Du har kost deg med Charlie og sjokoladefabrikken du også? Roald Dahls vidunderlig skrudde verden? Det er 20 år siden han døde. Donald Sturrock har skrevet en biografi: Storyteller. Han forsøker å forstå hvordan en mann kan utvikle seg til en vennlig, sadistisk barnebokforfatter. Neste gang du beklager deg over din skjebne, kan du minnes dette:
Dahl had an idyllic childhood until the age of 3, when his older sister suddenly died and was followed, weeks later, by her heartbroken father. This was the beginning of a toxic tsunami of bad luck that would toss Dahl around for the rest of his life. When he was a boy, his nose was cut off in a car accident. (A doctor sewed it back on.) Then he was shipped off to boarding school in England, where he suffered all the traditional miseries. In World War II, he became one of the RAF’s most promising pilots—only to crash his plane, on his first official day of flying, in the Libyan Desert. As he lay there fighting for consciousness—his skull fractured, his spine wrenched out of place, his eyes swollen shut by burns, his poor reattached nose driven back into his face—his airplane’s machine guns, stoked by the heat, started shooting at him…
When Dahl became a parent, the bad luck continued. In New York, his 4-month-old son was hit so hard by a taxi that his baby carriage flew 40 feet and slammed into a parked bus, shattering his skull. (He survived, barely.) Two years later, Dahl’s 7-year-old daughter died of a rare brain inflammation after getting measles. Then his 39-year-old wife, the actress Patricia Neal, had an aneurysm and fell into a coma for three weeks.
Anbefales neppe som oppskrift på godt forfatterskap.