Trickery by Roald Dahl


Today I have a review of Trickery by Roald Dahl, a collection of short stories and one of eight centenary editions from Penguin Books. Published on 10th August, I have already shared my reviews of Innocence and War which I enjoyed so I was very much looking forward to reading this one!

In Trickery, Dahl introduces us to tales of deceit and cunning in a collection comprising of ten different stories. I found this collection to be an enjoyable read which introduced some fiendish characters and explored what lengths they would go to in order to get their own way – with varying levels of success. The tales were in parts dark and twisty, in others humorous, as we meet tricksters in a variety of interesting scenarios. Below are my three favourites from the collection and a little bit about them…

The Champion of the World – In this story originally published in 1959, we meet a poacher who boasts of his abilities and his intention to take advantage of a pheasant shoot with its abundance of game for the taking. In this we get to see how his cunning plan unfolds, and what use he has for some sleeping pills…

Mrs Bixby and the Colonel’s coat – Originally published in 1959, this is perhaps my favourite of the stories. When Mrs Bixby receives an extravagant gift from the Colonel – one that would be sure to raise eyebrows – Mrs Bixby has something in mind to avoid suspicion. But as she puts her plan into place, I was left eager to find out if Dr Bixby would figure it out…

Princess Mammalia – Originally published in 1986, Princess Mammalia is the shortest story in the collection, but one that has a big impact. We meet a princess in possession of an extraordinary beauty, and a power with it that she intends to wield over all around her. This is particularly significant on her birthday, a day when she must have what she wants, but at what cost…

I really enjoyed reading Trickery and found it interesting to read these stories aimed at an adult audience having enjoyed so many of Dahl’s children’s stories. I found each of the tales to be cleverly written and effective in exploring a darker side of human behaviour, and am looking forward to reading more! In my next blog post, I will be sharing my review of Fear: Tales of Terror and Suspense.

Trickery was published on 10th August 2017 by Penguin and is one of eight centenary editions exploring the darker side of human nature. Many thanks to Sam Deacon at Penguin for providing copies for review.

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