My Uncle Oswald

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My Uncle Oswald
RoaldDahl MyUncleOswald.jpg
First edition
Author Roald Dahl
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Publisher Michael Joseph (UK)
Publication date
October 1979
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 222 pp. (hardback edition) * 208 pp. (paperback edition)
ISBN ISBN 0-7181-1864-2 (hardback edition) & ISBN 0-14-005577-0 (paperback edition)
OCLC 5310105

My Uncle Oswald is an adult novel written by Roald Dahl.

The novel stars Uncle Oswald, a character who previously appeared in "The Visitor" and "Bitch", two short stories also written by Roald Dahl (and which can be both found in the book Switch Bitch).

In his 1980 review, Vance Bourjaily said:[1]

What can be said is that "My Uncle Oswald" provides four or five hours of effortless reading and some amusing scenes, mostly of the kind film makers have taught us to call soft porn—so soft, indeed, that at times they turn out almost fluffy.

The tone is that of a gentleman telling ribald anecdotes to his male guests after dinner. The leer is civilized... the dialog gets mean and raunchy, but the physical detail is kept decorous.... Mr. Dahl's guests are not invited to vicarious orgy, then, nor will they hear a disguised lecture by a wicked satirist of morals and manners.... Summer reading.

Christopher Lehman-Haupt called it "a festival of bad taste that is at heart so innocent that we soon forgive it and enjoy ourselves," "thoroughly juvenile fun," and said "I haven't had so much fun of this sort since my last all-night joke-telling session at summer camp."[2]

The nameless narrator has revealed snippets of the lovable, lascivious Uncle Oswald's life in other collections, but this is the only novel—brief though it is—dedicated solely to the diaries of "the greatest fornicator of all time." Inspired by stories of the aphrodisiac powers of the Sudanese blister beetle, the palpable seductiveness of the lovely Yasmin Howcomely, and the scientific know-how of Professor A. R. Woresley, Uncle Oswald anticipates the concept of the Nobel sperm bank by some 40 years, flimflamming crowned heads, great artists, and eccentric geniuses into making "donations." The life of a commercial sperm broker has a few surprises even for a sophisticated bon vivant, and Dahl manages his signature sting-in-the-tail ending even in one of his lightest comic works. Dahl's novel was published in 1979.

Plot summary[edit]

Oswald discovers the world's most powerful aphrodisiac and with the aid of a female accomplice they place the aphrodisiac inside chocolate truffles made by Prestat of London. By this means, the accomplice seduces the world's most famous men, with the intent of selling their semen to women wishing to be impregnated by them. (The semen is collected via condoms.)

Victims of Oswald's plot (in order of appearance in the book)[edit]

Oswald's accomplice tried to use the aphrodisiac on King Haakon of Norway, but her plan misfires when she accidentally eats the aphrodisiac carrying chocolate she intended to serve the king. She gets thrown out of the king's castle after she falls into a temporary state of nymphomania and tries to rape him.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bourjaily, Vance (1980), "Civilized Ribaldry," The New York Times, April 20, 1980, p. BR4
  2. ^ Lehman-Haupt, Christopher (1980), "Books of the Times," The New York Times, April 29, 1980, p. C9

External links[edit]