Going Solo

Sections: Information | Description | Reviews | Fun Stuff | Teacher Ideas | Covers | Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Persian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish Covers


Information on identifying editions is from Richard Walker’s “Roald Dahl – A Guide to Collecting His First Editions”.

  • First editions:
    • Jonathan Cape, 1986, UK.
      • To identify: Used a standard single statement (‘First published’ followed by the date with later printings stated underneath) and published with a jacket priced at £7.95.
    • Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1986, USA.
      • To identify: Used a First Edition statement and published with a jacket priced at $14.95.
  • 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:

Important note: From 2022 onwards, Puffin has edited selected Dahl books to remove sensitive language and insert new sentences not written by Dahl. If you would prefer to read the original text, ensure you get a copy published before 2022 or one of the “Classic Collection” published by Penguin.


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


Bulgarian Covers – Момчето пораства: приключения в Африка

Catalan Covers – Sol pel món

Czech Covers – Sólový let

Dutch Covers – Solo: 1938-1941

French Covers – Escadrille 80

German Covers – Im Alleingang

Greek Covers – Σόλο πορεία

Italian Covers – In solitario. Diario di volo

Norwegian Covers – På Egne Vinger

Persian Covers – سفر تک نفره

Russian Covers – Полеты в одиночку

Serbian Covers – Samostalni let

Spanish Covers – Volando solo

Thai Covers

Turkish Covers – Tek Başına