Shoshana, November 15, 2008 (view all comments by Shoshana)
Roald Dahl's memoir of his childhood is deceptively simple and pastoral. As is also often the case in Dahl's fiction, a darker substrate is present as well. These include almost losing his nose in a motoring accident, stuffing his sister's fiance's pipe with goat droppings, and an incident with a dead mouse. Dahl tells his story with understatement and affection. For those unfamiliar with the English boarding school experience or narrative, this would be an informative book to read along with the first Harry Potter books. It captures the horrible and ridiculous aspects of that experience without being overly graphic (as some boarding school memoirs are), providing a social and institutional context for understanding the Harry Potter books as well as another example of the English school boy genre.
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