Thursday, 17 September 2015

Review: Going Solo by Roald Dahl

Picking up where his first autobiography, Boy, left off, Going Solo tells the story of Roald Dahl's first journey away from home--one that would last for many years thanks to the onset of the Second World War. The first half of the book cover's Dahl's adventures in Africa working for Shell--from an unlikely adventure with a lion who carries a woman away, to the more frightening prospect of having to stop a bunch of Germany citizens from escaping the boarder. (And the terrible way that their bluff was called when they tried to escape.) Moving on from there, we get to read about Dahl's often dangerous adventures as a Second World War fighter pilot and his occasional daliance with daredevil photography. Much like Boy, I am left with the impression that some of the stories were a little embellished or even made up, but consider who the author is and the stories that he writes for children this is totally forgivable. Much harder for modern audiences to digest is the way he speaks of many of his African counterparts, though Dahl is not so much a racist as he is a victim of the era and place in which he was brought up. We also see the genuine sympathy that he had for the many Jewish people who had been displaced by the Second World War.

Anyway, this one has some funny bits and also some truly frightening anecdotes about the Second World War. 

Recommended.