Monday, May 28, 2012
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More by Roald Dahl
Author: Roald Dahl
Publication Date: 1977
Length: 240 pages
The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar and Six More is (somewhat obviously) a book of 7 stories. My reactions to the stories are somewhat mixed. The Boy Who Talked With Animals and The Hitchhiker are both nice little stories, with The Hitchhiker having a rather amusing ending. The next story, The Mildenhall Treasure, is based on a true story (which generally means I won't like it, when it comes to Roald Dahl), but it was actually pretty good.
The Swan was terrible. It's about a group of bullies, only they're not really bullies so much as young psychopaths. It was really disturbing to read! This kid gets a rifle for his birthday (uh, what?), and then goes around killing small animals with his friends, and then they tie a kid to a railway track. Spoiler alert here if you plan to read this disturbing story: They kill a swan, break off its wings, and tie the wings to a kid's arm to see if he can fly. Oh my goodness, I nearly barfed.
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is, in fact, a wonderful story. It's about a guy who learns to see through playing cards, and uses that skill to make millions of dollars which he uses to build orphanages! How nice.
The last two stories are an autobiographical story about how Roald Dahl became a writer (a pretty neat story!), and the first story he ever wrote (which was just weird).
So, overall, this book was OK, but I'd group it in with Boy (ie., disturbing stuff Roald Dahl wrote for some reason) rather than with Matilda (ie., delightful stuff every kid should read). 3 stars.