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A biography of one of the world's most popular authors discusses his youth, his early life as a wartime propagandist, his tormented marriage to actress Patricia Neal, his writing, and more
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In this brief and insightful biography, Treglown (Ed., TLS, 1982-90) probes the dark and volatile nature of this postmodern Pied Piper whose macabre tales bewitched millions of children and their parents, earned fortunes for his publishers, and redefined the genre of children's literature. Treglown tactfully rescues Dahl (1916-90) from his quarrelsome heirs in an unauthorized biography that is respectful of his genius and energy and truthful about his faults: his tyrannical nature, cupidity, dishonesty, and bad temper. He traces Dahl's circuitous route from RAF fighter pilot to author of children's books, then of adult stories in magazines, films such as You Only Live Twice and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and then the immensely popular books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, as well as others Treglown sensitively explicates, revealing their biographical sources. In 1953 he married actress Patricia Neal and began a stormy 30-year marriage torn by transatlantic allegiances, conflicting careers and personalities, and tragedies: their only son was brain-damaged after his pram was struck by a taxi; their daughter died from a fever; and Neal herself suffered a massive stroke at the height of her career. Dahl did his best work--The Twits, The Witches, his memoirs--when he married the more orderly Felicity and could concentrate on the ``business'' of being Dahl, a marketable writer in a profitable field facing off TV, rapacious publishers, and a new generation of politically correct parents for whom he was supposed to censor his imagination and tailor his expression. The enigma of Dahl himself, like the elusive charm of the tales, survives even this fine analysis. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
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.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux (T), 1994. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # mon0000177042
Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0374251304. Seller Inventory # M4-526
Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux (T), 1994. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0374251304
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