ebook, 240 pages.
Read from December 09 to 16, 2013.
Even as an adult this man’s writing continues to captivate me. However, with this adult collaboration, Dahl has emphasised the disturbing in a less than friendly fashion by having the central theme of these stories be completely about how awful adults are to each other. So take the quirkiness of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the despicable characters in The Twits and then mash them together with some realism and adults and you have Kiss Kiss.
Out of all the stories I would have to say that “Royal Jelly” truly caught me off guard. I don’t know if I’m slow or if Dahl is that good at writing but I truly did not see the ending of this story coming and I recall my jaw dropping when I read the last paragraph. The story is a depiction of a couple that has had a baby who is struggling to get enough to eat. The babe just refuses to eat and as a newborn it is wasting away. This is the first child the couple has had after failing to conceive before. The mother is severely distressed and exhausted so it makes what the husband does even harder to bear. The husband works with bees and in an act of desperation, despite knowing in a way what the effects would be, feeds his withering baby royal jelly, which is the food used to produce and create the Queen bee. Firstly, what I found so disturbing about this story was that a father would use his own child as a type of science project, though sadly, I don’t think is completely unheard of. Secondly, when trying to explain to his frantic wife that what he has done is a good thing, the wife calms a bit but as a reader I felt far from consoled! I could just see that this story was going to turn into a horror, and it did, the ending was truly ghastly.
After reading so many pieces of Dahl’s work I absolutely adore the way he is able to leave the reader hanging at the end but always in the best way possible. He leaves the reader inquisitive and allows them to draw their own conclusions without absolutely gutting the reader. Even while writing about how awful adults are, he still manages to provoke his adult readers to use their imaginations which is what I still truly treasure with Dahl’s writing. Whether you are a child or an adult Dahl still finds away to stir your imagination and provoke curiosity. I believe it was this gift that made him such a phenomenal writer.
Recommended read for Dahl lovers and those who appreciate quirky and creepy reads!