This is exactly the kind of book I remember doing book reports on in high school. I never read these stories, but I remember the “genre” of “classic” short stories. I suppose all students of all time periods refer to the ways around a hundred years ago as “classic.” Alas, I shall continue the tradition. I may have only ever read “The Landlady,” which was not included in this collection. Nonetheless, it cemented in my mind, along with his Hollywood successes, Dahl’s basic style. The dust jacket describes his claim to fame as “fiendishly clever short story collections for adults” and that does a fine job of summing him up.
My favorites were “Skin,” “An African Story,” and “The Champion of the World.” The last one even borders on humorous, a charming story of hubris where the ending gotchya isn’t creepy at all, but puts a wide smile on your face nonetheless. I am sure this kind of book is the perfect gateway to lead young adults into the world of adult literature, and will remain so for decades to come at least.