Roald Dahl once boasted, lacking modesty, that his name was known to virtually every child in the western world. almost 30 years on from his death, it is safe to say that every child you will encounter has probably read or is currently reading one of his great children’s stories. However, should have added that he was already quite well known to his adult audience as well! Read on to discover the salacious world of Roald Dahl stories for adults.
A staple of every bookshelf
I first encountered Roald Dahl when I was around 7 or 8. His books came as a free gift in promotional packs of teabags. I would settle down and read The Twits, Fantastic Mr Fox, and The Witches all day long. I loved books as a child and would read endless novels from both historical and contemporary authors, Enid Blyton to J.K Rowling. But one of the first to captivate me was Roald Dahl’s narration; the words and his characters were otherworldly and yet so familiar. The fantasies developed personas of their own. As I grew up, I worked my way through Roald Dahl’s most loved children’s fiction pieces.
The darker world of Dahl
Only recently I have learned that before children’s fiction, Dahl wrote stories for adults. These stories are dark and twisted and much overlooked. Though never forgetting his internationally bestselling children’s books, we would like to acknowledge Dahl’s accomplishments as an author of adult short stories.
The books themselves are a fascination to most. His adult material is certainly not for prudes. Dahl’s novel, My Uncle Oswald, is dedicated to the title character who is featured in a handful of other Roald Dahl adult stories. Uncle Oswald – “the greatest fornicator of all time” – discovers something priceless and devises a cunning plan to gain success and wealth in the face of virtue.
There are running themes of vice and eroticism as well as the darker, cruel exploits and moral correctness that is familiar from within his children’s novels. However, they’re t’s certainly a far cry from the chocolate factory! These stories were designed for an adolescent male audience in an age where casual misogyny went unnoticed.
Though many would deem these aspects controversial in today’s world, the more shocking factors of the original publications may not make contemporary audiences blush as strongly. Modern critics read Roald Dahl’s adult fiction as satirical, and the moral values discussions are more proactive for their own sake, rather than grand social commentary.
If you’re interested in reading them for yourself, check out our selection of Roald Dahl stories for adults. Fancy sticking to his lighter works, enter a world of pure imagination with our entire Roald Dahl collection.
Have you read any Roald Dahl stories for adults? Were you shocked, amused, or something else? Let us know in the comments below.