Going Solo by Roald Dahl

A book for all ages and all readers. 


This book picks up where ‘Boy’, the tales of Roald Dahl’s early life and school days finished (reviewed on this blog one month ago). Roald Dahl starts his new career with Shell in Africa and, with his usual eye for detail, for the interesting and for the absurd, the author describes his journey to Africa and his life there. Whilst in Africa, war breaks out and Dahl became a fighter pilot with the RAF. The book covers his wartime experiences.

This is another fascinating and interesting insight into Roald Dahl’s life and into life in East Africa before WW2. Dahl is a master at describing a place through the people that populate it and the events and incidents are that much more fascinating as a result. His description of his war time experiences flying in North Africa and then Greece are eye opening. He writes with such a light touch that it might be easy to overlook the danger, the hardship and the suffering that were a part of this life. However, it is this light touch that enables him to be honest without being morbid or sensational and the result is that the book remains a gentle, informative and absorbing read, even as the content is sometimes very sad.

Once again Dahl has written about interesting episodes in his life so that it is easy to read an anecdote and put the book down for a while before picking it up to carry on.  This makes it an ideal book for readers who find it difficult to stick with a long and complicated storyline. I would also thoroughly recommend the audiobook which is a pleasure to listen to.


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