Quotes by Roald Dahl
Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Roald Dahl. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.
Dahl was born in Wales to Norwegian immigrant parents. He served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War. He became a fighter pilot and, subsequently, an intelligence officer, rising to the rank of acting wing commander. He rose to prominence as a writer in the 1940s with works for children and for adults, and he became one of the world's best-selling authors. He has been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century". His awards for contribution to literature include the 1983 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement and the British Book Awards' Children's Author of the Year in 1990. In 2008, The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of "The 50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945". However, he and his work have been criticised for antisemitism, racism and misogyny.
Dahl's short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children's books for their unsentimental, macabre, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters. His children's books champion the kindhearted and feature an underlying warm sentiment. His works for children include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG, The Twits, and George's Marvellous Medicine. His adult works include Tales of the Unexpected.
A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.
I don't want a grown-up person at all. A grown-up won't listen to me; he won't learn.
I don't want a grown-up person at all. A grownup won't listen to me; he won't learn. He will try to do things his own way and not mine. So I have to have a child. I want a good sensible loving child, one to whom I can tell all my most precious candy-making secrets-while I am still alive.
I signaled the bus-driver and he stopped the bus for me right outside the cottage, and I flew down the steps of the bus straight into the arms of the waiting mother.
If I had my way, I would remove January from the calendar altogether and have an extra July instead.
It was slowly beginning to dawn upon Henry that nothing is any fun if you can get as much of it as you want. Especially money.
Fairy tales have always got to have something a bit scary for children -- as long as you make them laugh as well.
Well, maybe it started that way. As a dream, but doesn't everything. Those buildings. These lights. This whole city. Somebody had to dream about it first. And maybe that is what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it.
It's very difficult to phone people in China, Mr President,' said the Postmaster General. 'The country's so full of Wings and Wongs, every time you wing you get the wong number.
Bunkum and tummyrot! You'll never get anywhere if you go about what-iffing like that. Would Columbus have discovered America if he'd said 'What if I sink on the way over? What if I meet pirates? What if I never come back?' He wouldn't even have started.
Television rots the senses in the head!
It kills imagination dead!
It clogs and clutters up the mind!
It makes a child so dull and blind
He can no longer understand
A fantasy, a fairyland!
His brain becomes as soft as cheese!
His powers of thinking rust and freeze!
He cannot think -he only sees!
Words', he said, 'is oh such a twitch-tickling problem to me all my life. So you must simply try to be patient and stop squibbling. As I am telling you before, I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiff-squiddled around.
I regard each sentence as a little wheel... Now and again I try to put a really big one next to a very small one in such a way that the big one, turning slowly, will make the small one spin so fast that it hums. Very tricky, that.
The picture showed a nine-year-old boy who was so enormously fat he looked as though he had been blown up with a powerful pump.
The President said a very rude word into the microphone and ten million children across the nation began repeating it gleefully and got smacked by their parents.
Most of the really exciting things we do in our lives scare us to death. They wouldn't be exciting if they didn't.
By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.
But there was one other thing that the grown-ups also knew, and it was this: that however small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance is there. The chance had to be there.
When you're old enough to write a book for children, by then you'll have become a grown up and have lost all your jokeyness. Unless you're an undeveloped adult and still have an enormous amount of childishness in you.
Then suddenly, he was struck by a powerful but simple little truth, and it was this: that English grammar is governed by rules that are almost mathematical in their strictness!
If I were a headmaster, I would get rid of the history teacher and get a chocolate teacher instead and my pupils would study a subject that affected all of them.
The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives.
The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.
You ignorant little slug! the Trunchbull bellowed. You witless weed! You empty-headed hamster! You stupid glob of glue!
Do you like vegetables? Sophie asked, hoping to steer the conversation towards a slightly less dangerous kind of food. You is trying to change the subject, the Giant said sternly. We is having an interesting babblement about the taste of the human bean. The human bean is not a vegetable.
Now that I am alone, I don't have to hide it; I don't have to hide anything any longer. I can let my face go because no one can see me; because there's twenty-one thousand feet between me and them... No, I don't have to press my teeth together or tighten the muscles of my jaw.
Whipped cream isn't whipped cream at all if it hasn't been whipped with whips, just like poached eggs isn't poached eggs unless it's been stolen in the dead of the night.
A girl should think about making herself look attractive so she can get a good husband later on. Looks is more important than books, Miss Hunky... The name is Honey, Miss Honey said. Now look at me, Mrs Wormwood said. Then look at you. You chose books. I chose looks.
Matilda said, Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable.
Titchy little snapperwhippers like you should not be higgling around with an old sage and onions who is hundreds of years more than you.
I is reading it hundreds of times,' the BFG said. 'And I is still reading it and teaching new words to myself and how to write them. It is the most scrumdiddlyumptious story.' Sophie took the book out of his hand. 'Nicholas Nickleby,' she read aloud. 'By Dahl's Chickens,' the BFG said.
There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity; maybe it's a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews. I mean there is always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn't just pick on them for no reason.
Everything and all of them were being rattled around like peas inside an enormous rattle that was being rattled by a mad giant who refused to stop.
The Alexander Technique works... I recommend it enthusiastically to anyone who has neck pains or back pain.
Oh where, oh where had Snow White gone?
She'd found it easy, being pretty
To hitch a ride into the city.
And when he put his mind to it, he could make his words coil themselves around and around the listener until they held her in some sort of a mild hypnotic spell.
A witch is always a woman. I do not wish to speak badly about women. Most women are lovely. But the fact remains that all witches are women. There is no such thing as a male witch.
The walls were wet and sticky, and peach juice was dripping from the ceiling. James opened his mouth and caught some of it on his tongue. It tasted delicious.
Do you know what breakfast cereal is made of? It's made of all those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners!
I is a dreamblowing giant, the BFG said. ... I is scuddling away to other places to blow dreams into the bedrooms of sleeping children. Nice dreams. Lovely golden dreams. Dreams that is giving the dreamers a happy time.
Kindness -- that simple word. To be kind -- it covers everything, to my mind. If you're kind that's it.
When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: A stodgy parent is not fun at all! What a child wants -- and DESERVES -- is a parent who is SPARKY!
If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.
Meanings is not important, said the BFG. I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.
The more risks you allow your children to make, the better they learn to look after themselves.
The more risks you allow children to take, the better they learn to take care of themselves. If you never let them take any risks, then I believe they become very prone to injury. Boys should be allowed to climb tall trees and walk along the tops of high walls and dive into the sea from high rocks... The same with girls. I like the type of child who takes risks. Better by far than the one who never does so.
There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you'll be free if you truly wish to be.
A whizzpopper! cried the BFG, beaming at her. Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping if forbidden among human beans?
When I walked to school in the mornings I would start out alone but would pick up four other boys along the way. We would set out together after school across the village green.
Hey, my spaghetti's moving! cried Mr. Twit, poking around in it with his fork.
It's a new kind, Mrs. Twit said, taking a mouthful from her own plate which of course had no worms. It's called Squiggly Spaghetti. It's delicious. Eat it up while it's nice and hot.
The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves.
The Greeks have a trick of disguising a poor quality wine by adding pine resin to it, the idea being that the taste of the resin is not quite so appalling as the taste of the wine. We drank retsina because that was all there was.
All grown-ups appear as giants to small children. But Headmasters (and policemen) are the biggest giants of all and acquire a marvellously exaggerated stature.
Never mind about 1066 William the Conqueror, 1087 William the Second. Such things are not going to affect one?s life...but 1932 the Mars Bar and 1936 Maltesers and 1937 the Kit Kat -- these dates are milestones in history and should be seared into the memory of every child in the country.
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly.
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall.
You seemed so far away, Miss Honey whispered, awestruck.
Oh, I was. I was flying past the stars on silver wings, Matilda said. It was wonderful.
We make realities out of our dreams and dreams out of our realities. We are the dreamers of the dream.
The matter with human beans, the BFG went on, is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles.
As the night gets dark, let your worries fade. Sleep peacefully knowing you've done all you can do for today.
If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn't go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him.
Pear Drops were exciting because they had a dangerous taste. All of us were warned against eating them, and the result was that we ate them more than ever.
Nobody gets a nervous breakdown or a heart attack from selling kerosene to gentle country folk from the back of a tanker in Somerset.
My father was a Norwegian who came from a small town near Oslo. He broke his arm at the elbow when he was 14, and they amputated it.
I was a fighter pilot, flying Hurricanes all round the Mediterranean. I flew in the Western Desert of Libya, in Greece, in Syria, in Iraq and in Egypt.
All through my school life I was appalled by the fact that masters and senior boys were allowed quite literally to wound other boys, and sometimes very severely.
All Norwegian children learn to swim when they are very young because if you can't swim it is difficult to find a place to bathe.
I go down to my little hut, where it's tight and dark and warm, and within minutes I can go back to being six or seven or eight again.
Unless you have been to boarding-school when you are very young, it is absolutely impossible to appreciate the delights of living at home.
Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For those two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.
I do have a blurred memory of sitting on the stairs and trying over and over again to tie one of my shoelaces, but that is all that comes back to me of school itself.