Celebrating Roald Dahl’s 104th Birth Anniversary: The Man With The Sweet Tooth That Never Grew Up
There was an eccentric spark in Dahl’s writing that always managed to have us gauged with his write up’s last page. With the remarkable imagination, humour and smartness infused in his books, he made an unerasable place in our hearts and literature. On his birthday today, let's revisit some of his best pieces of writing.
People from around the world remember Roald Dahl for his excellency in writing stories. His fascinating pieces are nearly every avid readers’ favourite, no matter if he or she is a child or an adult.
Born 104 years ago on 13 September 1916 in Llandaff, a district of Cardiff, Wales, Dahl is one such writer who is recognized internationally for his ideas that knew no bound. Ironically, Dahl was not so studious and particularly talented in his class amongst the students who were keen on writing. In fact, once his English teacher remarked him on his report card, “I have never met anybody who so persistently writes words meanings exact opposite of what is intended.” Who knew that someone like that could become one of the most loved authors of all time.
Dahl began his writing career with short stories in Washington, DC when he first met the Author C.S Forrester who encouraged him to start writing and then there was no looking back.
Once addressing about his success, Dahl wrote in the Sunday Times “I believe that mentally I am a sort of overgrown child,” He illustrated himself as “a giggler, a lover of childish jokes and knock-knocks, a chocolate-and-sweet-eater, a person with one half of him that has completely failed to grow up”.
This is the reason he is such a prominent name in the children’s literature. In fact, children’s literature is incomplete without him. And how can it when his stories ranges to such imaginative world like a chocolate factory, a heart of a peach, etc… with smart children impressing us with their wit, humour and cleverness.
On his 104th birthday, let’s recall 5 of his most cherished contributions of all the time in the world of writing. If you’re not a Dahl reader then you can start today with these books and we guarantee you that you’ll have a joyous time of your life.
The BFG (1982)
The Big Friendly Giant, is one of my personal favourites of Dahl’s books. It is a play telling the tale of a giant with extremely large ears who blows dreams into children’s windows. He is joined by Sophie, a kid kidsnatched from an orphanage. They both decide to save the world from other giants who eat children. It is a fun read with humour and imagination filling your days with happiness. Dahl has used various nonsensical words but they somehow take you where he wants you to go. That’s the brilliancy of Dahl. This book is not just for children but it is liked by adults in the same manner.
If you haven’t got a chance to read this amazing play then I would suggest you to not waste even a day and start reading it today. Get your hands on an engaging copy of The BFG on Amazon today!!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964)
Charlie and the Chocolate factory is amongst Dahl’s one of the best books and the most-read, officially published in 1964. The story revolves around a young boy from an impoverished family who wins an amazing tour to a chocolate factory with four other kids of his age. The chocolate factory is run by an imaginative chocolatier, Willy Wonka and his staff of Oompa-Loompas. The novel takes you to a filling adventure and scenes inside a world full of chocolates. But this just doesn’t end here. The book talks about morality, poverty, sufferings, dangers of selfishness. Its caricatures of spoiled kids and narcissistic parents are unerring and timeless; its satirical take on human nature are pointed and merciless.
It was a bestseller of its time and have been used as two movie adaptations. If you haven’t read it yet, go get your hands on a copy from Amazon and start reading now. Also, its sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is a great read as well.
The Witches (1983)
The Witches is a children’s dark fantasy novel. It is a story of a boy who encountered an international conference of witches at a luxury hotel in Bournemouth. The boy is saved by his savvy cigar-huffing Norwegian grandmother. She made her grandson a witch-proof boy and the story showcases their fight against the evil witches who are waiting to prey innocent children.
Dahl’s imaginative description of never seen witches is amazing to read. It scares and impresses you at the same time.
Horrible witches disguised as elegant ladies of England who are in the watch to turn children into mice might seem a mad horror story but the way Dahl has written it with humour infused in every scene. It is just incredible.
After Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda is probably the most read and appreciated book of Dahl. It is about an exceptionally smart girl, Matilda brain powers with which she can make things happen even outside her head. The brilliant five and a half-year-old Matilda has horrible parents and headmaster. With plans ready to teach them all a lesson matilda will win your heart.
Matilda is a thrilling story of intelligence and ingenuity triumphing over TV-dulled ignorance, a love song to classic novels, and an utterly satisfying tale of a child serving a bit of justice to grown-ups for the indignities both small and large that are part and parcel of being a kid.
The novel is filled with excellent examples of Dahl’s use of creative imagination to keep the reader’s attention alive. This book is adapted into a movie as well. You can catch it on Netflix.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970)
It’s a book which can be read multiple times and each time it’ll provide you with the same pleasure it gave you once. It’s a story of a fox (as the name suggests 😅). This fox is exactly the kind of protagonist Dahl loves, smart, efficient and helpful. It’s a very short read but the way Dahl has explained everything with brilliant imagination is remarkable. What I love about it is that each of its chapters has a cliffhanger at the end, it makes you glued to the book until its finished. The story is that the smart Mr. fox has to save his family from the greedy and evil but dumb farmers. Its an adventurous story of Mr. Fox looking for food for his family. Talking animals gives an idea of a read suited best for small children but with Dahl’s excellent writing and imagination it’s well suited for adults as well. The book has even been adapted for a film, you can watch it on Amazon Prime.
So, these were 5 of our favourite books from Dahl’s collection. Leave your thoughts about them in the comments section below. And share your experience of Roald Dahl’s literature. Also, check out our literature section for more such content.