Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl
The authorised biography of one of the greatest storytellers of all time, written with complete access to the archives stored in the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. Roald Dahl is one of the greatest storytellers of all time. He pushed children's literature into uncharted territory and almost twenty years after his death his popularity continues to grow -- worldwide sales of his books have now topped 100 million. The man behind the stories, however, remains an enigma. Dahl was a single-minded adventurer, an eternal child, and his public persona was often controversial. To his readers, though, Dahl was always a hero and his stories have had an impact on the lives and imaginations of generations of children. Since his death his reputation has been transformed. Critics too now celebrate his wild imagination, quirky humour and linguistic elegance; figures like Willy Wonka, the BFG and the Grand High Witch are immortal literary creations. In this masterly biography, Donald Sturrock reveals many hitherto hidden aspects of Roald Dahl's life: his terrifying experiences as a fighter pilot; the mental anguish caused by the death of his seven-year-old daughter; his work for military intelligence at the end of the war and more. Written with exclusive access to his private papers and manuscripts as well as with reference to hundreds of newly-discovered letters, Dahl lives on every page of this utterly compelling book, which reveals the man as we've never seen him before.
'[A] superb biography!a hugely readable portrait that examines vividly and sympathetically the life and work of a difficult, complex author who was adored by millions of children, loathed by many adults, and was possibly a genius' Sunday Telegraph 'A truly magnificent biography!a masterly account' A.N.Wilson 'Donald Sturrock [is] a creative and sensitive biographer!minutely researched, Storyteller does Dahl the service, as Dahl did for some of his characters, of revealing the human in the monstrous' Times Literary Supplement 'It's a measure of the greatness of this biography that Sturrock is able to get behind these fantasies and exaggerations without losing respect or sympathy for Dahl!sometimes the very nature of Sturrock's primary sources is enough to stop you in your tracks' The Times 'A tremendously assured piece of work!Deftly, and with great acuity, [Sturrock] manages to embrace Dahl's numerous contradictions' Spectator 'Sturrock has done a fine job of memorialising this extraordinary curmudgeon' Evening Standard 'This warts-and-all biography brings [Dahl] vividly to life' Sunday Express 'Storyteller is a real liability if you have anything resembling a busy schedule. It hooks you from its opening sentence and before you know it you're up to your armpits in stories about spies and foxes and movie stars and you don't want to tear yourself away. As engrossing as only the best biographies can be.' Tom Shone 'The person I met when I met Roald Dahl comes through vividly on the pages of Storyteller. Dahl told me that he was generally disappointed in what people wrote about him, but I believe he would have appreciated Donald Sturrock's beautifully written book.' Charlotte Chandler 'Irresistible. I thought I knew quite a lot about Roald Dahl, but now I know much much more. Donald Sturrock's book lucidly describes a complicated life and relates it to the richness of Dahl's storytelling.' Quentin Blake, illustrator 'Diabolically readable! Donald Sturrock -- a goodhearted Charlie with the keys to the factory well in hand -- makes lucky ticketholders of us all, revealing from deep within this exotic, guarded, often painful life the conjuring triumphs and dark tragedies of the 20th century's most wonderfully wicked storyteller.' David Michaelis, author of Schulz and Peanut
Donald Sturrock worked at the BBC for ten years as a writer, producer and director. Since his departure from the BBC in 1992, he has written and directed a number of television programmes, including a film about Roald Dahl for the BBC.