Roald Dahl may be the writer of gross-out and macabre tales for children but he also wrote darker, more delightfully grotesque and adult short stories such as this collection Kiss Kiss, along with his other adult short story collection Tales of the Unexpected.
Written in 1960 – there are turns of phrase that are delightfully quaint to hear but this is still absolutely a timeless book. There is pitch black humour, a strange sense of menace to the stories, long shadows and unusual characters who find themselves in absolutely outrageous and unsettling situations. You will laugh, gasp and cough up your coffee (or whatever your poison is) while you read this. After reading all of Dahl’s children’s books and loving them as a child, when I found this collection at age 14 I devoured it and was practically frothing at the mouth wanting more. Without giving too much away the stories are all classics but my favourite was Royal Jelly. Kiss Kiss is like Franz Kafka’s short stories on steroids and LSD.
• The Landlady (1959): A short story
• William and Mary (1960) A novelette
• The Way Up to Heaven (1954) A short story
• Parson’s Pleasure (1958) A novelette
• Mrs Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat (1959) A short story
• Royal Jelly (1959) A novelette
• Georgy Porgy (1959) A novelette
• Genesis and Catastrophe (1959) A short story
• Edward the Conqueror (1953) A short story
• Pig (1959) A short story
• The Champion of the World (1959) A novelette