Eleven stories from 1953,54,58,59. Overall this is a great collection. If you’re new to Dahl or think he’s just a children’s author thanks to “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory”, check this out. Favorites:
“Parson’s Pleasure” (1958 novelette) – Mr.Boggis is an antique dealer. He roams the English countryside looking for old furniture. Since the farmers are generally a suspicious lot he disguises himself as a parson. He has a business card that says he’s the President of the Society For The Preservation Of Rare Furniture. He figures it’s easier to con people out of rare items as a parson. The ending is poetic justice and very funny.
“Royal Jelly” (1959 novelette) – A beekeeper’s wife is upset that their newborn hasn’t gained any weight. She goes nuts when her husband admits he’s started giving her royal jelly from his bees. At least the baby is gaining weight.
“Georgy Porgy” (1959 novelette) – Georgy has always had a fear of women. One night he gets drunk. No more fear.
“Edward The Conqueror” (1953) – Louisa likes to play classical music on her piano every day. She imagines a large audience is paying rapt attention. Outside her husband Edward is burning leaves and a cat wanders over. Louisa takes it inside and it reacts while she plays. She becomes convinced it’s the reincarnation of Franz Liszt. Edward thinks she’s nuts.
“Pig” (1959) – After the accidental shooting deaths of his parents, baby Lexington is taken in by his aunt. She home schools him and encourages his cooking skills. She’s a vegan and he even writes a book of meatless recipes. When his aunt dies the teenage Lexington goes to the big city and is enthralled with New York. He’s very naive and that’s fine with a greedy lawyer. His aunt left him a quarter million and the lawyer figures out how to grab almost all of it for himself. Undaunted Lexington goes to a diner and for the first time experiences pork loin. Then he insists on knowing how it’s made.