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Roald Dahl (Puffin Books)

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Gr 4-6-A lackluster profile. Although the six brief chapters quote the subject's books, articles, and conversations, ``Roald Dahl's own words'' prove to be a tenuous thread for tying this account together. Nondescript chapter titles include ``Before He Became a Writer'' and ``After He Became a Writer.'' Endless repetition of the word ``you'' in another chapter, possibly intended to draw readers into the story, is overdone and tedious. Additional chapters detail the technical difficulties of writing a screenplay, answers to commonly asked questions about Dahl, and a quick guide to critiques of his works. References to Lillian Hellman, John O'Hara, Russian painters, and the monetary value of the writer's vintage wine collection are not likely to appeal to the intended audience. Long quotations dull an already dry text. Unremarkable black-line drawings appear every few pages; several illustrations from his books afford a too-brief glimpse of their wit and flights of fantasy. Originally published in Great Britain in 1983, this version cites the incorrect date of the man's death in the introduction and again on the back cover. There is no index. It pales in comparison to Dahl's autobiographical Boy (Viking, 1988) and Going Solo (Farrar, 1986).-Joanne Kelleher, Commack Public Library, NY

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