Umbrella Man was an average story to me. It tells the story of a young girl and her mother, who come across a polite old man. The Umbrella man was easy to follow, and I did like the plot twist. But other than that, personally, this wouldn't be my go-to book. It isn't very descriptive, and it was somewhat of a bore. I recommend this book if you feel like a bit of light reading.
Great read when being sick :)
Megan Thomas
Not my favourite collection of Roald Dahl's short stories, but perhaps it's because they're meant for teenagers (which I didn't realise until I'd already got the book!)
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Long Story Shrt The Story was Short
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute and enjoyable but definitely not one of Roald Dahl's best works, I missed the typical traits of his writing.
Bhawna Widhani
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Umbrella man is a funny one :p
I was surprised by the slyness of the main character.
Clare Almine
I already read some of his books for children (like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox and others) and I find his works a little bit inappropriate for kids (well, parts of his books) but on this collection of short stories, I can say that he is the best storyteller of all time. As in!
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book after reading A Lamb to the Slaughter in school. I loved Roald Dahl books as a child, so I was curious about what his stories for older children were like. I was not disappointed. Some of the stories are really memorable, I read this book almost ten years ago and I can remember some of the stories vividly. My particular favourites from the book were Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat , Royal Jelly and the books name sake The Great Automatic Grammatizator.

(view spoiler
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Roald Dahl's stories to bits, but gave this volume four stars simply because his children's books are the ceiling for me.

My top five in this collection were:

1.) The Landlady
This packs a hefty punch of eerie atmosphere into just over ten pages. The landlady in question is a special, schizoid brand of crazy and harbours only a select few guests for long-term stays... .

2.) Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's Coat
I love the title of this story as it fittingly describes how the much sought after c
Jill Guccini
Mar 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: title-wave
I found & bought this book while volunteering at the library bookstore. I've decided I'd like to go back and try to read every book by my favorite childhood authors - Roald Dahl and Paul Zindel, mainly - and I'm increasingly finding that Dahl wrote all these other adult books other than Boy and Flying Solo I had never heard of. Although I only realized halfway into this book after reading the back cover that this was a collection of his stories apparently chosen for young adults, but like mo ...more
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roald Dahl is the reason I love to read, and my inspiration to become a writer myself one day. So I admit I have a certain bias to him. With that said, I loved every single one of these stories. I can't think of any that I disliked or was bored with in any way. Dahl has a way of weaving the story together to make all the characters interesting and the plot engaging, even in a short amount of space.

The different flavors of each story were delightful. Some sent a shiver down my spine, some were qu
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short stories unique to Dahl's talents; ranging from delightfully devious to comically self aware to terribly twisted. Mostly simple stories of mischief and comeuppance that will have you cheering for all the wrong characters and accelerating along the crescendo of events to the final paragraphs' inevitable but often surprising extraordinary turn of events.
Katina stood out through it's sincere poetic lens of adventure and tragedy in war among beautiful foreign landscapes.
Other favorites include
David McGrogan
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very nice introduction to Roald Dahl's grown-up short fiction. There are some out-and-out classics in here ("Katina" is one of the truly great World War II stories, and "Taste" is an absolute tour de force) as well as some good evidence of just how twisted the man's imagination was ("Man of the South" and "Royal Jelly"). All of them show what a master Dahl was at building tension and creating a creepy mood, and above all how skillful he was at moving the plot forward with dialogue. My only qui ...more
Sep 13, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone!
Roald Dahl re-secured his place as my favorite author in this collection of short stories. I picked up a used copy in Powell's City of Books when I was in Portland, and I am almost finished with it already. It was great to have on the plane! Some of these are dark sort of tales, some are just funny, and some are wistful. He's good at every type. You might remember "Lamb to the Slaughter," in which a woman kills her husband with a frozen leg of lamb (a Twilight Zone episode was based on this). We ...more
Mar 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If you're a fan of Dahl's writing for kids, you MUST try his stuff for grown-ups. That slightly macabre tint that he gives to everything works every bit as well for adults. Some of these were so funny I was laughing out loud, others so poignantly beautiful I was on the edge of tears.

These are a great example of the fact that in Dahl's world, just like in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, people always get what they deserve. Read it!
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Harun, Mery, Mbak Mia, Mbak Uci, Mbak Roos
13 stories from this book have a hilarious ending and some have a twist ending. You will not find a happy ending one. Some have a horror effect, quite smooth but it really makes me spooky. You always questioning what will happen at the end when you read it, until you find it by yourself.

My fave stories are The Land Lady, Parson's Pleasure, The Umbrella Man, Royal Jelly.

Roald Dahl is a good story teller indeed and am totally agree with that. *bowing*
Cindie Harp
Mar 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A much-smarter friend recommended this to me, and lent me her library-borrowed copy, which shows a lot of trust. How could I not read it? I called her and asked her a question about it, one of the short stories that is, and she was afraid I was not "getting" the twist that each story provides at the end. I told you, she is much smarter than I. I got it. I did! It was a fun read, if not one that fills the reader with warm feelings of humanity's redemption. Hey, it is Roald Dahl!
Jan 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roald Dahl is my favorite- so I love discovering collections of his short stories I didn't know were in print. He wrote for adults for a while before he wrote for children. These are some of his short stories for adults and true to form they are weird and wonderful. I highly recommend if you're a fan of Dahl's work, or if you just need a dark comedy fix!
This was a cute collection of short stories. They aren't all one specific genre which I liked but I definitely enjoyed most the ones that were leaning towards horror. I was surprised that Roald Dahl wrote for adults before writing for children. I think he found his calling when he switched to children's books.
It's always nice to read a book purely for fun, not just because you have to! He was one of my favorite authors when I was younger, very fun and descriptive with his writing. All of these short stories have a fun twist at the end....but over time, the "surprise" ending starts getting more and more predictable. :)
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Roald Dahl is a great story teller! Every story is so different and I am impressed with how creative he is. I am always waiting for the twist at the end of the story. My favorite in this collection is Katina, which is more touching, serious, real and powerful than the other short stories in the collection. But I enjoy the darker or more light-hearted stories as well.
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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
“Give us strength, oh Lord, to let our children starve.” 12 likes
“Then suddenly, he was struck by a powerful but simple little truth, and it was this: that English grammar is governed by rules that are almost mathematical in their strictness!” 12 likes
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