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The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar Paperback – May 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–8—Dahl story's are written to be enjoyed, to be provocative, to bypass adults and speak directly to children's psyches, and they certainly are birthed from a wellspring of imagination that is entirely unique in the world of children's literature. But few among his legions of fans will have read this collection of short stories originally published in 1977. These are complex, compelling, and complicated stories for more mature listeners. Mature not in an age-related sense, but in literary way; Dahl rewards patient and attuned listeners with stories that illuminate the meanness of children, the tenderness of a mother, or the greed of a character like Henry Sugar. The narration in this audio recording is spot on and superb. Andrew Scott's British lilt provides an intimate listening experience, as if we are all huddled together around a flashlight, long past our bedtimes, hanging on every word.—Meg B. Allison, Moretown School, Moretown, VT --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


"Few modern writers have attracted such an appreciative audience among adults and children as Dahl. . . . All the tales are entrancing inventions." —Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 0850 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; paperback / softback edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141304707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141304700
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Matt Hetling on March 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is probably the best collection of Roald Dahl's short stories in existence.

Although he is best known for writing children's novels, Dahl was a master of the short story, and always wanted to be known for writing something above the level of children.

This book contains all the stories that combine his best elements; they are short stories, some of which have literary aspersions above his most famous novels, and yet they are accessible enough to be read by all ages.

Needless to say, they are intensely, wickedly good.

The collection contains seven stories, which range from 16 to 70 pages in length. The final two are definitely more adult oriented; _Lucky Break_ is a memoir-style account of how he went from being a poor english student to a professional writer, and _A Piece of Cake_ is his 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.

Really, all of the stories are just fantastic, so I won't bother repeating how good each one is . But the stories are:

_The Boy Who Talked With Animals_ , which 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.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 1997
Format: Paperback
Lookin for a good book while browsing through the bookstore? Pick up this. I know that you'll read one sentence and then you'll be hooked on it through the entire two hundred something pages. It is a Dahl masterpiece. Dahl is my favorite writer of all time, but this is his best. Dahl is a unboring classical writer, even though he hasn't been elected as one.

I have read all of his books and short stories (except for the out of print ones) and they are the best. Even his adult ones I've read. But this, as I said, is the best. It is my prized posession. The only problem is that my copy is not a hardcover. Seven stories, with the style of a writer who has been wishing at a genie to be the best writer ever. The stories are: THE BOY WHO TALKED WITH ANIMALS, THE HITCHHIKER, THE SWAN, THE MILDENHALL TREASURE, THE WONDERFUL STORY OF HENRY SUGAR, LUCKY BREAK: HOW I BECAME A WRITER, and A PIECE OF CAKE. You must buy a copy of this!
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a collection of short stories written by Roald Dahl.

The first story is The Boy who talked with animals. This story is about an old turtle that gets caught by a bunch of fishermen. They are about to drag the turtle up the beach when a boy comes running down the beach and hugs the ferocious turtle. He appears to be talking to him. The father of the boy buys the turtle, and the turtle swims away, but the next morning the kid is gone.

The second story is called The Hitchhiker. It is about a man who hitchhikes in a guy's car. The man steals the mans shoelace, his belt, and his wallet without the mans knowing. He gives them back though. He is very quick with his hands and he can take anything he wants without people knowing.

The next story is The Swan. It is about a boy who gets bullied and the bullying kids shoot a swan. They cut off the swan's wings and tie them to the boy's arms. They force him to climb a tree, and forced him to jump, and try to "fly." In a miracle the boy flies back to his house, and to safety.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is about a man named Henry who reads a book that tells you how to see without your eyes. Henry practices this for years until he has mastered it. Henry goes to a casino and he can see through the cards. Henry starts going to different casinos and sending his winnings to orphanages.

Lucky Break is about how he became a writer. He was in the war with Germany and after the war, a writer wanted to write about him in the paper. He wrote out a little story about him in the war and sent it to the writer, and the writer loved it. He published it under Roald's name.

A Piece of Cake is that first story that Roald wrote. It is about him crashing, and having all of these weird dreams that he can't stop running, and that he is drowning.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Let me start off with my story: I hate book reports. I had 1 minute to find a book for a report in my school library. I grabbed the nearest book & checked it out w/o even looking at it until 3 periods later. "oh,yes this looks really interesting!" I thought sarcastically. However, 2 weeks later when I was finished, I decided that that had been the best book I had read in quite awhile. Here it is, in recap: THE BOY WHO TALKED WITH ANIMALS-A restless but animal-loving boy who saves a giant turtle. THE HITCHHIKER-A pickpocket gets a ride from a nameless man. The pickpocket saves their hides when the police find them speeding. THE MILDENHALL TREASURE-A great treasure is found by a farmer. It's worth a fortune, but he doesn't turn it in so he gets nothing. THE SWAN-Two nasty little boys try to kill some small birds when they find classmate of theirs to injure instead. A bit violent. WONDERFUL STORY OF HENRY SUGAR-How a millionaire makes even more by seeing w/o his eyes. He literally throws his money out a window.A must. LUCKY BREAK-How Roald Dahl became a writer A PIECE OF CAKE-Roald Dahl's first story. About his life as a pilot in war.
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