Roald Dahl was one of the most successful children's book writers of all time. The author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, he was also a deeply troubled man about whom opinion is still divided. War hero, spy, connoisseur, philanthropist, family man who had to confront an appalling succession of tragedies, Dahl ...
Roald Dahl was one of the most successful children's book writers of all time. The author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, he was also a deeply troubled man about whom opinion is still divided. War hero, spy, connoisseur, philanthropist, family man who had to confront an appalling succession of tragedies, Dahl was also a fantasist, a bully, and a self-publicizing troublemaker who attracted accusations of racism and misogyny. In this first full-length biography, Jeremy Treglown tells the story of Dahl's adventurous, myth-making life from childhood on, and traces the author's literary career from its beginnings in wartime propaganda in the early 1940s, his New Yorker stories and Hollywood screenplays, through his (at first reluctant) move into writing for children, to his unequaled commercial success. Based on numerous interviews, including interviews with Dahl's wife of thirty years, Patricia Neal, and Dahl's personal correspondence, Roald Dahl is an enlightening - and disturbing - literary portrait of one of the century's renowned personalities.
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Publishers Weekly, 1994-02-21 This revealing biography strips away the genial persona of popular children's book author Roald Dahl (1916-1990) to explore the personal demons that drove him. Born to Norwegian parents in Wales, Dahl, whose father and older sister both died when he was four, was a divided personality. An RAF fighter pilot, war hero, art collector, philanthropist and doting father, he was also, by his account, a wartime British spy who snooped on Americans in Washington, D.C., a bully, an anti-Semite, a vain, cantankerous alcoholic given to cruelty and outbursts. Dahl, who settled in New York City in the early 1950s, wrote Hollywood screenplays and stories for adults laced with black humor. His hectic marriage to actress Patricia Neal, according to Treglown, was marred by his envy of her success, too much liquor on both sides, and a series of misfortunes including her debilitating stroke, an infant son's skull fractures in a car accident, the death of one daughter at age 7 and the drug addiction of two teenage daughters. Treglown, former editor of the Times Literary Supplement , convincingly separates the man from the myth in a scrupulously researched portrait. Photos. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly, 1995-05-15 British writer Treglown offers his portrait of the complicated, often ruthless author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (June)
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