Going Solo by Roald Dahl

Going Solo

I read this after I finish Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. I have actually finished reading it two weeks ago but I have no time to write its review.

This book is a recommendation of my friend, Wulan who loves Dahl’s works. I didn’t know that it’s an autobiography. To be honest, I rarely read autobiography but I can easily said that Roald Dahl’s Going Solo is very interesting…although I have to say I like the first half more.

Young Roald Dahl went to North Africa for a job in an oil company. He shared his story on the boat heading to Africa. I really like his stories here, the people on the boat were a bit weird but funny. My favorite is definitely the woman that doesn’t want to touch her food with his gingers because fingers are dirty. I also like the story of the man he shared cabin with…that was incredibly hilarious, it made me laugh so loud. I won’t share what’s the deal with that man because that’ll be a huge spoiler.

Dahl arrived on Africa where he had to learn Swahili. His short life in Africa was really memorable. I like the way he shared about the natives and the animal behavior there. The story about the lion is most definitely my favorite of all…it was just too bizarre and funny at the same time.

Things began to change when the war began, Dahl’s love for his country made him volunteered to be a war pilot. He left his job and trained to be a fighter pilot. An accident happened before he faced the German. He had to fight in Greece where German terribly outnumbered them. The rest of the book is about him in the war.

Like I have said above, the first half is much better than the second half. I found the part where he was in the war a bit boring and monotone…Maybe it’s because I was in the mood for funny stuff instead of sad stuff when I read the book. I enjoyed the part when he was in Africa way more when he became a fighter pilot.

One of the things that makes me a bit reluctance to read autobiography is because the writer tends to brag about him/herself (that’s one of my pet peeve when I read Revolt in Paradise), however I am glad that Dahl was much like Stephen King, he didn’t mentioned much about him the hero or savior or the day…he shared more about people around him (he shared him too but not in a bragging way)…and for that, I truly admire him.

Have you read this book?

Pages: 209 pages
Rating: 4 stars

14 thoughts on “Going Solo by Roald Dahl

  1. Ah that’s the one you’ve read. I’ve got that and wanted to include it in my readalong but then I thought it’s probably not enough about war. I might reconsider it now.
    To be honest, I’ve never read a memoir or autobiography in which someone brags about himself. I wouldn’t enjoy that.

    1. Oh…I think this suit your war readalong, he explained the war in Greece as a pilot pretty well and he also mentioned the agony of turning from civilian to officer when the war started.
      Oh I have read one, she didn’t brag in a clear way but the implication is really all about her good deeds

  2. I haven’t read this, but you’ve piqued my curiosity. I think I would like the war part since I studied WWII in grad school. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

    1. Glad this makes you curious 🙂 it’s quite easy to find especially in the place where you live. I think you will also like the non-war part because it pictures the live of native Africans in that year.

  3. I’d never heard of it until now. I think I’d probably like the first half better, too, as I always enjoy humor. I can see how a war section might be a bit monotonous. War is the epitome of “hurry up and wait.”

    1. I honestly thought everyone has read Road Dahl’s book and knows about this one. I guess I am not that far behind after all 🙂

      The humour is really good and that is exactly what the war part is about, hurry up ad wait.

  4. If you’re in the mood for funny stuffs, try reading the Prequel of this book: Boy Tales of Childhood. Dahl in his school days was pretty mischievous 😉 I recommended Going Solo because it’s got the travel theme that reminded me a bit of Trinity (The Naked Traveler). I’m glad you (partially) liked it 🙂

    1. Ah…I have a friend then 🙂
      This is my second book of his and the first was about a month ago. I finally decided to read his books because we have plenty on school’s library 🙂

  5. How wonderful, this sounds. 209 pages isn’t too much for me (!) 🙂

    You don’t really like autobiographies? Curious. I very seldom read fiction, I love autos.

    This looks great. I clicked on your friend’s link & am now headed over there. He sounds interesting, simply because he recommended this book.

    1. I like imaginary story, the more creative it is the more I like it…that’s why I love Stephen King.

      My friend is a she 😉 she used to be my student, after graduatian she is my friend.

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