A collection of the legendary children’s author and writer Roald Dahl's letters written to his mother, from early childhood through Dahl’s travels to Africa, his career in the Royal Air Force, his work in post-war Washington, D.C., and Hollywood, and the books that made him a literary star.
Here is an intriguing mixture of absolute intimacy, a total disregard for priggishness or decorum, fierce candour and, in certain respects, a complete absence of it. Love is between the lines ... The period detail is vivid – and not only in the language ... Sofie Magdalene had kept every one of them, binding them 'in neat bundles with green tape.' She never told him she had. We can be glad she did.
...all in all the letters are highly accessible for those otherwise unfamiliar with Dahl’s life, and primarily document his extraordinary anecdotes in the ever-humorous style of a born entertainer ... Although the letters themselves are fascinating and consistently funny, if the book has one flaw it may be that Sturrock tries too hard to force his theme of motherhood ... provides a wonderful summary of this extraordinary life and an intimate insight into his development as a writer.
From early on, the letters show the darkly comic, subversive writing that would make Dahl famous ... Missing from Dahl’s letters is virtually any discussion of sex, which is odd given his openness about everything else ... Without her as his correspondent, he might never have become a writer. Alas, we never get to hear from Sofie.