The nameless narrator has revealed snippets of the lovable, lascivious Uncle Oswald's life in other collections, but this is the only novel--brief though it is--dedicated solely to the diaries of "the greatest fornicator of all time." Inspired by stories of the aphrodisiac powers of the Sudanese blister beetle, the palpable seductiveness of the lovely Yasmin Howcomely, and the scientific know-how of Professor A. R. Woresley, Uncle Oswald anticipates the concept of the Nobel sperm bank by some 40 years, flimflamming crowned heads, great artists, and eccentric geniuses into making "donations." The life of a commercial sperm broker has a few surprises even for a sophisticated bon vivant
, and Dahl manages his signature sting-in-the-tail ending even in one of his lightest comic works.
"One of the most widely read and influential writers of our generation."
— The Times
"Immense fun." — Daily Telegraph
"Raunchy exuberance and cheeky entertainment."
— Sunday Express
"Deliciously silly." — Observer
"What can be said is that My Uncle Oswald
provides four or five hours of effortless reading and some amusing scenes, mostly of the kind film makers have taught us to call soft porn—so soft, indeed, that at times they turn out almost fluffy.
The tone is that of a gentleman telling ribald anecdotes to his male guests after dinner. The leer is civilized . . . the dialog gets mean and raunchy, but the physical detail is kept decorous. . . . Mr. Dahl's guests are not invited to vicarious orgy, then, nor will they hear a disguised lecture by a wicked satirist of morals and manners."
— Vance Bourjaily
"A festival of bad taste that is at heart so innocent that we soon forgive it and enjoy ourselves . . . thoroughly juvenile fun . . . I haven't had so much fun of this sort since my last all-night joke-telling session at summer camp." — Christopher Lehman-Haupt
--This text refers to an alternate