A New York Times Notable Book: A revealing look at the famous twentieth-century children’s author who brought us The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Few writers have had the enduring cultural influence of Roald Dahl, who inspired generations of loyal readers. Acclaimed biographer Jeremy Treglown cuts no corners in humanizing this longstanding immortal of juvenile fiction.
Roald Dahl explores this master of children’s literature from childhood—focusing a tight lens on the relationship between Dahl and his mother, who lovingly referred to him as “Apple”—through to his death. Treglown deftly navigates Dahl’s time as a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force, exploring how the experience transformed many of the beliefs that influenced the English writer’s work, including The Gremlins, which was commissioned by Walt Disney.
A former editor of the Times Literary Supplement, Treglown discusses many of Dahl’s most famous works, such as James and the Giant Peach and Fantastic Mr. Fox, while also delving into his marriage to actress Patricia Neal, combing through letters and archives to show a man who could be both comic and vitriolic, thoughtful yet manipulative and irascible. Treglown highlights many of Dahl’s literary achievements as well as his breakdowns and shortcomings, presenting a very personal and telling picture of the author and the inner turmoil that crippled him.
Separating the man from the myth, Treglown’s frank, intimate portrait of Dahl illuminates the contradictions within the mind of this beloved author, a man who could be both a monster and a hero. It is required reading for book lovers and film buffs alike.
Open Road Media; June 2016
- ISBN 9781504038591
- Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
- Title: Roald Dahl
- Author: Jeremy Treglown
Imprint: Open Road Media
In The Press
“Treglown, former editor of the Times Literary Supplement, convincingly separates the man from the myth in a scrupulously researched portrait.” —Publishers Weekly
“Dahl’s monsters had a comic charm; and so does Treglown’s Dahl.” —Los Angeles Times
“This deft, revealing unauthorized biography of the bullying author of children’s books serves as an antidote to Dahl’s own sparky but none-too-truthful image of himself.” —The New York Times Book Review
About The Author
Jeremy Treglown (b. 1946) is a British literary historian and biographer. He served as editor of the Times Literary Supplement through the 1980s. He is a senior research fellow of the Institute of English Studies at the University of London and emeritus professor of English and comparative literary studies at the University of Warwick. Treglown’s biographies include Franco’s Crypt: Spanish Culture and Memory Since 1936, V. S. Pritchett: A Working Life, Romancing: The Life and Work of Henry Green, and Roald Dahl: A Biography.