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Tales of the Unexpected Paperback – July 14, 1990


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Tales of the Unexpected + Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories + The Minpins
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (July 14, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679729895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679729891
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Dahl is a master at introducing readers to a new sense of what lurks beneath the ordinary.

About the Author

From the publication of James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the 1960s to his death in 1990, Roald Dahl became the most successful children's author in the world. Nearly twenty years later, a fresh generation of children seek out his work with instinctive fanaticism. His creations endure - through Hollywood movies, theatre adaptations and musical works, but still most potently of all through the pure magic of his writing upon the page. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Llandaff, South Wales, and went to Repton School in England. His parents were Norwegian, so holidays were spent in Norway. As he explains in Boy, he turned down the idea of university in favor of a job that would take him to"a wonderful faraway place. In 1933 he joined the Shell Company, which sent him to Mombasa in East Africa. When World War II began in 1939 he became a fighter pilot and in 1942 was made assistant air attaché in Washington, where he started to write short stories. His first major success as a writer for children was in 1964. Thereafter his children's books brought him increasing popularity, and when he died children mourned the world over, particularly in Britain where he had lived for many years.The BFG is dedicated to the memory of Roald Dahls eldest daughter, Olivia, who died from measles when she was seven - the same age at which his sister had died (fron appendicitis) over forty years before. Quentin Blake, the first Children's Laureate of the United Kingdom, has illustrated most of Roald Dahl's children's books.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 42 customer reviews
Roald Dahl is at the peak of his powers in this collection.
Catherine S. Vodrey
The stories also never end in anything definitive; Dahl gives just enough of a conclusion to keep you wonder and guessing and thinking.
Black Plum
I bought this book having read all the stories before as a child.
Ed

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Catherine S. Vodrey on March 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
Roald Dahl is at the peak of his powers in this collection. For anyone who knows him only as the author of the Willy Wonka books--or who thinks of him purely as a children's book author--this is the book to change your mind and make you think admiringly about Dahl's considerable powers as an adult writer.
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 ›
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 4, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was enchanted with Roald Dahl's writing as a child ever since I read CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. I was pleasantly surprised to stumble across this book while browsing through the shelves of my university's library. After reading TASTE and then LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER, I found it difficult to put the book down. I find Dahl's style of writing and his keen attention to detail an absolute delight. Every story is a treat and I relish the moments that I have a bit of time to read a story or two. As a busy student, I don't have much time for recreational reading, and that's why short stories are a favorite. I enjoyed the book so much that I decided to purchase a personal copy from Amazon because this is a book I would like to read more than once. I had just been reading some of Shirley Jackson's short stories and was delighted to find another author who is consumately skilled in the genre. For those of you who like unusual stories with a twist, this book is for you.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a terrific book of some of Roald Dahl's most deliciously twisted stories. Always suprising, clever, ingenious and, of course, unexpected!!! Deceptively simple writing with attention to odd and ordinary detail reveals wonderfully wicked stories. I cackled through the whole thing. Some are also quite thought-provoking, like "Genisis and Catastrophe." Favorite stories include "The Sound Machine" "Skin" "William and Mary" and "Georgy Porgy". HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, unless you like your stories cute and wholesome, in which case you'll probably be offended by this book. Thanks for listining!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
I can't believe so many people have written such scathing reviews of this book- you're putting people off! If you are a Dahl fan, this book won't dissapoint. If you're looking for scary, mysterious stories(ie point horror etc) then look elsewhere. All in all, I love Roald Dahl, and was glad that when I had read all his childrens stories I could onto this. Brilliant!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By philm@nuteknet.com on July 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
This series of stories reads more like a series of writing-projects. Some are well done -- with original ideas, subtle weavings throughout that lead to an impressive and twisted end. Others are poorly done -- with unoriginal ideas, contrived plots, and obvious (or stupid) "endings-with-a-twist."
Worth buying and reading for all Dahl fans (and most other folks) particularly if you're interested in seeing what happens when Dahl is not at his best.
Some of these were adapted for a TV series. I believe that the "Man from the South" TV episode was mentioned in Quentin Tarantino's skit in the movie "Four Rooms"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 1996
Format: Paperback
I bet right now your thinking, I don't want to read a bunch of
short tales from this childrens author. However, this is a very adult
targeted collection of Dahls short storys, and you'll soon learn why they
are called "Tales of the unexpected", not because of any science fiction
theme, but the people next door living out small events with endings you
could never guess.
An example? Well, remember the Alfred Hitchcock show? One of the
twisted tales in here was made into an episode. A hint of mystery and even a
hint of humor mixed in with Dahls' perfect writing and qualitys make each story
stick, you won't forget a single one, I know I didn't.
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