Thursday, July 15, 2010

Literary Bite: Going Solo

I don’t even know where to start…I LOVE this book. It is my most-read book ever (5 times, at least). I am kinda sorta in love with/hero worship/want to be Roald Dahl. AND this book may be a major contributing factor to my love of Africa.

If that’s not a recommendation, I don’t know what is.

I was at the used bookstore in Easter Market about a month ago when I saw Going Solo on a stack. I just had to buy it. (I think my original copy is at home with my parents.

I was in between books, needing something to read, and there it was. Even though the last time I read it (according to my book log) was 2002, every chapter is familiar. I still hear it in the voice of my mama, the way she read it aloud to me and Sister1 the first few times.

You may be familiar with Boy, Dahl’s first autobiography (remember the rat in the candy? Or the goat poop incident???). Going Solo picks up where Boy left off, with Dahl on a ship sailing to East Africa to work for Shell Oil. He works for Shell in Tanganyika, and then enlists in the North Africa Royal Air Force (RAF) once World War II begins.

Dahl’s writing style, as well as his real-life experiences, are better than any fiction you could imagine. His harrowing encounters with snakes, lions, and German aircraft are interesting and fun to read. He clearly doesn’t take himself too seriously and has a natural knack for story-telling (plus more lives than a cat!).

Going Solo is a GREAT book, no matter what your age. It’s exciting and fun – one of those books you just can’t put down.

PLEASE read it!


  1. Wow, I didn't know you were such a big Roald Dahl fan. He is my absolute favorite! He has the most creative, odd, twisted writing style. "Boy" is one of my favorite books of all time- it was the first Roald Dahl I ever read. Good selection!!! Also, peaches and cream popsicles would be delightful right now, just saying.

  2. Adding to my list. Just finished American Wife and Water for Elephants, now on Three Cups of Tea.

  3. Great review. I am adding it to my list to check out. Sounds like something I'd enjoy although I probably wouldn't have picked it up without your review. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for the review - this one goes on my list. Didn't know of this one even though I've read many of Dahl's books.

  5. I hope you all read it and LOVE it! And please let me know if you do! (I can't imagine someone not loving this book...but you never know.)

  6. Must be an enjoyable read Going Solo by Roald Dahl. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list