By Roald Dahl
Read by David Ian Davies
Length: about 45 minutes
Downloaded from NC Digital Library
This…is not your typical Roald Dahl book. If you’re like me, you associate Dahl with magical flying peaches, chocolate mixed by waterfall, prankster geniuses, bald witches with ‘wig-rash,’ and other such fantastical and beloved things. I read Dahl through my childhood. I adored him. I still adore him. I have introduced him to my own children, through his novels and the movies made from his novels. His stories are part of the food of our lives.
So, it took me completely by surprise to find he had written so many things for adults. So many adult things for adults.
The Bookseller is completely different from anything I’ve ever read by Dahl. The two main characters are… just…smarmy. Completely smarmy. They put the smarm in smarmy. Mr. Buggage and his “secretary” Miss Tottle (their names even sound smarmy, don’t they?) run a bookshop in London, England, called Buggage’s Rare Book Shop. And they DO actually sell books. It’s just not their main source of income. It’s what goes on in the backroom that pays the bills. It is…unsavory. There is unexpectedness of a fraudulent, and sexual, nature going on back there. Uh huh. *eyebrows up and down*
Let’s just say it involves the newspaper and letters, going out every day, to grieving widows of the dearly, and wealthy, departed.
I don’t want to give much more away. I think it’s best left as a surprise. It was completely unexpected, for me, and didn’t jive with my previous experiences with Dahl AT ALL. I suppose adding that this story was published in Playboy should pretty much clue you in. This is not to say that THIS brand new experience with Dahl was BAD. On the contrary, I quite enjoyed this story. Very much so, and I think that is partially because it was SO unexpected. Dahl’s trademark sense of humor was very much intact, if a bit darker than I’m used to. Which is fine, I have a dark sense of humor.
The audiobook was read by David Ian Davies, who did a serviceable job. I enjoyed his performance very much. He has a lovely, deep voice that fit perfectly with the story, I thought. I wasn’t bowled away or anything, but I really enjoyed it all the same. How’s that for contradictory? Anyway, the audiobook was great fun and I hope to read more of Roald Dahl’s adult stories soon.
Warning: be careful how you look up information on this story. The first link I came to gave the entire story away. On a Roald Dahl Fan site too! The shame!