Saturday, 17 December 2016

My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl

"Get a cat to lick your finger some time and you will see exactly what I mean"

I was always an avid Roald Dahl fan as a child and thought I'd covered all his works, but this little adult story had not yet crossed my path. It is so delightfully dark and naughty. Mostly naughty, only really slightly risqué, but gorgeously suggestive. What is not to love here?
This is a tale of Spanish flies and sperm as a business proposition. It is tongue in cheek, so to speak, and hilarious. Dahl's descriptions of overly excited royalty and the odd musical or literary genius in full tumescence is ridiculously entertaining. While there are some quaint and somewhat old-fashioned gender roles at play, the general wickedness makes this as appealing as Belgian chocolate.

I particularly love the way literary giants are portrayed as sexually messed up but with hidden talents unleashed by the magic of the Sudanese Blister Beetle. The George Bernard Shaw denigration leaves one with an image that is particularly indelible. Similarly, who could resist a man like Puccini. Yasmin Homecomely is such an intriguing character, as her part in the business venture sets the wheels in motion regarding who is doing the using and who is being used. If you've read Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected,  you will know his ability to twist and turn a story in uncharted directions.
Who knew that a crushed up beetle could cause so much reckless abandon and where do I find some?

 5 out of 5 royal sofas have hidden contraptions.

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