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Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl

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Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The first authorized biography of Roald Dahl, Storyteller is a masterful, witty, and incisive look at one of the greatest authors and eccentric characters of the modern age.

In his lifetime Roald Dahl pushed children's literature into uncharted territory, and today his popularity around the globe continues to grow, with millions of his books sold every year. But the man behind the mesmerizing stories has remained largely an enigma. A single-minded adventurer and an eternal child who gave us the iconic Willy Wonka and Matilda Wormwood, Dahl was better known during his lifetime for his blunt opinions on taboo subjects — he was called an anti-Semite, a racist and a misogynist — than for his creative genius. His wild imagination, dark humor and linguistic elegance were less than fully appreciated by critics and readers alike until after his death.

Granted unprecedented access to the Dahl estate's extraordinary archives — personal correspondence, journals and interviews with family members and famous friends — Donald Sturrock draws on a wealth of previously unpublished materials that informed Dahl's writing and his life. It was a life filled with incident, drama and adventure: from his harrowing experiences as an RAF fighter pilot and his work in wartime intelligence, to his many romances and turbulent marriage to the actress Patricia Neal, to the mental anguish caused by the death of his young daughter Olivia. Tracing a brilliant yet tempestuous ascent toward notoriety, Sturrock sheds new light on Dahl's need for controversy, his abrasive manner and his fascination for the gruesome and the macabre.

A remarkable biography of one of the world's most exceptional writers, Storyteller is an intimate portrait of an intensely private man hindered by physical pain and haunted by family tragedy, and a timely reexamination of Dahl's long and complex literary career.

Review:

"Only a special author can enter the imaginative realm of a child to write a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Yet this authorized biography, written by someone who knew Dahl and worked with the cooperation of the author's adult children and both wives — one of whom was film star Patricia Neal — covers the man and his reputation thoroughly while veering from deeper psychological readings of his work. This is not to say the book is superficial. Neal observed that her husband was a modern Pied Piper to children, and an element of the conjurer runs insightfully through this solid biography. Dahl considered himself a wanderer between his native Norway, the U.K., New York, and Hollywood, and a depressed one at that. He was drawn to the high life and celebrities such as Chaplin, Dorothy Lamour, and Robert Altman, and to expensive artwork and furnishings. Well covered are Dahl's English boarding-school years, his flying for the RAF during WWII; prickly relations with agents, editors, and publishers; the tragic lives of two of his children; and his up-and-down marriage to Neal. Yet because this biography is authorized, one comes away feeling that there is more to tell. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Sept. 14)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Review:

"A 600-page book with the word authorized on the cover looks to me like a rather daunting prospect, but I only had to read a few pages of Donald Sturrock's narrative — fluent, alert, detached but enthusiastic — to realize that in fact the whole thing is irresistible. I thought I knew quite a lot about Roald Dahl, but now I know much much more. Donald Sturrock's book lucidly describes a complicated life and relates it to the richness of Dahl's storytelling." Quentin Blake, illustrator

Review:

"A no-stone-unturned examination of the man who gave us Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." TimeOut New York

Review:

"A balanced and juicy treatment...running through Dahl's years spying for the Brits and bedding a slew of Americans as well as the tensions, setbacks, and depressive jags that gave his work its texture." New York magazine

Review:

"Sturrock's superb biography...is a hugely readable portrait that examines vividly and sympathetically the life and work of a difficult, complex author who was adored by millions of children, loathed by many adults, and was possibly a genius." Daily Telegraph (UK)

Review:

"Bearing lightly its torrents of references, this examination of the character and career of the iconoclastic writer is as perceptive as it is dishy and exciting." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Sturrock successfully peels away the layers of this complicated and accomplished public figure, revealing a life as fascinating and, at times, as darkly humorous as one of his own novels....[He] does do an exceedingly admirable job of capturing Dahl's theatrical personality, while at the same time probing beneath the larger-than-life surface..." Booklist

Synopsis:

Donald Sturrock's Storyteller is the authorized biography of Roald Dahl, one of the greatest storytellers of all time.

Synopsis:

THE FIRST AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF ROALD DAHL, STORYTELLER IS A MASTERFUL, WITTY AND INCISIVE LOOK AT ONE OF THE GREATEST AUTHORS AND ECCENTRIC CHARACTERS OF THE MODERN AGE.

In his lifetime Roald Dahl pushed children’s literature into uncharted territory, and today his popularity around the globe continues to grow, with millions of his books sold every year. But the man behind the mesmerizing stories has remained largely an enigma. A single-minded adventurer and an eternal child who gave us the iconic Willy Wonka and Matilda Wormwood, Dahl was better known during his lifetime for his blunt opinions on taboo subjects—he was called an anti-Semite, a racist and a misogynist—than for his creative genius. His wild imagination, dark humor and linguistic elegance were less than fully appreciated by critics and readers alike until after his death.

Granted unprecedented access to the Dahl estate’s extraordinary archives—personal correspondence, journals and interviews with family members and famous friends—Donald Sturrock draws on a wealth of previously unpublished materials that informed Dahl’s writing and his life. It was a life filled with incident, drama and adventure: from his harrowing experiences as an RAF fighter pilot and his work in wartime intelligence, to his many romances and turbulent marriage to the actress Patricia Neal, to the mental anguish caused by the death of his young daughter Olivia. Tracing a brilliant yet tempestuous ascent toward notoriety, Sturrock sheds new light on Dahl’s need for controversy, his abrasive manner and his fascination for the gruesome and the macabre.

A remarkable biography of one of the world’s most exceptional writers, Storyteller is an intimate portrait of an intensely private man hindered by physical pain and haunted by family tragedy, and a timely reexamination of Dahl’s long and complex literary career.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416550822
Subtitle:
The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl
Publisher:
Simon and Schuster
Author:
Sturrock, Donald
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Rich & Famous
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st U.S. ed.
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
September 2010
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2-8 pp b/w insert; rough front
Pages:
672
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 in

Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 672 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781416550822 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Only a special author can enter the imaginative realm of a child to write a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Yet this authorized biography, written by someone who knew Dahl and worked with the cooperation of the author's adult children and both wives — one of whom was film star Patricia Neal — covers the man and his reputation thoroughly while veering from deeper psychological readings of his work. This is not to say the book is superficial. Neal observed that her husband was a modern Pied Piper to children, and an element of the conjurer runs insightfully through this solid biography. Dahl considered himself a wanderer between his native Norway, the U.K., New York, and Hollywood, and a depressed one at that. He was drawn to the high life and celebrities such as Chaplin, Dorothy Lamour, and Robert Altman, and to expensive artwork and furnishings. Well covered are Dahl's English boarding-school years, his flying for the RAF during WWII; prickly relations with agents, editors, and publishers; the tragic lives of two of his children; and his up-and-down marriage to Neal. Yet because this biography is authorized, one comes away feeling that there is more to tell. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Sept. 14)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review" by , "A 600-page book with the word authorized on the cover looks to me like a rather daunting prospect, but I only had to read a few pages of Donald Sturrock's narrative — fluent, alert, detached but enthusiastic — to realize that in fact the whole thing is irresistible. I thought I knew quite a lot about Roald Dahl, but now I know much much more. Donald Sturrock's book lucidly describes a complicated life and relates it to the richness of Dahl's storytelling."
"Review" by , "A no-stone-unturned examination of the man who gave us Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
"Review" by , "A balanced and juicy treatment...running through Dahl's years spying for the Brits and bedding a slew of Americans as well as the tensions, setbacks, and depressive jags that gave his work its texture."
"Review" by , "Sturrock's superb biography...is a hugely readable portrait that examines vividly and sympathetically the life and work of a difficult, complex author who was adored by millions of children, loathed by many adults, and was possibly a genius."
"Review" by , "Bearing lightly its torrents of references, this examination of the character and career of the iconoclastic writer is as perceptive as it is dishy and exciting."
"Review" by , "Sturrock successfully peels away the layers of this complicated and accomplished public figure, revealing a life as fascinating and, at times, as darkly humorous as one of his own novels....[He] does do an exceedingly admirable job of capturing Dahl's theatrical personality, while at the same time probing beneath the larger-than-life surface..."
"Synopsis" by , Donald Sturrock's Storyteller is the authorized biography of Roald Dahl, one of the greatest storytellers of all time.
"Synopsis" by , THE FIRST AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF ROALD DAHL, STORYTELLER IS A MASTERFUL, WITTY AND INCISIVE LOOK AT ONE OF THE GREATEST AUTHORS AND ECCENTRIC CHARACTERS OF THE MODERN AGE.

In his lifetime Roald Dahl pushed children’s literature into uncharted territory, and today his popularity around the globe continues to grow, with millions of his books sold every year. But the man behind the mesmerizing stories has remained largely an enigma. A single-minded adventurer and an eternal child who gave us the iconic Willy Wonka and Matilda Wormwood, Dahl was better known during his lifetime for his blunt opinions on taboo subjects—he was called an anti-Semite, a racist and a misogynist—than for his creative genius. His wild imagination, dark humor and linguistic elegance were less than fully appreciated by critics and readers alike until after his death.

Granted unprecedented access to the Dahl estate’s extraordinary archives—personal correspondence, journals and interviews with family members and famous friends—Donald Sturrock draws on a wealth of previously unpublished materials that informed Dahl’s writing and his life. It was a life filled with incident, drama and adventure: from his harrowing experiences as an RAF fighter pilot and his work in wartime intelligence, to his many romances and turbulent marriage to the actress Patricia Neal, to the mental anguish caused by the death of his young daughter Olivia. Tracing a brilliant yet tempestuous ascent toward notoriety, Sturrock sheds new light on Dahl’s need for controversy, his abrasive manner and his fascination for the gruesome and the macabre.

A remarkable biography of one of the world’s most exceptional writers, Storyteller is an intimate portrait of an intensely private man hindered by physical pain and haunted by family tragedy, and a timely reexamination of Dahl’s long and complex literary career.

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