Roald Dahl Fans.com

Biographies

This is a list of books that other people have written about Roald Dahl. If you know of one that’s not listed here, please email me!


Major Biographies

  • Roald Dahl: A Biography
    • Authoritative biography by Jeremy Treglown
    • MY VERDICT: “A must–read for any serious Dahl fan.”
  • Storyteller – the Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl
    • Written by Donald Sturrock
    • MICHAEL’S VERDICT: “A real page-turner that offers insight into Roald Dahl’s personality not available anywhere else. The author, who met Roald Dahl numerous times, has done his research and offered a new perspective and view on Roald Dahl.”

Other Biographies

  • As I Am
    • Autobiography written by Patricia Neal, Dahl’s wife of 30 years
    • MY VERDICT: “Provides necessary contrast for much of what’s written about Dahl. Though much of the book deals with Neal’s affair with Gary Cooper (before she met Dahl), the last half provides a gripping and personal look at the famous author from the person who probably knew him best.”
  • Dead Famous – Roald Dahl and His Chocolate Factory
    • Written by Andrew Donkin
    • Illustrated by Clive Goddard
    • Published subsequently as Roald Dahl and his Chocolate Factory (Horribly Famous) and Roald Dahl’s Life in Stories
    • MY VERDICT: “This is a great introduction to Dahl’s life for a young reader (or an adult who’s a kid at heart). Not only is it packed with information, but the many cartoons, comics, and jokes keep the mood light and fun. At the same time, though, it doesn’t gloss over some of the more negative aspects of his life. I recommend it.”
  • Pat and Roald
    • Written by Barry Farrell
    • Made into TV–movie entitled The Patricia Neal Story in 1981
    • MY VERDICT: “This book was written by a journalist in close contact with the Dahl family and chronicles the period following Patricia Neal’s strokes. Popularized the idea that Dahl’s ‘tough love’ is what ultimately enabled Neal to make a full recovery. She later used her autobiography As I Am to counter many of Farrell’s statements that she felt were unfair. It’s interesting reading, at any rate, and would be especially useful to anyone related to a stroke victim.”
  • Roald Dahl
    • Written by Chris Powling
    • Published subsequently as Roald Dahl: A Biography and Tell Me About: Roald Dahl
  • What’s Their Story? – Roald Dahl
    • Written by Andrea Shavick
    • Published subsequently as Roald Dahl: True Lives (True Lives Series)
    • MY VERDICT: “Colorful and easy to read, this bio is great for younger children curious about the man who wrote their favorite books.”
  • Working for Love
    • Written by daughter Tessa Dahl
    • Supposedly a novel, it’s actually a thinly–disguised autobiography of her childhood
    • MY VERDICT: “A rather tawdry read. Not very successful as a novel, and not much better as an autobiography. Basically it’s all about the feelings of inadequacy that Tessa formed in childhood as a result of her dead sister, impaired mother, and overbearing father. It is interesting to hear a kid’s perspective on those tumultuous years, though.”