As author and man, Roald Dahl still divides opinion. He was a war hero and a spy, a connoisseur and a philanthropist, a family man who had to confront an appalling succession of tragedies. But he was also a fantasist, a bully and a self-publicizing troublemaker who attracted accusations of racism and misogyny. Drawing on interviews and extensive ...
As author and man, Roald Dahl still divides opinion. He was a war hero and a spy, a connoisseur and a philanthropist, a family man who had to confront an appalling succession of tragedies. But he was also a fantasist, a bully and a self-publicizing troublemaker who attracted accusations of racism and misogyny. Drawing on interviews and extensive correspondence, this book tells the story of Dahl's adventurous life, tracing the author's literary career from its beginnings in wartime propaganda to his later commercial success.
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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