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Roald Dahl Book List (the novels)


James and the Giant Peach -- too good

You’d be hard pressed to come up with a more original author than Roald Dahl. Fighter pilot, writer of the occasional creepy short story for adults (The Landlady, I’m looking at you), and of course, the creator of such children’s masterpieces as James and the Giant Peach and The Witches.

With Halloween right around the corner, today I want to dedicate this post to a Roald Dahl books list. He was morbid in the best possible way: humorously.

So then, on to the Roald Dahl bibliography:

First, the novels

In another post I’ll list and review the short story collections. For today:

  • The Gremlins — If you ever saw the Twilight Zone episode with the gremlin on the wing of the plane, you know what this story is about
  • Sometime Never: A Fable for Supermen — I haven’t read this one, or even seen it, but it’s about nuclear war and was apparently as much of a commercial flop as it is possible to be
  • James and the Giant Peach — A young boy takes to the sky aboard…what else? A giant peach. Also on board are a bunch of giant insects, including the rhymingest centipede ever. Absolutely fantastic
  • The Magic Finger — Is there a name for the phobia of being turned into a bird? Stay away from this eight year old’s finger. If she asks you to stop hunting, do it!
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox — Better than the film, although I liked the movie quite a bit
  • Danny: The Champion of the World — An imaginative boy and his exploits among a pheasant-shooting group of gypsies that are way more likable than the gypsy clan in Thinner
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — I’m guessing that you know the story to this one. But if you haven’t read the book, do it! The movies, no matter how dark they each tried to be, really can’t compete with the strangeness of the book. Sorry Tim Burton.
  • Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator — The followup, detailing what happened to the Bucket family after they left in that big glass elevator. Why, they went up into space, of course, and battled the Vermicious Knids! A bizarre story that I still find darker than Chocolate Factory.
  • My Uncle Oswald— Have you ever wondered what it might be like to go on a worldwide tour in order to collect sperm samples from Nobel prize winners and other assorted geniuses so you could create your own in-demand DNA bank? I hadn’t either.
  • The Twits — If you like worms in your spaghetti, or think that putting them in someone else’s would be a fine joke, this is the book for you.
  • George’s Marvellous Medicine – A young boy takes a peculiar sort of revenge on his naggy, haggy grandmother
  • The BFG —  Big Friendly Giant. Don’t you wish you had one? I did after reading this book.
  • The Witches — Perhaps my favorite book on the list. A young boy learns that witches are everywhere, but he can’t tell anyone because he gets turned into a mouse. A book that scared me quite a bit as a kid, and still has some pretty unnerving scenes.
  • Giraffe and the Pelly and Me — Would hire a giraffe, a pelican, and a monkey to wash your windows? Reserve judgment until you read this book.
  • Matilda — For anyone who has ever had a teacher, or a parent, that needs to be taught a lesson about how to treat their kids. Matilda is a genius, and as it turns out, a frightful enemy to have.
  • Esio Trot — Read the two words backwards. For anyone who has ever had to compete for a loved one against  a rival tortoise.
  • The Vicar of Nibbleswicke — For word lovers. A vicar has an unusual form of dyslexia that causes some words to come out of his mouth in reverse. A problem when you’re always taking about “doG.” Written to benefit the Dyslexia Institute. Awesome.
  • The Mildenhall Treasure — Written by Roald Dahl. Illustrated by Ralph Steadman, my favorite artist. This = you read!

If I’ve left anything out, please add to the list of Roald Dahl books, novels only.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mary Jo Manzanares September 28, 2011, 5:28 pm

    Don’t forget Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

    • Josh Hanagarne September 28, 2011, 8:08 pm

      Oh good grief, that is so embarrassing. Fixing it now.

  • Todd September 29, 2011, 8:40 am

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is an old favorite, but James and the Giant Peach holds a special place in our family.

    My aunt gave the book to me and my brother when we were little, shortly before she died in an auto accident. My mom would read this to us whenever we took a long road trip. I later would read it to my girls as well. And don’t get me started on Burton’s take on this story.

  • Wanderlust September 29, 2011, 9:07 am

    Dahl is one of my daughter’s favorite authors – she’s read a number of his books. You know, I had no idea he wrote the Fantastic Mr. Fox. I love the movie, I’ll have to grab the book for Anna from the local library (and read it after her!). Thanks for the list. Makes me want to run out to the library now and surprise Anna when she gets home!

  • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot October 4, 2011, 3:09 pm

    Dahl is the best writer ever. Better than Shakespeare even:) Never heard of the Nibbleswick book though. I love all the kids books – Danny best of all plus the adult short stories are fab too.

  • Rachel January 23, 2012, 4:24 pm

    The twits is y favorite. It’s so weird!

  • sophie May 1, 2012, 3:30 am

    they are all the best books in the world

  • Danielle May 14, 2012, 1:38 pm

    They have got it.