Published: 1979 by Penguin Books
Sixteen tales, each with a startling twist, told by the grand master of the short story, Roald Dahl.
Inside these covers you will meet the man prepared to wager his daughter's hand in marriage over the breed and vintage of a bottle of wine; the traveller who throws himself overboard on a cruise liner just to win a bet; the innocuous-seeming landlady whose guests stay for longer than they intended; and Edward who takes on a deeply mysterious cat
"If this is about what I am beginning to suspect it is about, she told herself, then I don't want to read it.There's no doubt about it: Roald Dahl is one of the greatest writers who has every lived. His stories are compelling, heart-breaking; keep you on the edge of your seat and is read by thousands of people all across the globe. I can understand why people are saying things like this about an author as him. I personally have heard nothing but positive reviews about Roald Dahl and his fantastic stories. When it comes to his adult literature, however, I knew very little about them or what they were like. Turns out they are a bunch of short stories, all with an extremely vague tone to them.
Can one refuse to read a letter from the dead?"
Let's say a huge amount of focus was needed when I read Tales of the Unexpected. So much it eventually gave me a headache. It felt like if I ever missed one word, I would have to read the entire page all over again. After a while the book really started to weigh on me, and in the end it was all too much. The fact that it's written by the Roald Dahl didn't take away the feeling of wanting to throw it out of the window.
Believe it or not, but upon finishing the book I was left so confounded I actually had to do some research to understand what I had just read. All had to do with how vague the stories were. Not some stories, all of them. None had a solid ending, they just left the reader wanting more if that was the case. What I did like about this book, hence the two stars, was how good some stories were put together. There was a lot of thought and time put into them, and that's something I can only appreciate from a writer. I also couldn't ignore Roald Dahl's fabulous writing style. He has his way with words and there were scenes when I had to stop for a moment and read a certain passage over again. Not because I found it to be vague, just beautifully written. For that only, Roald Dahl earns every respect in the world he can get.
All in all, Tales of the Unexpected is a title which connects greatly with all the stories, every single one of them. I did not expected them to turn out as they did, yet I don't mean that in the most positive way.