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My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
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My Uncle Oswald (1979)

by Roald Dahl

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Recently added byCatigerine, private library, andersongs, MsStephie, thegreenmikado, canoroque

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» See also 17 mentions

English (16)  French (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Dirty, hilarious, and fantastic. ( )
  liz.mabry | Sep 11, 2013 |
I hesitate in giving this book 5 stars for it is no edifying work of superlative genius. Rather, it is a superbly-crafted and saucy tale that is impossible to put down. I shall have to read more by Mr. Dahl. ( )
  lucthegreat | Apr 27, 2013 |
Easily my favourite book, ever. I often re read it when I am on holiday, and it still gives me the giggles, even after many years. I have owned and given away many copies of this book, and need to acquire another one now. ( )
  lauren.castan | Apr 3, 2013 |
Oswald Cornelius' diaries tell of his adventures when he and his companions set out to procure the sperm of the crème de la crème of early 1900s society with the help of an infallible aphrodisiac. It's raunchy at its best and a bit dirty-old-man at its worst, but of course quite funny at the same time. I can only imagine that Dahl had a great time imagining the various proclivities of the various artists and the royals. Interesting that he makes the painters into the most intriguing characters and the writers either boring or peculiar - you would think it would be the other way around. I do admit that I prefer his children's stories and his Tales of the Unexpected a lot more than this, but it's still worth a gander, if only to take a different look at the Dahl brain. ( )
  -Eva- | May 30, 2012 |
Well, you can't take this seriously, of course. Dahl's fictional uncle, a seducer of repute (this is before the First World War, when there were such things) makes a fortune with a sort of aphrodisiac, then makes a larger fortune by administering said drug to various intellectual and artistic luminaries with the help of a female accomplice and collecting their ejaculate to amass a sort of Sperm Bank of the Stars. I'm unconvinced Picasso's sperm would sell for more than the beetle powder, which seems to be a sort of combination viagra, ecstasy, rohypnol and spanish fly, but leaving that aside this is a breezy read, laffs abide, and the deflection into history of the action allows Dahl to sort of pull off "archly ribald" for the most part, although there are plenty of cringe-inducing "oo-er, missus" moments of uncomfortable prurience (the bit where Yasmin dresses up as a boy to de-sperm Proust could have worked as bawdy, if you didn't keep reflecting on how the straight geniuses all had the drug to excuse their animalism but the gay can barely keep it in his pants from go), and a few downright "the filthy minx wanted it" bits of misogyny that the author can't quite disown on his glib and greasy unc. With the oversexedness--with the very concept--comes a sort of sexual naivete that you want to mock--the winking sexual descriptions that fall back on piston and machine-gun metaphors and a sort of "just bang her harder, that'll loosen her up!" idea of women's sexuality are almost adorable, but then there's the treatment of rape as a sort of peccadillo . . . I guess we effete moderns didn't shoot down five Ju-88s over Crete, but it weirds me out that the budding change in sexual mores had to go through this "you dirty little bitch" stage to get off the ground. It makes you shudder at what the Victorians would have said about sex in print if they'd felt freer to. But as long as you can take this in a sort of racist-granddad spirit, and not be too weirded out that it's by the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there is some definite enjoyment to the absurdity of the caper and Oswald's revelry therein. ( )
3 vote MeditationesMartini | May 5, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roald Dahlprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arnold, HansCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fritz-Crone, PelleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I do love a romp Oswald's Diaries, Vol. XIV
"M'encanta rebolcar-me" El diari d'Oswald vol. XIV
Dedication
First words
I am beginning, once agin, to have an urge to salute my Uncle Oswald.
Començo a sentir, un altre cop, l'impuls de saludar l'oncle Oswald.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140055770, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:00 -0400)

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.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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