The mind of Roald Dahl is quintessentially nasty and wicked – Washington Post
Add murderous precision to Stephen King’s narration style, throw in some humor in Clive Barker’s story telling, and imagine a more blood craving Jorge Luis Borges, and you’ll get Roald Dahl. Here’s a chronologically arranged list of the best five of Roald Dahl short stories that have continued enticing readers, young and old, over all these years.
1. Man from the South (1948)
We have all heard of compulsive gamblers at some point in our lives, people who can put anything and everything at stake for their love for gambling. But have you ever heard of a man willing to gamble his body parts away if he loses a bet? Of course if he wins the bet, he would have the loser hand over one of his body parts to our Mr. Gambler.Twisted, chilling, unpredictable: this narrative of an obsessed gambler has all qualities of a great crisp short story.
2. Taste (1951)
I had earlier talked about this story on my article on Vivino, the wine scanning app. The story centers around an eminent and supremely confident gourmet, Richard Pratt, who claims to reveal a wine’s identity including its winery and year of produce simply by a taste test, even without glancing at the bottle label once. It’s a challenge he volunteers for: if he wins, he wins the host’s daughter in marriage; if he loses, he hands over all his assets to the host. The twist in the end is one of its kind.
3. Skin (1952)
An immensely famous but now dead artist, during his days of anonymity, had painted a unique picture on a unique canvas that’s worth millions today. Guess what his canvas was: the skin on the back of a friend. The friends who’s leading an impoverished life now, can make a fortune out of this painting only if he’s ready to part with the skin on his own back. Creepy is the word for this story about an artist’s whims, a man’s desperation, and above all human greed.
4. Lamb to the Slaughter (1953)
Whenever we think of any crime scene investigation, the first thing we think about is the murder weapon. Murderers are known to have a hard time trying to conceal or entirely get rid of the murder weapon that can be the strongest incriminating evidence. But what if the murder weapon is an edible one, even better if it belongs to a sumptuous dish that finds its way straight to the gut of the investigating officers ? Do you think anything in the world can implicate the murderer in the brutal murder committed?
5. The Landlady (1959)
Green velvety curtains, a vase full of chrysanthemums, a cozy fire crackling in the hearth, plush furniture, and above all adorable pets breathing in positive energy into the atmosphere: if a BED AND BREAKFAST place in a strange town on a chilly evening looks so inviting as this, who wouldn’t walk in. Add to that an unimaginably hospitable landlady who’s too fond of her guests to ever let them leave. But no matter how awesome this place looks, are you going to stay here forever? Well, may be not. Read to find out why.