We all know Roald Dahl as the loveable writer of children’s stories like The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach. He would never write something as explicit as a story about a seductress who goes around the world stealing the sperm of famous men, or how a cheating spouse finds out that she’s also being cheated on, right?

Except that he did. The former Playboy writer (I heard they have very good articles) wrote a whole slew of adult stories, both in novel and short story form, that are certainly not good bedtime stories for kids. They range from the raunchy to the macabre, and are some of the most twisted tales you’ve ever heard. We’ve summarised his 5 most adult stories here for you.

You’ll never think of Roald Dahl in the same way again!

1. My Uncle Oswald

My Uncle Oswald. Credit: Jim Tierney Art & Design

My Uncle Oswald. Credit: Jim Tierney Art & Design

In this novel, the titular Oswald stumbles upon the world’s most powerful aphrodisiac. Rather than using it to help our beleaguered country increase birth rates, he teams up with a seductress to steal the sperm of the world’s greatest men, in the hopes of selling all that sperm for a fortune in 40 years’ time. It’s rife with synonyms for the male reproductive organ, and yet it somehow doesn’t come across as crass. This is why Roald Dahl is such an amazing author.

It’s available at most libraries too!

2. Royal Jelly

Royal jelly looks kind of gross. Credit: Healthy Food House

You’ll never look at royal jelly the same way again after reading this short story. Credit: Healthy Food House

This creepy short story is about a bee keeper, his wife, and their sickly newborn. The baby girl eventually recovers thanks to copious amounts of royal jelly, which has the unexpected side effect of making her more bee-like. The wife eventually realises that the bee keeper himself has ingested a lot of royal jelly as well, because they had trouble conceiving for a very long time.

It ends with her describing the yellow, bee-like hairs on his neck. Nothing is ever said out loud in the story, and it’s the slow realisation of what the bee keeper has done that makes your hairs stand.

3. Mrs Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat

Mink. Credit: Etsy

Mink. Credit: Etsy

This is the classic story of how the conman gets conned. Mrs Bixby is having an affair with a wealthy lover, but when she breaks it off, he gives her a beautiful mink coat as a parting gift. However, she soon realises that it’s impossible to bring home because it’s far too expensive for her to have bought it on her own.

Mrs Bixby comes up with a brilliant plan – she pawns it off and receives a pawn ticket in return, then goes home to her husband and excitedly tells him about the pawn ticket she stumbled upon, with the expectation that he’ll use the pawn ticket to claim the mink coat and give it to her. Her husband takes the ticket and returns with a pathetic mink scarf, and Mrs Bixby soon sees that his secretary is wearing her beautiful mink coat.

Wonder why she didn’t just claim the mink coat herself with the pawn ticket though? It would have saved her a lot of trouble.

4. The Hitchhiker

Get a ride. Credit: The Wire

Get a ride. Credit: The Wire

 

This is a story that needs a great deal of reflection to realise why it’s so messed up. A man picks up a hitchhiker and later gets caught for speeding. However, he learns that the hitchhiker is an accomplished pickpocket and has stolen the traffic policeman’s ticket book and other items.

It sounds like a story of one good turn does another, doesn’t it? Except that closer inspection shows us that we’ve got our morals all inverted in this tale. The pickpocket/hitchhiker is presented as a pleasant fellow and the traffic policeman as an irritating lout, but it’s the pickpocket who is the villain of the tale. Who knows how many more people he will go on to steal from?

When you realise how your morals have been manipulated by perception, you’ll be astounded at how perverted your principles became for this story.

5. The Great Automatic Grammatizator 

The Great Automatic Grammatizator. Credit: Audible

The Great Automatic Grammatizator. Credit: Audible

This last story is especially pertinent to writers. It’s about a man who realises that the rules of grammar are almost mathematical in nature, and sets out to build a machine that can write stories using grammatical rules. He eventually fine tunes the machine and starts ghost writing for writers worldwide, while paying them a fee to be able to use their name on the books the machine churns out.

It’s eventually revealed that the world’s literature is now produced by the machine, and the one last writer who has not succumbed to the machine is the narrator of the story. But with debts closing in, he may no choice but to agree to let the man use his name for the books the machine writes.

The BFG. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

The BFG. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

If you’re worried that The BFG is something like that, fret not! It’s a children’s classic about a giant who befriends a young girl. Thanks to their friendship, the world is saved from a dire threat, and it’s a heartwarming tale of the power of friendship. Unlike the stories mentioned above, The BFG is a tale suitable for all ages.

Catch The BFG in theatres, then read the book after that!