Roald Dahl

Boy

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Where did Roald Dahl get all of his wonderful ideas for stories? From his own life, of course! As full of excitement and the unexpected as his world-famous, best-selling books, Roald Dahl's tales of his own childhood are completely fascinating and fiendishly funny. Did you know that Roald Dahl nearly lost his nose in a car accident? Or that he was once a chocolate candy tester for Cadbury's? Have you heard about his involvement in the Great Mouse Plot of 1924? If not, you dont yet know all there is to know about Roald Dahl. Sure to captivate and delight you, the boyhood antics of this master storyteller are not to be missed!
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240 printed pages

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Quotes

    allsafehas quoted2 years ago
    I was ecstatic. I rushed home and told my mother. ‘And I’ll be gone for three years,’ I said.

    I was her only son and we were very close. Most mothers, faced with a situation like this, would have shown a certain amount of distress. Three years is a long time and Africa was far away. There would be no visits in between. But my mother did not allow even the tiniest bit of what she must have felt to disturb my joy. ‘Oh, well done you!’ she cried. ‘It’s wonderful news! And it’s just where you wanted to go, isn’t it!’

    The whole family came down to London Docks to see me off on the boat. It was a tremendous thing in those days for a young man to be going off to Africa to work. The journey alone would take two weeks, sailing through the Bay of Biscay, past Gibraltar, across the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, calling in at Aden and arriving finally at Mombasa.
    allsafehas quoted2 years ago
    Then suddenly, in 1936, I was summoned back to Head Office in London. One of the Directors wished to see me. ‘We are sending you to Egypt,’ he said. ‘It will be a three-year tour, then six months’ leave. Be ready to go in one week’s time.’

    ‘Oh, but sir!’ I cried out. ‘Not Egypt! I really don’t want to go to Egypt!’

    The great man reeled back in his chair as though I had slapped him in the face with a plate of poached eggs. ‘Egypt’, he said slowly, ‘is one of our finest and most important areas. We are doing you a favour in sending you there instead of to some mosquito-ridden place in the swamps!’

    I kept silent.

    ‘May I ask why you do not wish to go to Egypt?’ he said.

    I knew perfectly well why, but I didn’t know how to put it. What I wanted was jungles and lions and elephants and tall coconut palms swaying on silvery beaches, and Egypt had none of that. Egypt was desert country. It was bare and sandy and full of tombs and relics and Egyptians and I didn’t fancy it at all.

    ‘What is wrong with Egypt?’ the Director asked me again.

    ‘It’s… it’s… it’s’, I stammered, ‘it’s too dusty, sir.’

    The man stared at me. ‘Too what?’ he cried.

    ‘Dusty,’ I said.

    ‘Dusty!’ he shouted. ‘Too dusty! I’ve never heard such rubbish!’

    There was a long silence. I was expecting him to tell me to fetch my hat and coat and leave the building for ever. But he didn’t do that. He was an awfully nice man and his name was Mr Godber. He gave a deep sigh and rubbed a hand over his eyes and said, ‘Very well then, if that’s the way you want it. Redfearn will go to Egypt instead of you and you will have to take the next posting that comes up, dusty or not. Do you understand?’

    ‘Yes, sir, I realize that.’

    ‘If the next vacancy happens to be Siberia,’ he said, ‘you’ll have to take it.’

    ‘I quite understand, sir,’ I said. ‘And thank you very much.’

    Within a week Mr Godber summoned me again to his office. ‘You’re going to East Africa,’ he said.

    ‘Hooray!’ I shouted, jumping up and down. ‘That’s marvellous, sir! That’s wonderful! How terrific!’

    The great man smiled. ‘It’s quite dusty there too,’ he said.

    ‘Lions!’ I cried. ‘And elephants and giraffes and coconuts everywhere!’

    ‘Your boat leaves from London Docks in six days,’ he said. ‘You get off at Mombasa. Your salary will be five hundred pounds per annum and your tour is for three years.’
    allsafehas quoted2 years ago
    For three weeks we trudged all over that desolate land with enormous loads on our backs. We carried tents and groundsheets and sleeping-bags and saucepans and food and axes and everything else one needs in the interior of an unmapped, uninhabitable and inhospitable country. My own load, I know, weighed exactly one hundred and fourteen pounds, and someone else always had to help me hoist the rucksack on to my back in the mornings. We lived on pemmican and lentils, and the twelve of us who went separately on what was called the Long March from the north to the south of the island and back again suffered a good deal from lack of food. I can remember very clearly how we experimented with eating boiled lichen and reindeer moss to supplement our diet. But it was a genuine adventure and I returned home hard and fit and ready for anything.

    There followed two years of intensive training with the Shell Company in England. We were seven trainees in that year’s group and each one of us was being carefully prepared to uphold the majesty of the Shell Company in one or another remote tropical country. We spent weeks at the huge Shell Haven Refinery with a special instructor who taught us all about fuel oil and diesel oil and gas oil and lubricating oil and kerosene and gasoline.

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