Read it now : "Man from the South"
By Roald Dahl
From Classic Short Stories
Genre : Twisted.
Word Count: 4,000 approx.
Roald Dahl is famous for his childrens stories. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which has twice been made into a film, James and the Giant Peach, and The Witches, which have also been filmed, to mention a few. People familiar with these stories will know that a certain grimness pervades them. Charlie, for instance, is slowly starving to death when he wins the lottery that brings a lifetime's supply of lollies. In The Witches, the happy ending is that the old woman is nearing the end of her life, and her grandson is transformed into a mouse, which has a short lifespan anyway, and so they will both go out together.
Children love Roald Dahl books. Sure, they read Harry Potter as well, but when children who read are over the thrill of the sporting hero wizard, they go back to Dahl. I read that somewhere.
Given the twisted grimness of his childrens stories, imagine what he might write for adults.
In "Man From the South", people gamble for body parts. What makes Dahl's story interesting is that his characters are not driven by anything other than their own psychoses. It is from his famous collection of short Stories, Tales of the Unexpected, of which a TV series was made. Does anyone else remember that final scene in "A Dip In the Pool" as the man overboard watches the cruise ship moving relentlessly, unmindfully, away. The build up in "Man From the South" gives the final words a similar impact.
Read it here