ABOUT THE BOOK Roald Dahl is considered by many to be one of the best children's writers of the 20th century. Just a few of his most famous works include, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches and The BFG. Dahl was a fantastically imaginative writer, whose characters include a cigar-smoking grandmother and an eccentric chocolate factory owner. The world that Dahl created is both dark and fanciful:terror lurks in the shadows, but hilarity reigns, a delicious combination that makes Dahls books equally enjoyable for adults and children. In addition to his children's books, Dahl also had a successful career writing short stories for adults that were known for their dark humor and surprise endings. Roald Dahl was born in Wales to Norwegian parents. Dahl's mother told Norwegian folk tales and legends to her children when they were young, and the sorcery and magic of the stories stimulated the imagination of the young author. Dahl later said that the grandmother character in The Witches was based on his own mother. EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK During his years as a flying ace and bachelor, Roald Dahl was known among his friends as a womanizer. At six foot five, Dahl was a handsome young man in uniform who attracted a lot of female attention. According to the article, "Roald Dahl: the spy who loved me," Dahl was frank about the nature of his relationships. In a revealing 1949 article for Ladies' Home Journal about the nature of desire, he tried to analyse what made relationships work, speculating that most were built 70 percent on sexual attraction and only 30 percent on mutual respect. Consequently, he argued, short-lived affairs, not marriage, formed the best basis for such activity. To some, this cold-blooded, rather reductive view of human relations was an unattractive aspect of his personality." On July 2nd, 1953, Dahl married the beautiful American actress, Patricia Neal.