I just watched the full trailer of the BFG and got literal goosebumps. From the trailer of the Steven Spielberg directed film, it looks amazing. Watching snippets of the film just reminded me of the book, which reminded of my childhood and how much I loved (and still love) reading anything by Roald Dahl.
Roald Dahl’s books were so different from any others that I read. Not only were they colouful, fantastical and out of this world, but they were also, strangely honest. At one point I became obsessed with Roald Dahl himself and read up as much as I could about him. It really came as no surprise that he was as interesting, charming and bizarre as the stories he told.
Here are six reasons why Roald Dahl is the absolute coolest in my books.
There isn’t a book in history that I’ve read as much as Boy: Tales of Childhood. I would litertaly finish the last page then go back to the first. The collected stories of his childhood has everything in it. His adventures at boarding school, being a chocolate guinea pig and that prank he played with the rat! If you haven’t read it yet, I implore you to do so.
Like Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway and Shakespeare, Roald Dahl also invented his own words. It’s said that created more than 250 new words that feature in a lot of his stories, most of them in BFG. Some of my favorite: Jumbly (all mixed up), Kiddles (children), Goggler (eye), Oompa-Loompa (come on, who doesn’t know what an Oompa-Loompa is?).
Roald Dahl was a Hurricane fighter pilot during World War II. In the follow up to Boy: Tales of Childhood, Going Solo he describes in amazing detail his experiences as a young pilot and flying to the Middle East and Greece. Dahl never glorifies his time at war. Reading his experinces as a pilot was one of my first encounters with war in literature.
After the war when he returned to Britain Dahl was recruited by MI6 to provide intelligence from Washington. Crazy. So he was basically like a kind of spy. During his time there he worked alongside Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond (er yeah!) which might help explain the next point.
Roald Dahl didn’t only write some of the best children’s books ever he also wrote amazing movies. He wrote the screenplays for You Only Live Twice, one of the best ever James Bond films starring Sean Connery and he also write (which shouldn’t come as a surprise) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang starring Dick Van Dyke. For a lot of people from my generation and older Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a staple in our childhood. The car flying away always made me sad at the end though lol.
I’m absolutely surprised when people don’t know this fact about Roald Dahl. He absolutely loved chocolate. Something I can absolutely relate to. It explains the way he could write so magically about chocolates and candies in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He even collected the hundreds of silver foil wrappers from chocolate bars that he ate and scrunched up into a massive ball.