Deception – Roald Dahl

“Why do we lie? Why do we deceive those we love most? What do we fear revealing?”

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Blurb: “Here, among many others, you’ll read about how to get away with the perfect murder, the old man whose wages end in a most disturbing payment, how revenge is sweeter when it is carried out by someone else and the card sharp so good at cheating he does something surprising with his life.”

When I was a child, Roald Dahl was a permanent fixture in my reading life. I have so many vivid memories of reading his books and watching the film adaptation of Matilda so much that I ended up breaking the VHS tape. The most vivid of these memories is a time when I had a copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which had an extra chapter added to it but for the sake of keeping “secrets” the words on the page were backwards and you had to use a mirror to read it.  Deception is one book in a four part collection of Roald Dahl’s adult fiction exploring different vices: Deception, Lust, Cruelty and Madness. Now that I am twenty three years old (at the date of this post) it seems only right to make the transition from his children’s works to the adult ones.

Deception is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a book of ten short stories exploring the different ways people can deceive others and what their reasons may be for doing so. My favourite stories were: My Lady Love, My Dove which is about a couple that rent out rooms in their house but hide microphones in them in the hopes of hiding out saucy details only to end up on the other side of it and Vengeance is Mind Inc which tells the tale of two men who decide to create a company in which they will carry out violent crimes on specific journalists etc who slander various people in the papers.

From this collection I learnt that there’s a vast number of ways you can be deceptive and I really liked how the stories had no real sense of closure. There was no redemption of those who chose to be deceptive.

If you’re a Roald Dahl fan, these collections are worth looking into but they’re very different to what you’ll be used to.

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