Izrādās, ka savu literāta karjeru Roalds Dāls nesāka vis kā bērnu autors, pasaulē mīleto "Čārlija un Šokolādes fabrikas", "Lieliskā Lapsas kunga" un citu manis nelasītu grāmatu autors. Un no pirmsākumiem viņš nebija arī tas radikālais noveles meistars, kura stāstos allaž sadzīvo komiskais ar biedējošo. Pašos pirmsākumos Dāls rakstīja par karu.
Man, is my memory twisted like Elvis`s ankles! How on earth could I forget whilst rebuilding my long suffering factoid about the existence of this jolly good book! Apparently this Dahl fellow used to write stories for children. Not to be monotonous he also wrote some short stories for the bigger audience that doesn`t wet it`s pants quite so often (unless being drunk as shit, if you ask me). So, there`s quite a lot of those stories in this book. They are slightly in o`Henri`s manner - having a twisted, quite unexpected ending to something what you`d call quite regular. Or not regular, as a matter of fact. There`s one about a wife who`s husband had cheated on her - she kills him with a frozen lambs leg and feeds the weapon on death to the arrived policemen who are looking for the exact same thing. Then there`s a guy who has a bet on whether he can guess the exact brand of a wine (which he already knows). I personally liked one about some person that has lost his money in a debt and tries jumping of a ship so to be able to win the bet, but he doesn`t succeed at that, as you could probably guess. And last but not least there`s the "Automatic Writer" (or something like that) about a computer whiz who creates a machine that can write short stories and novels. You`re bound to laugh your behind off upon reading this - unless you`re some freak that has no behind at all. By the way, I read somewhere that Dahl was the writer who wrote about the most interesting ways to die. The only problem is - where have I misplaced this book? I absolutely must find it!
Having already said it once, I shall repeat myself: Roald Dahl is one hell of a creator of horrific and very masterful stories. There`s 11 stories in here. And not one of them is a stinker or a filler. So I guess I`ll spend a whole sentence for every single one of them. "The Landlady" is a sad yet funny story about a woman that specialises in taxydermy of her loved ones. "William and Mary" is a tribute to "Professor Dovel`s Head" - a soviet sci-fi - where a woman finds out that her husbands brain is artificially kept alive after his death and she at last has a chance to repay to him everything she didn`t like about him. "The Way up to Heaven" is about a woman who was always afraid of getting anywhere too late and how her husband took advantage from that, but in the end it was him who died in the elevator. "Parson`s Pleasure" is a funny story about a guy who buys antiques for peanuts and sells them for zillions - he accidentally finds a buffet done by Thomas Chipendale but he`s too miserly and he fails badly. "Mrs Bixby and the Colonels Coat" - I read this at school some years ago - is about a woman that gets a precious coat as a gift from her lover and comes up with a plan to keep the coat without receiving questions from her husband about the coat (you can guess that she also fails). "Royal Jelly" is somewhat of a horror tale where a man feeds to his newborn daughter bee jelly thus turning her and himself into bees. "Genesis and Catastrophe" is a weird tale about how Adolf Hitler was born. "Edward the Conqueror" tells us how composer Liszt was reincarnated as a cat and how he died. "Pig" is a very tragical story about a man who becomes meat. And finally there`s "The Champion of the world" - an optimistic (slightly) tale about steeling pheanants. Overall: this will make you laugh, this will make you shiver, and you won`t feel no sympathy for the poor unlucky people. Dahl is for your joy not for making you feel miserable.
This was the first time I went into the territory where Roald Dahl doesn’t write scary stories on taxidermists and butchers but switches to children instead. After having watched the film less than 24 hours ago I probably am no qualified enough to compare what Dahl wrote to what Tim Burton did. In terms of character development there’s a significant difference between the film and the book. While Dahl’s Willie Wonka is just an eccentric fellow Burton makes him a creepy man with a twisted mind. But that doesn’t necessary mean that one of the two Wonkas is better than the other. The ending is also different, and it has a lot to do with Wonkas character – here he simply invites Charlie and his whole family over to the factory so they would live with him and doesn’t do any nonsense. I got to admit that the film ending was better (apart from the meeting the father scene). Although I can imagine why Roald Dahl has become a classic in the genre of books for children, I can’t really see myself a fan of his. Why not? This fairytale has a storyline much to linear and an ending much too trivial for my taste. Ok, the whole factory was designed in Dahl’s mind perfectly, so was Charlie’s family, and the archetypical characters were really good. So I don’t know why I’m so critical about it. Probably the best choice would be just finishing the review and run away like a sissy.
Roalds Dāls man joprojām ir daļēji neizprotams rakstnieks. Kā viens cilvēks varēja vienlaikus būt teju populārākais sava laikmeta bērnu grāmatu autors, un rakstīt TĀDU prozu pieaugušajiem? Nē, es nedomāju tikai viņa melnās noveles, kurās parādās kanibālisms, joki par taksidermiju un citi skaistumi, bet arī tos viņa stāstus, kuri tika publicēti Playboy un līdzīgos žurnālos. Kā, piemēram, četri šī konkrētā krājuma stāsti.
Līdz šim es Roaldu Dālu pazinu divos veidos - kā vienu no spēcīgākajiem angļu horror-humor rakstniekiem, kas radījis virkni fenomenāli spēcīgu un biedējošu noveļu, un kā bērnu rakstnieku - "Čārlija un Šokolādes fabrikas" autoru. Taču izrādās, ka Dālam bija vēl vismaz trešā personība - izvirtuša humora rakstniecība.
Roalda Dāla noveļu krājums "Iekāre" ar mani Rīgā ieradās no Berlīnes. Patiesībā gan daļu šo stāstu biju lasījis jau iepriekš dažādās citās Dāla darbu izlasēs, jo man ir itin daudz sanācis iepazīties ar šī bērnu un pieaugušo autora daiļradi, taču personīgajā krājumā (fiziskā formā) līdz šim manā rīcībā bija viena viņa grāmata - romāns My Uncle Oswald, kurš kopumā ir diezgan pavājš darbs, un visticamākais nākamajā grāmatu plaukta tīrīšanas reizē tiks atdots kādai bibliotēkai vai otrajām mājām. Taču Dāls kā tāds man patīk, līdz ar to uz savu pārstāvniecību viņš ir pelnījis saglabāt, tad nu manās rokās nonāca šī izlase.