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Roald Dahl’s ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ and ‘More Tales of the Unexpected’ are packaged together in this volume.  It consists of 25 short stories (16 in ‘Tales’ and 9 in ‘More Tales’), which are humorous, dark, sinister, macabre and delightful – sometimes all at once.

Dahl clearly had a very vivid imagination, and some of the stories are really incredibly clever.  My personal favourite is Lamb to the Slaughter, which I feel duty bound not to spoil for anyone who has not read it yet!  Suffice to say that I first read this story perhaps twenty years ago, and have never forgotten it.  Reading it again – even when I knew the ending – was a pleasure.  Others which I particularly enjoyed were Skin, Nunc Dimittis, Parson’s Pleasure, William and Mary, The Sound Machine and Genesis and Catastrophe.  Most of the stories contain an unexpected and in some cases absurd twist, but Genesis and Catastrophe in particular made me think twice.  (Again, I feel that to give away any spoilers would be unfair to anyone who may read it in future.)

As with all short story collections, some did not work quite as well.  However, there were no stories in this collection which left me disappointed.  Definitely recommended.

(Author’s website can be found here.)

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