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Free Book Friday: Roald Dahl

Dahl I imagine that there are few readers that have not come across Roal Dahl in one form or another. If it’s not through the film remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (or the much better original), then it may well be through such excellent kid’s books as The Twits or Witches. However, for me there is a much darker side to Dahl’s work and this shows up in his short stories.

Unlike most of Dahl’s work his short stories are aimed firmly at adults. Most of his early tales were written for magazines with them appearing in Ladies Home Journal, Harper's, Playboy and The New Yorker. In total Dahl wrote more than 60 short stores, with most being collected and published in anthologies. These were later adapted for TV as the excellent Tales of the Unexpected.

The story I have chosen is The Landlady, whose TV adaption won an Edgar award. The story tells of 17-year old Billy Weaver’s encounter with an unusual landlady. Throughout the story Dahl uses a skilful literary sleight of hand to direct the reader away from the truth that is always in plain view.


  • To download a copy of the text or listen to an audio version go here.
  • To find out more about Dahl (and please do) go here.
  • This is the official Roal Dahl website.
  • To find out more about his short stories go here.

This is not related to the short story but remains wonderful...


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Jon M

Used to use The Landlady and lamd to the Slaughter in my GCSE classes. they made great subjects for cousework and the kids loved them. there was also one about Bees and of course Galloping Foxley about Bullying...ace!

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