Enter Uncle Oswald
Switch Bitch contains four longish short stories that all involve some kind of switching sex partners. And knowing Dahl, either the switcher or the switchee will be left off the worse at the kind.
So why does my intuitive memory proclaim this to be a lesser Dahl? I can make a few guesses. For instance, the first story leans heavily on the element of surprise, whereas the last story is painfully predictable. The third story has one of the protagonists be a sex victim, which is pretty much nails on a blackboard for me. (Although the fact that there is no redemption also makes this story for me.) The book clearly addresses 1960s’ Americans (it would not be published today for fear of offending the christian fundies). With the exception of the first the stories are pretty much forgettable–now I am writing this review I keep going back to find out what the other three were about again, even when I finished reading last week. The sex itself is described in such a roundabout way that you have to wonder whether the author has ever had any.
So, should you read Switch Bitch? Of course you should; it’s Dahl, baby! The stories are still wicked, not in any sense of “cool”, but literally wicked, evil, naughty. Dahl will rot your brain, and this book will do its part.
Switch Bitch by Roald Dahl, 1975, reviewed by Branko Collin. (The copyright notice suggests that one or more of these stories have been published before.)
[…] Edit: when I wrote this review I used to publish my book reviews on third party websites. Later, I decided I would keep all my reviews under my own control. In August 2006 I added this entry to the books and review categories, and removed the phrase “(book review)” from the title. […]
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