March 4, 2013

My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl

I picked this book or Around the World in 12 Books Challenge. I was looking for some books set in Sudan, which was February's country, and it was the only one that interested me, as all the others were about war and refugees, and it's definitely not what you need in the gloomy month of February. I've never read anything by Roald Dahl before, but I've heard about him a lot, so I was quite excited. In the end, it turned out that Sudan figured on no more than ten pages in the whole book, but I enjoyed it nevertheless, and that's what counts anyway =)

For anyone who is familiar with Roald Dahl's children's books, this one would be a surprise, as it a very adult one. Seriously, don't pick it up if you can't stand any sex scenes, as this is the core of the book. But somehow it's not all that horrible, because the novel is really funny, and there is nothing TOO repulsive there.

The main character is a very businesslike young gentleman, who made his first fortune on selling wondrous sex-pills made from the essence of some rare Sudanese bugs. Then he starts an even more complicated scheme of collecting and preserving the sperm of all the famous people of his time to sell it later to the extravagant ladies who want to have a child with some good genetics. Very novel schemes for the beginning of the 20th century, I must say!

Oswald and his assistant, a young lady who lures the famous people into having sex with her to collect their material, travel all around Europe and meet a lot of famous people of the time, including kings, painters, musicians, writers, etc. Some of them are described mockingly, some with all due respect, but it's really funny to read about all of them.

I really enjoyed the book, as it is refreshingly light and amusing, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who is not easily abused by sex scenes. And for those who is already a Dahl's fan, this book will help to see him from a completely different point of view!


  1. I've never read any of Dahl's adult books, but it doesn't surprise me at all that he's raunchy. He stretches the limit on acceptability for children's books, too - not sexually, but he has so many bodily functions in his books! I loved his books when I was a kid, though. I've talked my reluctant-reader nephew to try out James and the Giant Peach next. :)

    1. I'm planning to read some of his children's books, as I've heard so much of them! Well, as soon as I have enough time))


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