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Book Title: Going Solo|
The author of the book: Roald Dahl
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Reader ratings: 4.1
Date of issue: February 2nd 2012
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ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.40 MB
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Whew! This man did more within a year than I have in my life.
And the giraffes would incline their heads very slightly and stare down at me with languorous demure expressions, but they never ran away. I found it exhilarating to be able to walk freely among such huge graceful wild creatures and talk to them as I wished.
This is the second half of Dahl's autobiography. What a wild life! Right after high school, Roald packed up his belongings, got a job for the Shell company and set off for Africa. For three years. No visits home, no calling his mom, just up and leaves his beloved family for a life of adventure. And during his time in Africa, a lion carries away a woman, a black mamba attacks his servant and a green mamba invades a house to kill a family dog.
It's quite interesting to hear an unfiltered account of that time. For example, all the men at the Shell company had a "boy." Now, this "boy" was actually a full grown man. He had a wife (sometimes wives) to support and essentially acted as a butler. He spoke Swahili and so did Roald (it was not considered right to force the "boys" to learn English). Roald taught his boy how to read and write, and his boy tended Roald's every need. It was strange to read about.
Only, before Roald could finish his time with the Shell company...the Great War broke out. And that was quite a story in itself. Roald joined the airforce and was trained as a pilot. As in, he was give 7 and a half hours of in-flight training before being declared fit for service along with fifteen other new pilots. Then, they were given fighter planes and told to get up in the air. Unsurprisingly, this happened:
It is a fact, and I verified it carefully later, that out of those sixteen, no less than thirteen were killed in the air within the next two years
All this before he turned twenty-five. The things he had to live through churned my stomach - e specially the account of how he crashed his first plane. Dahl spares no details and, as always, his stories were absolutely fascinating.
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Read information about the authorRoald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who rose to prominence in the 1940's with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's bestselling authors.
Dahl's first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was Shot Down Over Libya. Today the story is published as A Piece of Cake. The story, about his wartime adventures, was bought by the Saturday Evening Post for $900, and propelled him into a career as a writer. Its title was inspired by a highly inaccurate and sensationalized article about the crash that blinded him, which claimed he had been shot down instead of simply having to land because of low fuel.
His first children's book was The Gremlins, about mischievous little creatures that were part of RAF folklore. The book was commissioned by Walt Disney for a film that was never made, and published in 1943. Dahl went on to create some of the best-loved children's stories of the 20th century, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach.
He also had a successful parallel career as the writer of macabre adult short stories, usually with a dark sense of humour and a surprise ending. Many were originally written for American magazines such as Ladies Home Journal, Harper's, Playboy and The New Yorker, then subsequently collected by Dahl into anthologies, gaining world-wide acclaim. Dahl wrote more than 60 short stories and they have appeared in numerous collections, some only being published in book form after his death. His stories also brought him three Edgar Awards: in 1954, for the collection Someone Like You; in 1959, for the story "The Landlady"; and in 1980, for the episode of Tales of the Unexpected based on "Skin".
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