Going Solo (No. 49) Published 1 December 2019
Roald Dahl Going Solo
  • Pages: 236
  • Format: 110 x 170mm
  • Illustrations: B/W Photographs
  • Publication date: 01/12/2019
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Genre: Memoir
  • Binding: Cloth hardback
  • Trimmings: Coloured endpapers; silk ribbon, head- & tailband; gold blocking to spine; blind blocking to front
  • NB: Hand-numbered limited edition of 2,000
  • ISBN: 9781910898369
  • Foreword: Henry Jeffreys
  • Number in SFE series: 49
Made in Britain

Going Solo (No. 49) Published 1 December 2019

Roald Dahl

From£17

SF Subscriber Prices

UK & Ireland £17 *save £1.50
Overseas £19 *save £1.50

Non-Subscriber Prices

UK & Ireland £18.50
Overseas £20.50
  • Gift wrap available
  • All prices include P&P. Overseas rates & subscriber discounts will be applied once you have selected a shipping type for each item during the checkout process.
  • Pre-order
NB Please note Going Solo will be published on 1 December 2019 and dispatched for that date.
Order Now
● If you are a current subscriber to the quarterly your basket will update to show any discounts before the payment page during checkout ● If you want to subscribe now and buy books or goods at the member rate please add a subscription to your basket before adding other items ● Gift wrap, messages and delivery instructions may be added during the checkout process ● If you need help please send us a message using the form in the bottom left of your screen and we’ll be in touch as soon as we’re back at our desks.
Description

The close of Roald Dahl’s childhood memoir Boy saw him setting off for Africa in 1938 to work for Shell, ecstatic at the thought of the freedom and adventure that lay ahead. ‘What a prospect that was! I was off to the land of palm-trees and coconuts and coral reefs and lions and elephants and deadly snakes . . . I couldn’t wait.’

Africa certainly didn’t disappoint. Going Solo finds Dahl travelling the dirt roads of Tanganyika in an old station wagon visiting distant and often eccentric Shell customers, the people who quite literally kept the machinery of Empire running. It was a headily independent life and full of incident – the wife of a District Officer’s cook was carried off by a lion but survived unharmed and the Shell garden boy was very nearly dispatched by a lethal black mamba. When war broke out Dahl’s manservant Mdisho, who came from a warrior tribe, beheaded an unpopular German sisal-owner with Dahl’s antique sword.

But did he really? We shall never know, but Going Solo is largely based on the letters Dahl sent to his adored mother Sofie, which were no doubt written to entertain. The second half of the book opens with Dahl’s 600-mile drive to Nairobi in his little Ford Prefect to enlist in the RAF. Since he was 6ft 6in, training as a fighter pilot was excruciating – his knees were near his nose – but he approached it with his usual can-do enthusiasm. Flying solo in 1941 to join his new squadron, and misinformed about its whereabouts, he crashed in the Western Desert and suffered horrendous injuries, but five months later he was up and off again to join the tiny British force attempting to defend Greece. Dahl was clearly a brilliant pilot, and his account of what it was like to confront the enemy from the cramped cockpit of a Hurricane, with minimal training in how to fly it, is stomach-churning.

Going Solo is a marvellous read. As well as being a story of extraordinary courage, it’s also a haunting evocation of the unspoiled beauty of East Africa in the 1930s and its now extinct breed of expatriates, ‘the craziest bunch of humans I shall ever meet’.



Related articles Reviews

Comments & Reviews

Leave your review

Similar Items