A Critic's Meta Review: 5/5

Lamb To The Slaughter by Roald Dahl (REVIEW)

Who knew the guy who wrote James And The Giant Peach could write something as dark as a story about a woman who murders her police detective husband with a leg of lamb and then feeds the aforementioned murder weapon to his unsuspecting colleagues on the force after feigning astonishment and calling them over to investigate the scene?

Well, I certainly didn’t expect anything like this from Mr. Willy Wonka. This is not to say that I am shocked or surprised by it - after all, noted children’s poet and prominent bald man (it is up to you to determine which of those facts is most interesting) Shel Silverstein used to write for Playboy magazine back in the day, which probably would have made the articles interesting enough to warrant digging through one of those relics from a bygone era of sensual stimulation.

They didn’t just make the internet for playing chess against Macedonians online (though I, personally, am immensely grateful that this option is available to me).

Nevertheless, let us return to the story. I have got to say, I am beginning to grow more appreciative of simple language and straightforward storytelling as opposed to ornate descriptions and convoluted narratives. In fact, whenever I encounter the latter these days, I can’t seem to shake the stench of self-indulgence. It all just seems like pointless frippery to me.

If something is worth saying, it is worth saying in a way so we can all understand it. Otherwise, are you really even saying anything at all? Or are you just writing just for the sake of impressing yourself? There isn’t anything wrong with that...just don’t kid yourself, mate.

So kudos to you, Roald Dahl, for remaining committed to the art of telling great stories we can all get a little something out of. And let this be a lesson to all you aspiring scribes out there:

Keep it simple, stupid.

A story can make you think without making you scratch your brain. It can make you feel without making you feel like putting it away. And it can make you want to share it with others purely because it entertained you and you know it will entertain them as well, not because you might come across as a bit more cultured or intelligent for having read it.

It’s a story, not a notch on your belt. Read it, enjoy it, and then go on living your life.


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