Though the title Boy might suggest that this is a book for children, the tales of Roald Dahl’s own childhood is wacky good fun that young adults will enjoy. Dahl briefly discusses his parents, but he concentrates on memorable incidents from his early childhood and school years.
Dahl discusses Mrs. Pachett, the dirty candy shop owner who always has an evil eye for small children. He and his friends seek revenge on her by putting a dead rat into one of the candy jars. Later, he is caned for this. In fact, he is caned several times during his school years, and discusses the cruelty of English public schools. When the boys wrote home, the headmaster would overlook their letters so that they could not say that they were being mistreated or that they hated their food, etc. The young, busty matron who keeps the boys in line is caught by Dahl in her room in an amorous embrace with a teacher. In a fit of homesickness, Dahl pretends to have an appendicitis attack.
Dahl reviews the good times as well. He especially loved his summers in Norway. Even frightening events are made funny, such as the time the family rode with the “Ancient Half-Sister” on her first automobile drive. She crashed the car, and Dahl’s nose was cut off, hanging by a piece of skin. On the whole, the book is a good laugh.