ebook, 164 pages.
Read from December 16 to 24, 2013.
This collaboration of stories emphasizes Dahl’s experiences as a flying ace for the RAF during World War II. I imagine that Dahl used many personal references and emotions in these stories, though from what I can find, from my very brief internet search, nothing specific has been directly referenced in the stories. Please feel free to comment if you know of a specific experience that has made it in one of these stories. Additionally, I also wonder if writing these stories was a method he inadvertently used to deal with his own dreadful experiences in the war. Regardless, his renditions of the flying ace at war are detailed and provoking.
Beware of the Dog was by far my favourite in this collaboration as it brought a situation to my attention that I would not have even considered, having never been a solider, and the sheer terror that would follow. The character in the story finds himself in hospital and he isn’t sure what has happened, though he believes his plane has crashed. The nurse then proceeds to tell him where he is but other warning signs tell he may be elsewhere, like in enemy territory. In typical Dahl style, the reader is left not knowing if the main character is indeed in enemy territory or if he is just delusional and paranoid from the plane crash.
Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to see a more adult side to their favourite childhood author or anyone interested in WWII experiences.