Saturday, November 10, 2007

From the Shelves 6

As it is November, the month dominated by the most family oriented of all holidays Thanksgiving, I felt it only prudent to select a book that has something to do with family. To be fair, the connection to family is tenuous at best in My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl, but after reading it we can all either give thanks or bemoan the fact that he is not our Uncle Oswald.

Some of the more literate amongst you will recognize the author's name immediately, and you might assume that this is a children's book. You would be very, very, very wrong. My Uncle Oswald is the set up as the twentieth volume of Oswald's diary as published by some unnamed nephew. (It would have to be a nephew as no niece would brag about this man as her uncle.) Oswald is described on the back of the book as "aside from being thoroughly debauched, strikingly attractive and astonishingly wealthy, Uncle Oswald was the greatest bounder, bon vivant and fornicator of all time." And believe you me, Oswald lives up to that billing.

The book is raunchy, politically incorrect, naughty, decidedly odd, and hysterically funny. Basically take everything that makes one of Dahl's children's books so enjoyable, take out the creatures of fantasy, and mix in a great deal of sex and voila! While most people will be relieved that he is not their uncle, if you are anything like me, you will be a tad disappointed that this man never existed.

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