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Going Solo Paperback – January 22, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The esteemed novelist, short-story writer, author of children's classics and screenplays presents a sequel to Boy, his first book of memoirs, published as a children's book. Now 70, Dahl chronicles events of his youth, when he worked in Africa and garnered material for his chilling tales about lethal snakes and other perils. The autobiography dwells mainly, though, on Dahl's experiences in the British Royal Air Force and on his comrades during World War II. Appealingly illustrated, this second volume contains copies of the author's letters to his mother and ends with their joyful reunion. The book is exciting, touching and graced by Dahl's incomparable sense of humor: a standout. 20,000 first printing.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-12-Roald Dahl was Going Solo (Puffin, 1999) when he left England to work for the Shell Oil Company in East Africa. In this sequel to his earlier autobiography, Boy (Dec. 2002, p. 71), the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory details his adventures in Africa and later as an RAF pilot during World War II. Dahl is occasionally tongue-in-cheek as he recalls a few highly dangerous snakes and an inordinately gentle lion during his travels around the African countryside. When war was declared, Dahl helped to round up German ex-patriots, and then he went off to a desert outpost to learn how to fly fighter planes. His wartime experiences in North Africa, Greece, and the Middle East included suffering a serious head injury in a plane crash and shooting down enemy planes. His descriptions of war are occasionally horrific, but there are also frequent injections of ironic humor. Though the thoroughly British pronunciation of some words may be unfamiliar to American listeners, Derek Jacobi's narration is well paced and splendidly balances the comic and serious elements of this memoir. The sound quality is good and, despite the fact that the cardboard case will not circulate well, both it and the cassettes provide useful information. This recording's straightforward recounting of war will appeal to Roald Dahl fans and World War II air buffs, and is most suitable for upper middle school and high school audiences.
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library. Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books (January 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142413836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142413838
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In this sequel to Boy, Roald Dahl writes about his life as a young adult. After leaving Repton, his boarding school, he signed on with the Shell Oil Company and was sent to East Africa, which is now called Tanzania. While Dahl was serving in Tanzania, World War II happened and he signed up with the Royal Air Force. He chronicles in detail his work for Shell, and his experiences as an RAF pilot.
In East Africa, Roald Dahl had a near-fatal encounter with a deadly black mamba, whose poison can kill you in about two seconds. Right after the war broke out Roald's servant, a descendant of warrior tribesman, decided to become a warrior himself and killed a civillian. Roald had to spirit him away before the murder was discovered. And just to show how dangerous flying with the RAF was, one day when Roald returned from a mission his tent-mate told him, "I boiled enough tea for two, just in case you happened to come back." He was eventually shot down, but survived. While recuperating in the hospital, he fell in love with his nurse.
Going Solo was, like all of Dahl's books, wonderful. I only wish he'd have written a third about his later adulthood. Pity he died before he could do that.
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A Kid's Review on November 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Going Solo (the sequel to Boy) is a collection of Roald Dahl's most interesting stories of his time in Africa. These include: meeting a man you gives himself dandruff, teaching an African boy to read and write, seeing a lion attack a cook, learning to fly without a teacher, crashing in the African desert, leading a unit of R.A.F. soldiers to stop a caravan of German people from leaving Dar es Salaam, becoming temporarily blind, meeting the girl of his dreams then falling out of love when he sees her and living on a Greek airfield soon before he was grounded. Roald Dahl's style of writing changes each time slightly changes to fit the story. Basically, you get the idea that you have known Roald for years and he is just telling you an amusing story. Going Solo was not as interesting as some of his other fiction stories. For some readers it may not be interesting enough to keep you in the book; but it is not boring, thrills and adventure are always happening. To compare this to Boy would be a little difficult because even though they are the same writer, Boy is about his childhood and is for younger readers. Going Solo is probably for older readers. Even it you do not like one of the chapters the next will bring you back in. So if you want a lot of good anecdotes to read then or if you really liked Boy, you should pick up Going Solo.
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Format: Paperback
As a 17 year old boy who spent my childhood in Norway, with roalds books, I was really surprised when I found at that he wrote books for adults as well. This is the kind of book which it is hard to put down when youre reading, but unfortunately after sitting for hours in my stressless I was out of pages. This book continues the story begun in boy, where dahl tells us about his highlights in life, from the point where he worked for Shell until he has finished his service in the RAF, and he returns back to a war raged Brittain . I would just wish that roald had written more about his life because I found it very entertaining
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Format: Paperback
This gem of a book is surprising in many ways. The whimsical cover suggests tongue-in-cheek, and, indeed, there is some of that, but mostly it is a book that sneaks up on you, grabs you, and astonishes. `Going Solo' is the story of Roald Dahl's World War 2 experiences, and is divided roughly into two main themes. The first part records the experiences he had while he was stationed in East Africa before the war, when excitement meant such things as dealing with green mambas. I know virtually nothing about Africa, but resolved to learn more after reading this part of the book. There are many charming stories here: watch for the one taking place on his voyage out when Dahl discovers that his roommate is simulating dandruff on his dinner jacket with talcum powder!

The second half of the book records his RAF exploits, many of which would not be believed had this been a work of fiction. Dahl's descriptions of such things as plane crashes are charmingly low-key and understated, an unusual way to depict danger and hardship, but one that succeeds brilliantly in this book.

Adding to the charm of the book are pictures of letters, postcards, photographs, maps and the like - visuals that make the lively text come even more alive. This is one war story women who steer away from the usual blood-and-guts stereotype war novels will absolutely enjoy. It is a touching and interesting portrayal of courage and amazing happenings in the life of a very unassuming gentleman.
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By A Customer on March 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm German so I'm sorry for all the mistakes I will surely make. This book is humorous, it's easy to understand and it tells a good story. I've never read a book written this way, but I loved it. It's simply Roald Dahl's way to retell his own life. He tells about accidents very dry, however, it was funny. So everybody reading this: you should buy this book, I can't tell you the story and how great she is but you're able to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A beautiful story told in first person because is a memoire and also the way in which Roald Dahl is involved throughout the book.The reader can see the daily struggle to survive and not let down the country and people . It is possible to feel the pain every time a Hurricane crashed , the fellowship among them when they were landed . I love those stories of war and planes and this is one of the best , simple but moving
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