My Uncle Oswald

Sections: Information | Description | ReviewsFun Stuff | Covers | Catalan, CzechFrench, GermanJapaneseRussian, and Slovenian Covers


  • First editions:
    • Michael Joseph, 1979, Great Britain.
    • Alfred Knopf, 1980, USA.
  • Trivia:
    • Occasionally referred to as Dahl’s “first” novel (even by the author), despite Some Time Never‘s publication 30 years earlier.
  • Connections:
  • Buy this book:


The nameless narrator has revealed snippets of the lovable, lascivious Uncle Oswald’s life in other collections, but this is the only novel – brief though it is – dedicated solely to the diaries of “the greatest fornicator of all time.” Inspired by stories of the aphrodisiac powers of the Sudanese blister beetle, the palpable seductiveness of the lovely Yasmin Howcomely, and the scientific know-how of Professor A. R. Woresley, Uncle Oswald anticipates the concept of the Nobel sperm bank by some 40 years, flimflamming crowned heads, great artists, and eccentric geniuses into making “donations.” The life of a commercial sperm broker has a few surprises even for a sophisticated bon vivant, and Dahl manages his signature sting-in-the-tail ending even in one of his lightest comic works.


  • “Satire and Sensitivity” by Marion Halligan from the May 24, 1980 issue of The Canberra Times – Canberra, Australia (read online)
  • “Offbeat biographies” by Lyn Frost from the March 1, 1981 issue of The Canberra Times – Canberra, Australia (read online)
  • “Crime and Passion” review column by Darcy O’Brien from the April 21, 1980 issue of New York Magazine (read online)

Fun Stuff

Tearsheet (Poster) by American illustrator Mel Odom
Tearsheet (Poster) by American illustrator Mel Odom


Catalan Covers – Oncle Oswald

Czech Covers – Můj strýček Oswald

French Covers – Mon oncle Oswald

German Covers – Onkel Oswald und der Sudankäfer

Japanese Covers – オズワルド叔父さん

Russian Covers – Мой дядюшка Освальд

Slovenian Covers – Moj striček Oswald