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"Boy" (R. Dahl)

En del av mitt sammendrag fra boken "Boy" av Roald Dahl.

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Roald Dahl wrote a lot of books, amongst them he wrote “Boy” which is a sort of an autobiography. It is still not an ordinary autobiography. The story goes just the way a child would have looked upon his or hers life and told the story.


Dahl starts the story by telling about his family, both in England and in Norway. The story continues when he starts at school at the age of seven. He tells about the incident with Mrs. Prachett when Roald and some of his friends put a mouse in the Glob stopper-jar.  Later he tells about when he pretended to have appendicitis, just because he was homesick. The idea he’d got from his ancient sister since she really had appendicitis a while earlier. At that time he attended St. Peters school, which was a boarding school.


The book contains a lot of more or less funny and more or less disgusting episodes, such as when Roald met a boy in the sick room when he had the flu. The boy got a boil removed from his leg. Roald explains the experience in details, just as he does in the rest of the book. It is amazing for a grown man to remember such thing so well.


When it comes to Roald Dahl and his relationship with his mother, I would say it is a quite strong relationship. They loved each other very much and do much for each other. For example when Roald Dahl had been caned of the principal for putting the mouse in the glob stopper-jar at Mrs. Pratchett’s, his mother went strait to the principal and yelled at him. Another example of their strong bond is when Roald Dahl pretended to have appendicitis just to get home to his mother.


In my opinion this is a really good book. I loved reading it, and I certainly will read it again. I found it a bit disgusting sometimes, like when the boy next to Roald Dahl gets his boil removed, and when Roald Dahl gets his tonsils removed, but I kept on reading just because I wanted to know what was to happen next. I feel that Roald Dahl really had the ability to write in a way that makes the whole story interesting for the reader. I loved this book, just as I love many others of Roald Dahl’s books, and I would place this book among my top ten favourite books.


This book I would recommend to both young and old people, especially for the way Roald Dahl tells about his life, and young people can learn and laugh with or of him.


A summary of Roald Dahl’s book "Boy"

Roald Dahl was a British author, but he also had deep roots in Norway since both his parents were Norwegian. He was born in Llandaff, September 13th, 1916. “Boy” is a book which tells about an important part of Roalds life, his childhood. It is set in France, England, Wales and Norway from the time when his father, Harald Dahl, had to amputate an arm because a drunken doctor mistook his fractured elbow for a dislocated shoulder, back in 1877.


Short summary

The story starts even before Roald’s birth. He’s telling about his father, Harald Dahl, who married a French lady. They got two children, a boy and a girl, but she died after giving birth to the second child. After her death, Harald went to Norway and found his second wife, Sofie Magdalena Hesselberg, who was going to be the mother of a boy called Roald Dahl. Sofie gave her husband four kids. Altogether they were six children in the family: Roald, his three sisters, his half-brother, and his ancient half-sister. One of Roald's sisters died from appendicitis when Roald was only four years old. Roald’s father was so overwhelmed with grief, that when he himself went down with pneumonia a month later, he could not care less whether he lived or died.


So Roald and his family were left alone with their mother. Harald had always told her he wanted his children to go to English schools, which according to him were the best in the world. Because of Sofie’s courage and loyalty to her husband she did not move back to Norway, but sold the big house they had and moved to a smaller house in Llandaff with the six children. When we hears of this it is very understandable why Roald admired his parents so much.   

Roalds first childhood memories are from when he was six years old and went to a kindergarten named Cumberland Lodge. The thing he remembers from this time is the trip to and from school on his tricycle, he found it extremely exciting and it is the only memory he clearly remembers from this time.  When Roald was 7 years old his mother decided to send him to Llandaff Cathedral School. He got himself five buddies, and they all took part in a plot against a vicious owner of a sweetshop.Once they got punished with five cracks from the whip. His mother stepped in and took Roald out of school.


From the age 9 to 13 Roald went to St Peter’s. That was the years 1925-1929. At St Peter’s School he wrote letters home every week. Roald was very attached to his mother, and he wrote several letters to her when he was at school, away from home. They were much attached to each other; because he was her only son. She hides all the letters from him. As almost every young boy Roald got hit by homesickness. The schools in those days were very strict and difficult, and Roald only looked forward to the day he was going back home.


The summer holidays were magic words to Roald. The memories used to send shivers of joy rippling over his skin. From the age of four until he was seventeen, Roald and his family went to Norway. Roald was pure Norwegian by blood and he could speak Norwegian, so he thought of Norway as his home.


When he was twelve he went to a famous public school named Repton. At Repton there were many, (for us at least) strange rules. The prefects, called boazers, were allowed to order around the juniors and punish them if they did not obey. This caused Roald to have quite a lot of unpleasant experiences during this time; one of them was to sit on the toilets to heat the seats for the boazers. Roald proved to be a good sportsman at this time; he actually became so good at Eton-fives that he was awarded the title “Captain of Fives”. During his years at Repton, Roald also got quite interested in photography, and he even won several prizes for his works.


In the end of his last year at Repton he decided that instead of going off to a university he wanted to find a job. And surely enough when the school finished he got a job with Shell in July 1934, he had always wished to go to far away places and this job would him send to South Africa, which was very much to his liking. Here he stayed until World War II broke out and he joined the RAF as a fighter pilot.

When I first started this book I expected to find a quite ordinary biography, this was not to be the case. Already from the first chapter their were a lot of humorous moments, and this showed itself to be a biography quite out of the ordinary. The perspective is often childlike, which causes many of the scenes in the book to be quite exhilarating. Other times the perspective is more thoughtful and discursive, as with the cane beatings he became quite familiar with. This is a warming story that I recommend to other young people. The book is easy and funny to read, his childhood events are described in a fabulous way, and especially "The great mouse plot" gives you a good laugh. So go to the library and borrowed the book and I can assure you that you will have a fabulous time.

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