The Umbrella Man and Other Stories

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9780670878543: The Umbrella Man and Other Stories

What could be wrong with a sweet-tempered landlady who offers the cheapest, cleanest, coziest quarters? Ask any of her tenants--if you can dig one up. Before Roald Dahl became a master of stories for children, he was a master of the adult short story. His several popular anthologies were noted for the ingenuity and surprising humanity with which he could combine seemingly everyday characters, good intentions, and dark deeds into immensely satisfying tales. These stories, specifically collected for teen readers, grab you from the start, hold you fast--and then throw all your expectations out the window with surprise twist endings. By turns macabre, hilarious, and touching, these stories are filled with unexpected delights and the always-expected Dahl brilliance. Roald Dahl (1916-1990), one of the most popular writers for children of our time, chronicled his life in Boy and Going Solo. He was the author of some of our best-loved children's books, including James and the Giant Peach and Matilda.

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About the Author:

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by  The Saturday Evening Post, and so began a long and illustrious career.

After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including  James and the Giant PeachMatildaThe BFG, and  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site:  www.roalddahl.com

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7 Up-Readers who were turned on to chapter books with the magic of Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970) and the wondrous James and the Giant Peach (1961, both Knopf) will be interested to discover that Dahl began his writing career composing adult short stories?macabre, ironic tales that were translated into scripts for a popular TV series. This collection, based on those tales, is perfect for teen sensibilities. These poisonous gems reflect a British black humor sniping at greedy, pretentious folk. The language is precise, without an extraneous adjective; "The Landlady" is indeed "terribly nice" and Lady Turton of "Neck" prances and snorts like a barely restrained high-strung filly. Teachers looking for examples of irony need look no further than "Parson's Pleasure," in which an overeager antique collector gets exactly what he asks for. Feminists may be a bit offended; Dahl's antipathy for the female sex is rather evident throughout the stories. Wife and family are often an encumbrance in his world. "Royal Jelly" stars a father who is overinvolved in the caring for and feeding of his new offspring; it is a delicious morsel to serve to grown up "Goosebumps" fans. This baker's dozen is a treat for all YA collections.
Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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