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Contents Taste Lamb to the slaughter Man from the south My lady love my dove Dip in the pool Galloping Foxley Skin Neck Nunc Dimittis The landlady William and Mary The way up to heaven Parson's pleasure Mrs Bixby and the colonel's coat Royal jelly Edward the ConuerorRoald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected is a delightfully dark collection of sixteen stories each with a startling end Among the unforgettable characters lurk the homicidal wife and her deadly leg of lamb a conniving and lecherous wine connoisseur and the one eyed brain at the mercy of his vengeful spouse Tales of the Unexpected is an astonishing assortment of twisted treats from the master storyteller

10 thoughts on “Tales of the Unexpected

  1. says:

    I must admit that when I first purchased this book I really thought it was a book for children Why did I think this? Well mostly because I've only read childrens' books by Roald Dahl This is not a book for childrenThis is another review in progress starting with the very first story Taste is the story of two men Mike Schoefield and Richard Pratt They have this curious tradition that Mike finds a wine a really good wine and then Richard has to guess what it is However at this particular dinner party the stakes are raised Since this is a story with a twist I won't reveal the ending except to say that it kept me at the edge of my seat all the way to the end I've not felt my heart beat like this for a long time while reading a story 4 stars Lamb to the Slaughter is the story about how Mary Maloney got away with murdering her husband What still puzzles me is what her husband told her why was he leaving her? Yeah the answer is probably a solid story fast paced and entertaining 3 stars Man from the South is another betting story this one involving a boy a man a cadillac and a little finger This story must absolutely have inspired the director of Four Rooms yet might not turn out exactly as you expect it to Awesome story 4 stars My Lady Love My Dove is the story of a couple that run some kind of a hotel The are bored and the woman wants to play a trick on her customers so they install a sound system at one of the rooms so that they can listen and make sounds However the couple that moves in may have plans of their own The weakest of the bunch so far but still a good story 25 stars Dip in the Pool has a strange premise A cruise ship is crossing the atlantic ocean and the people aboard are betting how long they get each day One of the travellers is looking to earn a a lot of cash and is willing to do something REALLY stupid Awesome story that really kept me at the edge of my seat Oh and there is a twist that you didn't see coming 5 stars Galloping Foxley tells the story of William Perkins a contented commuter However this is about to change as another man enters Williams comfort zone and there is something familiar about this one A good and solid read 3 stars Skin is one of the morbid stories in the book so far It tells the story of a tattooist who one drunken night decides to get a tattoo of his own It is supposed to be a masterwork of his wife by a young upcoming artist The tattoo is a masterpiece but the big uestion is how do one sell such a masterpiece? 4 stars Neck is about well I am honestly not sure It was a strangely incoherent read that didn't really grip me in any way It is about the relationship between a weak man and a dominating woman Other than that you need to read it for yourself However I can't recommend it 1 star

  2. says:

    Goofing around with Google Translate on Roald Dahl's 100th birthday and the result was uite – well – unexpected

  3. says:

    Perfect for all those in between times when you need an excellent uick read Rials Dahl is a master storyteller and these short uick reads are varied and there’s sure to be one for all readers in this collection

  4. says:

    The problem with this book is that all of the endings were expected This would be a great book to use as a model for lessons in irony with a creative writing class because that is the purpose of every story to provide an ironic ending to an otherwise relatively mundane story I like irony as much as anyone else but none of the endings were surprising It's hard to stay engaged in a suspenseful short story when you can predict the ending from page two Luckily I like to see execution so I did read the book as a sort of self exerciseI'd recommend this book to creative writing teachers but not too many other people The verbiage is lovely I'd use the words uaint or old fashioned to describe the style It makes me think of those work by Beatrix Potter mixed with Hemingway The irony is well executed but other than thinking wow that was well set up I did not have much of a reaction to the stories

  5. says:

    An unexpected Dahl9 March 2019 Well it seems that Roald Dahl wrote a lot than simply stories about chocolate factories eccentric millionaires BFG’s what ever those letters mean – I have some ideas but won’t repeat them in this family space not that it’s stopped anybody else and giant peaches The thing is that a part of me was expecting this to simply be a collection of short children’s stories Actually not a part of me all of me so you can imagine my surprise when as I was reading it I discovered stories about this guy who goes around cutting off people’s fingers a woman who leaves her husband trapped in an elevator for two weeks because he is just a pain in the neck and this guy who thinks that it would be a jolly good idea to experiment on his brain after he dies to see if they can keep it alive Yeah I don’t think this is a collection of children’s stories In fact I feel that they are like a collection of stories that you would expect to find on the Twilight Zone – minus the science fiction elements of course Well there are some with some science fiction elements just not all of them However one thing that I can say is that they do tend to be rather grisley and in some cases uite disturbing Or like the guy that made a stupid bet discovered that he has lost his bet and then proceeds to attempt to rectify the situation by jumping overboard only to discover when it is too late that the only person who witnessed him jump overboard happened to be a woman with dementia actually this sounds like somebody who deserves a Darwin award The thing with a lot of these stories though is that Dahl doesn’t always spell things out directly They all have twists – that is the main theme that runs through all of them but these twists aren’t always spelt out directly – a lot of them are implied This is probably another reason why they aren’t actually children’s stories because a lot of these implications are something that only some adults might be able to pick up – not all just some The other interesting thing is that a lot of these stories are actually familiar despite the fact that I swear that I have never read this book before I guess that maybe it has something to do with there also being a television series based on the book as well – I do remember something along those lines but once again it was uite a while ago so my memory is a bit fuzzy Well as for the book it certainly gives you a completely different side to Roald Dahl a side that is certainly well unexpected Actually come to think of it I guess this is why this book is called ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ namely because we wouldn’t be expecting Dahl to write stuff like this despite the fact that a lot of these stories appeared in magazines long before he wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

  6. says:

    Ok so we all know that I don't like short stories so why am I reading this book??Well I WANT to like them and I thought if anyone can write short stories I'll like surely it would be Roald Dahl??? I just loved Tales of the Unexpected TV series admittedly that was many years agoUnfortunately it didn't work there are a couple of good ones but mainly I remain baffledThe stories are too abstract and random for my taste

  7. says:

    I listened to a selection of eight stories from this book available from internet archive at Some of the stories were better than othersthe readers are excellent in particular Geoffrey Palmer The thing is that although I love Dahl's witty and twisted humor many of the endings are predictable Some of the stories are so famous that even I had read them before In Lamb to the Slaughter a wife feeds murder weapon to police colleagues of her husband who come to the house to investigate his murder; in The Way Up to Heaven emotionally abused woman is anxious for her six week trip to France to visit her daughter and grandchildren Her Tormenting Husband clearly intends to make her miss her flight When TM deliberately orchestrates a detour to the airport dropping him at his club insuring that she will miss her flight he relishes in further frustrating her beyond belief as he feigns having forgotten something and traces his steps back to the house to retrieve the missing item It is clear that she will miss the flight unless drastic action is taken and when she can no longer bear it she rushes back up to the house to see what is holding him up As she nears the door she hears the familiar sound of a technical failure inside She stops in her tracks turns on her heel and tells the driver not to wait but to take her straight to the airport stating that her husband can hail a cab and make his own way to the club Six weeks later she returns home from France and calls the technicianThere are several familiar betting stories where the dupe is absolutely guaranteed to win but of course loses some of you may remember Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls warning about a card jumping out of the deck and suirting cider in your ear but even when losing there is the Dahl twist on a twistIn Parson’s Pleasure two dim marks unwittingly get the better of a conning antiue dealer trying to steal a Chippendale Commode from under their noses There is a meh story about a cat who is the reincarnation of Franz Liszt the point of this story might have gone over my head in Neck NarratorReporter tells of how a very wealthy and kind lover of art bachelor Sir Basil Turton is snagged by a determined pretty woman who had him hitched before the altar before he knew what hit him Six years later she was very much ruling the roost; NR and others are guests at the family estate for the weekend NR describes how he and Sir Basil witness her cuckolding couettish flirtation with other weekend guest When her head gets stuck inside an aperture of a treasured wooden sculpture in the gardenSir Basil calls for the axe and the saw to extricate her head from the beloved statueAltogether a fun readlisten

  8. says:

    I decided to forgo reading the 900 page volume of all of Roald Dahl's short stories and purchase a smaller collection to make sure I actually liked them first And I did Tales of the Unexpected is full of just that tales with so many unexpected events This is Roald Dahl at his morbid best His children's books may be morbid but they're nothing in comparison to his adult short stories I particularly liked Lamb to the Slaughter; it was funny in a bleak sort of way Man From the South is of course genius It's about a ridiculous bet that happens Taste also deals with a huge and plain foolish bet Dip in the Pool was really good too There were that I loved but it would take too long to list them here But Roald Dahl is a genius In about 10 pages he manages to make you drawn into the story makes you feel chilled and makes you gasp All of the stories take place in the ordinary world but what lurks beneath it is stunningly portrayed Human nature is laid bare events are laid bare and Dahl draws heavily from his own childhood experiences in many of the storiesThe stories also never end in anything definitive; Dahl gives just enough of a conclusion to keep you wonder and guessing and thinking In Nunc Dimittis for example the ending is such a teaser The story itself is wonderful and at the end you think you know what happened but you can't be 100 % sure Roald Dahl's tales really are unexpected; there were many instances when the story took a twist that I was shocked by a twist that I hadn't expected at all And that makes the stories all the delicious They're aptly named that's for sure and I loved themI don't know if I have a specific favorite story; they were all really good and all really chilling and effective Some of them were perhaps a bit too effective Parson's Pleasure for example had me literally gasping out loud at the end No gasping isn't the right word; like exclaiming It was just soevil the ending I could almost hear Roald Dahl laughing as he wrote itOften but not always Roald Dahl writes from the first person but the narrator is a witness to the events Man From the South one of his most famous and chilling stories is narrated by someone who witnesses the sinister bet that takes place They're not actually a main character in the events but they just happen to see it all However not all of his stories are told like thatI really really loved this collection of stories and Roald Dahl was really a genius writer I've been reading a lot of morbid fiction lately mostly Roald Dahl so I think I might take a break and read something lighter Still I would highly recommend this onewwwnovareviewsblogspotcom

  9. says:

    Unfortunately i only got to page 119 when i had to return it to the library so i'll continue the rest of the book at a later timeStill those stories I read I really liked Very dahl esue uirky stories that read very fast so don't ask why i didn't manage to finish it in the normal library loan time All kind of weird events such as chopped fingers and even people who literally sell their skin but they're all embedded in a very normal world And even though none of these stories really blew me away they were fun It is always good to read something that originated in Roald Dahl's brain

  10. says:

    This fine darkly funny collection by Roald Dahl contains all the stories previously published in the two volumes Tales of the Unexpected and More Tales of the Unexpected The back cover of my edition describes it as a superb compendium of vengeance surprise and dark delight and that's as good a characterization as any I can come up with Continuing with my shameless plagiarization of the cover blurb it describes the recipe for a typical Dahl tale Take a pinch of unease Stir in a large dollop of the macabre add a generous helping of dark and stylish wit and garnish with the bizarre Again that gives you a pretty good sense of what you will find in this terrific collection of 25 stories Though it perhaps fails to convey just how funny they are Not to mention well constructed and well written Dahl has a particular knack for knowing just which detail to include and just as important knowing what to leave out Many of the best stories in tbis book stop just on the threshold of the truly dark because the author knows that it's far effective to leave the details unfold and reverberate in the reader's imaginationThese tales may remind some readers of the stories of Patricia Highsmith My sense is that they are not as dark as Highsmith's nor meant to be because where one feels that Highsmith's misanthropism ran through to the bone Dahl's is worn lighter You can almost feel him winking to the reader as one nasty character after another meets a suitably macabre fate it's only a yarn chum I suspect Dahl actually liked other people uite a bit than Highsmith Upon reflection a better comparison for these tales might be the stories of Saki HH MunroEither way it's a hugely enjoyable often hilarious collection which I consider the best of Dahl's work I may be one of the few people on the planet who doesn't get Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which I find excessively weird both the book and pace Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp fans both film versions And some of Dahl's other work eg the frankly misogynistic My Uncle Oswald doesn't do it for me either Though you gotta love Matilda and I've never read the story on which the Fantastic Mr Fox movie is basedAlmost all of these stories have been adapted for TV by directors ranging from Hitchcock to Tarantino Even if you've seen the series Tales of the Unexpected the stories themselves are well worth reading My personal favorite is probably the little old lady taxidermy story though the one about Liszt reincarnated as a kitty has to be a close runner up Or Royal Jelly Or Lamb to the Slaughter or Parson's Pleasure But this way madness lies because really there's not a dud in the bunch