Sunday, December 18, 2011

Going Solo (Memoir)

     By Roald Dahl

     Roald Dahl continues to chronicle his young adult life in another memoir entitled Going Solo. Dahl continues to recount his life where he left off in his memoir Boy. His adventures take him to East Africa where he begins working for the Shell Oil Company and continues to his enlisting with the Royal Air Force. He recounts his flight training days and the assignments he had to perform. One harrowing experience recounts an accident Dahl had as he was landing at night on a desert airstrip. The plane hit a boulder and burst into flames. Although Roald survived, his career as a pilot would be forever changed. He did recover, but would be plagued with the complications of the accident for many years later. 

Going Solo is jam packed with photos of Dahl's adventures in Africa and his time in the RAF. He also continues to write to his beloved mother. The letters included in the book are a personal insight into the strong relationship between mother and son. 

Going Solo could easily be used to broach the subject of World War II. Dahl writes, “shortly after eleven o’cock the tinkle of the field telephone made everyone jump. The voice on the other end said to me, ‘Great Britain has declared war on Germany. You are now on full alert.’ Then he rang off. I told the Sergeant to get all his men into their positions.” 

Although not as witty and engaging as Boy, Going Solo has moments that many children and adults will love. Military buffs will be immediately drawn to the build up to the Second World War, while those hardcore Dahl fans will appreciate his humor and intelligence as he documents his exciting quests as a young adult. 

Roald Dahl--Flight Training in Nairobi

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