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Tales of the Unexpected Paperback – July 14, 1990
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is comprised of gem after gem. Two of Dahl's most famous stories are here. One is "Lamb to the Slaughter," about the wife of a police detective who kills her husband in a most unconventional way and then disposes of the murder weapon in a manner that would make any criminal proud. The other, "Nunc Dimittis," describes the lengths to which a society smoothie goes for revenge.
Dahl's descriptive powers are basic, but his imagination is limitless. He manages to calmly, smoothly pull you into his stories and make the most outrageous things seem perfectly in keeping and perfectly normal--while still just a bit askew.
The stories are all vintage Dahl. Each has elements of the macabre and the grotesque, couched in the comfortable trappings of middle-class life: marriage, tidy houses, bills, resentment, secrets, tidy houses, and so on. Dahl pulls off the neat trick of making the macabre laughable, though--he's not trying to scare the reader as much as make us shout with laughter and recognition and then settle back to enjoy a shiver of anticipation. In "William and Mary," the terminally ill narrator is propositioned by a neurosurgeon friend to give his brain up for experimentation after death. Despite the gruesome details, the story is hilarious:
" . . . So when I get you on the table I will take a saw, a small oscillating saw, and with this I shall proceed to remove the whole vault of your skull.Read more ›
The stories also never end in anything definitive; Dahl gives just enough of a conclusion to keep you wonder and guessing and thinking. In "Nunc Dimittis" for example, the ending is such a teaser. The story itself is wonderful, and at the end, you think you know what happened, but you can't be 100 % sure. Roald Dahl's tales really are unexpected; there were many instances when the story took a twist that I was shocked by, a twist that I hadn't expected at all. And that makes the stories all the more delicious. They're aptly named, that's for sure, and I loved them.
I don't know if I have a specific favorite story; they were all really good, and all really chilling and effective.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you were a fan of his books when you were growing up, you'll like this book as well. The short stories are intriguing and will make you want to tell the first person you see... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Helen Heberlein
There's no doubt about it: Roald Dahl is one of the greatest writers who has every lived. His stories are compelling, heart-breaking; keep you on the edge of your seat and is read... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Aurélie Cremers
I loved the stories in this book, especially Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's coat. This book is perfect for a "story before bedtime" to read just before bed because the stories... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Paula Kenny
I got back into Roald Dahl (after loving his kids books long ago) after watching the Alfred Hitchcock Presents shows he's written, like the Man from the South, where Steve McQueen... Read morePublished on January 17, 2014 by F. Gurney
This is a wonderful book full of short stories. I got it for my 8yr old nephew and I'm sure he's already worked his way thru the book. Read morePublished on January 4, 2014 by Marie-luise Faber
You'd think the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the BFG wouldn't have such a sinister taste of humor, but you'd be wrong. Read morePublished on October 9, 2013 by Amy Knitzer
Roald Dahl, in my opinion, is one of the greatest authors of all time. His books for children are well known, but the huge amount of writing he produced in his lifetime for... Read morePublished on August 4, 2013 by Doretta Wedin