Going Solo

Sections: Information | Description | Reviews | Fun Stuff | Teacher Ideas | Covers | CzechFrench, GermanNorwegian, Russian, Serbian, and Spanish Covers


  • First editions:
    • Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1986, USA.
    • Jonathan Cape, 1986, Great Britain.
  • Connections:
    • Over to You is a collection of short stories about pilots and flying, much of which is autobiographical and similar to the stories in this book
    • “Katina” tells a story set in the Greek campaign that Dahl describes in this book
  • Buy this book:


In Going Solo, the world’s favourite storyteller, Roald Dahl, tells of life as a fighter pilot in Africa.

‘They did not think for one moment that they would find anything but a burnt-out fuselage and a charred skeleton, and they were astounded when they came upon my still-breathing body lying in the sand nearby.’

In 1938 Roald Dahl was fresh out of school and bound for his first job in Africa, hoping to find adventure far from home. However, he got far more excitement than he bargained for when the outbreak of the Second World War led him to join the RAF. His account of his experiences in Africa, crashing a plane in the Western Desert, rescue and recovery from his horrific injuries in Alexandria, flying a Hurricane as Greece fell to the Germans, and many other daring deeds, recreates a world as bizarre and unnerving as any he wrote about in his fiction.


  • “Young Man, Old Empire, Bad War” by Gahan Wilson from the October 12, 1986 issue of New York Times – New York, USA
  • “More pleasure in Dahl’s accounts from life than from his fables” by Ralph Elliott from the February 14, 1987 issue of The Canberra Times – Canberra, Australia (read online)
  • Student Review by Melanie Burd

Fun Stuff

Sotheby’s Dahl Auction 1997

Teacher Ideas


Czech Covers – Sólový let

French Covers – Escadrille 80

German Covers – Im Alleingang

Norwegian Covers – På Egne Vinger

Russian Covers – Полеты в одиночку

Serbian Covers – Samostalni let

Spanish Covers – Volando solo