This concise, unbiased biography of Roald Dahl, one of the most popular children’s authors of all time, is a good read and impeccably researched. It doesn’t go into a lot of detail about individual books, but is an overview of his life. I enjoyed the book, despite the author Matthew Dennison’s tendency to use complicated words when simple language would do. It was first published in 2022, before the Puffin ‘re-writes’ controversy, which no doubt would have been mentioned.
The biography is in chronological order, with some photographs included. There is a focus on the turning points in Dahl’s life and how they affected his behaviour and influenced his writing. He is presented as a rather contradictory person, a forceful character and not especially literary. I feel that this book provides a valuable insight into Dahl and it has the right level of detail for an introductory biography, but may be disappointing for readers who want a more thorough exploration.
Thank you to the publisher Head of Zeus for the e-book via NetGalley. The paperback edition will be published on 3rd August.