Friday, August 01, 2003

Morbidly funny

Tales of the Unexpected is an impressive showcase of Roald Dahl’s writing talent as well as his vast knowledge of various subjects.

Drawing upon his own experiences in life, and peppered with Dahl’s trademark humour, this collection of short stories often managed to provoke a knowing smile, some unsavoury thoughts, and if you allow your imagination to run a bit wild, possibly spine-chilling conclusions.

However, several pieces in Tales Of The Unexpected have rather abrupt endings, and because of that, a few left me with a big question mark after reading. Like, “Huh?”

Had these been written by someone else, I would have assumed that the author was simply too lazy to carry on writing. But somehow the master of macabre got away with the open-ended treatment of his tales, at times even compensating the inconclusive ending with immaculate pace and a surprising twist.

In cruel terms, you can say he got away with murder. Just like Mary Maloney in “Lamb to the Slaughter”.

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