Sunday, February 28, 2010

Media Meditation #1: Reverting Back to My Childhood...God I Love Roald Dahl

Everyone has that one favorite author from childhood that they could never put down. Mine was (and still is) Roald Dahl. Everything that this man wrote is absolutely crazzzzy good. There are the classics, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches, and The BFG, which all kids should be forced to read, and then there are the more unknown short stories which happen to be my favorite.

Classic novel turned into a classic movie.

One year I received a gift card to Barnes and Noble for ten dollars, so I purchased Omnibus, a collection of short stories written by Roald Dahl. I just recently picked up this book again because I didn’t have a new book to start. At this point of my love affair with Mr. Dahl, I should realize that when I start a book by him, I can’t stop. This collection contains 28 short stories that will make you laugh, cringe, and use your noggin.


Omnibus triggers all aspects of our brain. There are plenty of sex and fight or flight moments, which just tickles our instinctive dinosaur brain. One of my favorite stories, The Great Switcharoo, is about two men wanting to sleep with each other’s wives, so they set up an elaborate plan to take place in the middle of the night to have some hanky panky; it’s brilliant, just brilliant. Our limbic brain is provoked because Dahl is great at making you feel right alongside his characters. Although the neocrotex is the hardest part of our brain to use, Dahl makes it a pleasure to sit down and read a book.


Sometimes it’s just nice to turn off the TV, and actually engage your mind with a hard copy piece of literature, AKA the book.

We are constantly bombarded with images, but not with Omnibus, although Dahl is the artist for his books, and his style is easy to recognize.

All the stories that are in Omnibus can be found online in synopsis here.

I’m blogging about a kick ass book that YOU should read!

Dahl uses humor, fear, anger, and just about every other emotion within his writing to blend entertainment and human experiences.

Dahl creates his stories with everyday people, not big companies or fantasy people, which is refreshing and gives his stories appeal to the average person.


Omnibus creates a different type of reality, in many cases you thank god that you are not a part of the reality that is created, but you are completely entertained.

Within his short stories, Dahl’s overlapping theme is about not underestimating the average person and the creative thought.

It’s hard not to feel an overpowering emotion once done with one of the stories. In Lamb to the Slaughter, a woman murders her husband with a lamb leg, cooks it up, and serves it to the police who are investigating…WHAT?! IT’S SO GOOD.

Dahl is gifted in the sense that he is able to fit so much information within 30 or so pages, the pace is never slow since there is no wasted space.

One of the scariest movies from my childhood, The Witches.
Roald Dahl + Jim Henson = Pure Genius


Many of the short stories use humor in order to capture an audience. Dahl once said “What’s horrible is basically funny. In fiction.”
How can you not love this man?

Using regular, plain old average Joe’s, allows readers to connect with the stories and visualize the people that Dahl writes about.

All of the stories have been written in an earlier time period giving the sense of the good old days, with simple plots.

Dahl is a master of timing. He creates a sense of mystery and surprise to capture his reader’s interest and keeps them there.

Many tangible things and characters throughout the stories are symbols for overall meaning. A lamb leg is used to showcase a housewife and as a murder weapon, two very different things, but both linking the main character in one story.

One of the best parts of the Omnibus is that it is a collection of short stories, which makes it easy to pick up, read one or two, and then be on your merry way. For about ten bucks, how can you go wrong?



  1. Roald Dahl is the MAN, Rachel.

    Troubled, but a wonderful children's book smith.

    Did you ever read my favorite - DANNY AND THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD?

    If not, check it out. Brilliant Dahl at his best.

    EXCELLENT blogging,

    Dr. W

  2. Yes, I have. There is actually a short story called CHAMPION OF THE WORLD in this collection that Dahl later changed a bit to write DANNY CHAMPION OF THE WORLD. glad someone else agrees.

    : )