Roald Dahl's short stories

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Roald Dahl HQ
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4:30pm, 13th May
Short stories

Did you know Roald Dahl was a prolific short story writer? Discover a few Tales of the Unexpected this National Share-a-Story Month...

Although he is more widely known for his children's stories,  Roald Dahl began his writing career as a prolific writer of short stories for adults - some of which were later televised in the 1960s American CBS series 'Way Out and its later British equivalent, Tales of the Unexpected.

Initially most of his stories appeared in magazines, but were later brought together in a series of collections. How many have you read?

Roald Dahl's Over To You

Over To You

Published in 1946, Over To You features 10 of Roald Dahl's earliest stories - the majority of which were set during the Second World War and based on his own experiences as a fighter pilot. The stories featured are:

  • Death of an Old, Old Man
  • An African Story
  • A Piece of Cake (Roald Dahl's first paid peice of writing, originally published in 1942 as Shot Down Over Libya.)
  • Madame Rosette
  • Katina
  • Yesterday Was Beautiful
  • They Shall Not Grow Old
  • Beware of the Dog
  • Only This
  • Someone Like You
Roald Dahl's Someone Like You

Someone Like You

Originally released in 1953, Someone Like You features 18 stories, many of which would later appear in Tales of the Unexpected.

  • Taste
  • Lamb to the Slaughter
  • Man from the South
  • The Soldier
  • My Lady Love, My Dove
  • Dip in the Pool
  • Galloping Foxley
  • Skin
  • Poison
  • The Wish
  • Neck
  • The Sound Machine
  • Nunc Dimittis
  • The Great Automatic Grammatizator
  • Claud's Dog: The Ratcatcher
  • Claud's Dog: Rummins
  • Claud's Dog: Mr Hoddy
  • Claud's Dog: Mr Feasey
Roald Dahl's Kiss Kiss

Kiss Kiss

Published in 1960, Kiss Kiss features several more stories that were televised for Tales of the Unexpected as well as the first appearance in print of Danny's Dad from Danny, the Champion of the World.

  • The Landlady
  • William and Mary
  • The Way up to Heaven
  • Parson's Pleasure
  • Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's Coat
  • Royal Jelly
  • Georgy Porgy
  • Genesis and Catastrophe
  • Edward the Conqueror
  • Pig
  • The Champion of the World

Switch Bitch

Released in 1974, Switch Bitch was the first time one of Roald Dahl's most notorious adult characters - Uncle Oswald - appeared in print. These four tales are aimed at adults. 

  • The Visitor
  • The Great Switcheroo
  • The Last Act
  • Bitch
Roald Dahl's The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More

This collection is suitable for teenagers and also features one of Roald Dahl's rare factual stories - The Mildenhall Treasure, his 1946 account of Suffolk ploughman's Gordon Butcher's discovery of Roman silver.

  • The Boy Who Talked with Animals
  • The Hitch-hiker
  • The Mildenhall Treasure
  • The Swan
  • The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
  • Lucky Break
  • A Piece of Cake
Roald Dahl's Ah Sweet Mystery of Life

Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life

Despite being published in 1989, the stories in this collection all date from the late 1940s. Based in and around the Buckinghamshire countryside Roald Dahl lived in for much of his adult life, these stories also show an early prototype for the genius pheasant-catching methods explored in Danny, the Champion of the World...

  • Preface
  • Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life
  • Parson's Pleasure
  • The Ratcatcher
  • Rummins
  • Mr Hoddy
  • Mr Feasey
  • The Champion of the World
The Complete Short Stories of Roald Dahl

The Complete Short Stories

Fancy reading them all? In 2013, all of Roald Dahl's short stories were brought together in two new volumes with introductions from authors Charlie Higson and Anthony Horowitz.

Volume One features stories from 1944 to 1953, and Volume Two takes us from 1954 to 1988