- Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date:
- 04 September 2008
- People & places
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Book review: ‘Going Solo’‘Going Solo’ is a book written by Roald Dahl in 1984. The genre of the book is an autobiography as it states in the foreword. I think that Roald Dahl wrote this book because he wanted to share the amazing events in his life and maybe embellish on that a bit. The book ‘Going Solo’ is an intriguing, eventful story that will have you biting your nails for more. The series of embellished events include encountering mambas (large, dangerous snakes), fighting off Germans in a Hurricane, saving his cooks wife from a lion, getting bombed while having a bath and the list goes on. The book ‘Going Solo’ was written during the World War II and some events occurred before the war and some after although the main events in the book happened during the war.The main themes and topics of the book mainly show how ‘lucky’ Roald Dahl is and the many narrow neck breaking times he cheated death - although he didn’t come out of it unscathed. I think that Roald Dahl used the series of events that he did because at first he seems like just a young man that always attracts a bit of trouble around him but not on himself. When suddenly BAM he is placed in a new plane that he hasn’t had enough time to get the hang of before and off he goes a western desert that he has the wrong coordinates for. Then he is placed in another plane and is off to fight some Germans that outnumber them 62 to 1. So Roald Dahl has to fend for himself in a life and death situation. The techniques that Roald uses make him a very good writer in my opinion and I am sure many others around the world would agree with me. Roald Dahl uses lots of descriptive language like ‘shining images of red and black laid across the purest white.’ This is just one example of the thousands of different descriptions of things unimaginably disgusting and those of beautiful elegance combined in the book ‘Going Solo’. Roald uses description to convey these ideas by describing the objects using his vast knowledge of vocabulary to express or convoy his text. The characterization that Roald Dahl in all of his books not only ‘Going Solo’ in which he gives his characters vile and humorous descriptions of the characters and the varied reactions of different characters and the characters thoughts. The settings that Roald Dahl bases his story of ‘Going Solo’ is way back in World War II when he was a RAF pilot. Roald also suspended the story making us the reader itching for more and finally Roald Dahl lets all the suspense fall and we finally know what’s going on.My favorite part in the book ‘Going Solo’ will have to be when Roald Dahl first opens his eyes after they were damaged and his first glimpse of things in the hospital and the way he describes it is well and truly a good writers material. This part was basically the turning point in the story as if Roald’s eye did not heal he would have been sent home on a injured excuse and would never face Germans or get bombed on the ground from above. This part in the book basically told us about the book in the whole because of Roald’s undying courage to survive and continue fighting and serving country in the times of war. Overall I think that the strengths of the book ‘Going Solo’ are its descriptive language, the characterization and finally the suspension is the main strength in the book in my opinion. The weaknesses in the book ‘Going Solo’ I think are that maybe the book was a little bit confusing on the trip to Africa when he saw naked people running wildly on the decks and a women eating an orange without her hands, etc. Maybe some of those details had been a bit too much embellished but other than that personally I think this book will by far be on my top ten book list. I would strongly recommend this book to those that love adventure jam packed books and don’t mind that bit of craziness. To sum up I hope this article has helped you and that overall I would give Roald Dahl’s ‘Going Solo’ a 9.5/10.Another miracle yet again captured on paper by Roald Dahl.I agree with edgeworth when he talks about Roald dahl being sceptical
Another writer once told me that one of the most important elements to be found in a memoir is a "likeable" narrator. Roald Dahl is perhaps one of the MOST likeable of narrators. Modest to a fault and blessed with a very sly and subtle sense of humor, the story Dahl tells in GOING SOLO, his sequel to BOY, is perhaps one of the most readable memoirs of modern times. His story of the quick and almost informal training he received at a flying school in Africa shortly after Great Britain entered WWII, is hair-raising and nearly impossible to believe, except you do believe, because you trust this man. At six foot six inches tall, Dahl was physically quite unsuited to be a fighter pilot, noting that when seated in the various planes he flew, his knees were nearly under his chin and he had to hunch over to fit beneath the plane's canopy. But fly he did, even after surviving one horrific crash in the desert early on in his career as an RAF pilot. He sustained a very bad concussion (which was to come back to haunt him and finally "invalid" him out of service nearly two years later) and had his face bashed in. As he explained to his mother in a letter: "My nose was bashed in ... and the ear nose and throat man pulled my nose out of the back of my head and shaped it and now it looks just as before except that it's a little bent about ..." Dahl went on to fly many combat missions in North Africa and Greece, usually against vastly superior odds, but somehow he managed to survive until the middle of 1941, when the migraine headaches caused by the aforementioned crash made him unfit for further flying. Dahl's nearly laconic and completely unself-conscious manner of writing about the things he did - absolutely heroic things - made me think of Sam Hynes's WWII memoir of his missions in the Pacific theater. Both writers downplay the importance of their roles. They never speak of heroics or derring-do, only about the importance of their comrades, doing the jobs they were trained to do and trying their best to simply stay alive. This was an enormously satisfying, moving and often hilarious tale. After reading these two slim volumes of memoirs by Dahl, I do wish he had written another. I have ordered his slim collection of stories about WWII already. What a wonderful writer - and gentleman - Roald Dahl was.
‘Going Solo’ by Roald DahlGoing Solo was written by Roald Dahl in 1986. Its main focus is of Dahl’s experiences in Africa and his experiences while he served in the army. It specifically focuses on the boat trip he was on to Africa, his relationship with his ‘boy’ (a servant-like person) and the disorganisation he had to survive in the army.Roald Dahl uses a lot of descriptive language and techniques to make ‘Going Solo’ an enjoyable book for all to read. For example, he can create exceptional pen portraits in his book, such as the Major on his boat trip to Africa. He uses descriptive language to provide and enforce a concrete idea of what the Major was like. He is also very good at describing his surroundings. For example, when he was in Greece fighting with the RAF he created a vivid landscape in my mind and I was able to interpret what the landscape in Greece must have been like. He also uses suspense and his emotions well to create very hooking situations. Such as when he has to go up alone and he encounters six Ju-88’s. He uses the incredibility and uniqueness of the situation to his advantage and embellishes the encounter, making it seem even more incredible than it should.Overall, I believe ‘Going Solo’ was an incredible read, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone.Reviewer 'carlym ' stated this book is an autobiography, but don't despair those people who aren't looking for a typical boring autobiography, this story has been embellished and mostly only shows the exciting parts of Roald Dahl's life.
Going Solo, the second and thrilling autobiography of Roald Dahl, was published in 1986. It is about how Roald Dahl went on his Africa adventure, joined the RAF, and his wartime experience. He wrote this book to continue where he left off from his childhood autobiography Boy, and also to give his account of going to a foreign land, what it was like training in the RAF and his exploits in World War 2. The main topics of this book is anything that he found as a great incident and memorable that occurred during his time in Africa, and everything that happened during his time as an RAF pilot during the Second World War, because “there was no need to select or discard because every moment was, to me at any rate, totally enthralling”, Roald Dahl.Dahl has shown his ideas in Going Solo by embellishment (exaggeration), using suspense to draw us into the story, giving his point of view in light humour, and employing accurate characterization and similes that paint pictures in your mind. He has utilized these techniques to make his autobiography enthralling with a touch of wit, and to give good portrayal of people, places and things alike. Personally, my favourite part of the book was when Roald Dahl was talking about the events that happened during his time in Africa before he joined the RAF. I enjoyed it because it told me what Africa was like and how amazing or weird things could end up to be. This part of the book tells us on the whole that Dahl has seen several incidents, some that thoroughly amaze and make him feel elated, others that remained scarred to his memories for they were too horrible, but all memorable.The weakness of this book is that it has a bit too much explaining, but if it hadn’t had it, a lot of the book would still remain vague and unexplained. One other negative point about Dahl’s book is that some words are too complicated for young readers, so it might not be suitable. On the other hand, Going Solo has very amazing and unusual events that try and suck us in to the book with a combination of poetical techniques and humour that suits the story. On the whole, I would recommend this book for readers over or at the age of 10, because any reader will enjoy this book. However, it is not suited for children, as there are a few war scenes and complicated words. I sincerely agree with carlym about how Going Solo was very hard to put down. This is an ideal book for one with humour.
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