Boy, by Roald Dahl

Second paragraph of third chapter:

But here again, I can remember very little about the two years I attended Llandaff Cathedral School, between the age of seven and nine. Only two moments remain clearly in my mind. The first lasted not more than five seconds but I will never forget it.

A rather charming short autobiography of Roald Dahl’s childhood: he was the son of a Norwegian immigrants to Wales; his father died when he was only three; he attended boarding school from the age of nine to eighteen; and the book ends with him getting a job with Shell and going to Africa. It’s not a particularly remarkable childhood, but the background of grim uncertain interwar Britain is conveyed very well, and there are some memorable passage about sweets (including the inspiration for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and the horrible environment at Repton School in Derbyshire, where physical beatings were administered by the headmaster, a future Archbishop of Canterbury. It’s a reflective but also humorous and passionate short book, intended for the younger reader, and will be appreciated by them I think.

This was the most recently acquired book that I hadn’t particularly tagged when adding it to my catalogue but on reflection looked worth a try. Next up on that list is a bit different: the Dictionary of Methodism by John A. Vickers.