Sunday, September 24, 2006
You read a few of these tales and begin to think "Ok, I'm on to him now. I can anticipate the finishing twist," and during each story you wrestle with the potentialities, narrowing them down to what you imagine will be the most sadistic, humiliating, or sordid jape, only to be disappointed by failure each time. Dahl's devious sophistication is to anticipate those who anticipate twists and one-up them with an inexhaustible fount of surprising finishes. Few writers of his calibre are so keenly good at distasteful characters either, and many loathsome sods get their comeuppance herein.
Uncle Oswald makes an appearance as well.