BOOK REVIEWS

Going Solo Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-04-02 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 454 user ratings
ISBN:0140103066
LANGUAGE:English

" I don't give many books a 3 star rating but at least it is a 'I liked it' rating. I think this is a good book for a young chapter book reader who is into war. It captures Ronald Dahl's life as a fighter pilot and this side of it was interesting. Other than the fact that it as about Ronald Dahl it tended to become repeatitive - for me. My daughter found the same but I think my son will love it. So mixed feeling about this one. " said.

"I liked it, but didn't love it as much as Boy. Going Solo is from when he was 22 and further on. It basically tells his story from when he was working for Shell and then fought against the Germans. Mostly it was about fighting against the Germans and is one of the reasons why I didn't like it as much. I think it mostly had to to do with the fact that he described the planes etc. too much and the events as well, so the story felt flat to me. Maybe I would have liked it more if he described more feelings or other personal issues during that time. Still worth the read though. " said.

"When I was a teenager this felt like an epic read.
Now all grown up(some might disagree)
it doesn't feel as long as I thought it was but it doesnt change how great it is to read Dahls representation of the world around. His way with words and what he picks up on and presents to the reader lead to such an interesting and fun read. All in all the book only represents a small portion of his fascinating life but it draws you in.
His aerial battle scenes are so well written, never glamourising but still exciting.
So glad I revisted this book from my childhood.
" said.

"Dang, this guy had a crazy life! I really enjoyed the stories of his time in Africa, although the ones about snakes kind of freaked me out at times. It was interesting to get a snapshot of late British colonialism in Africa as well - it's easy for me to forget that it wasn't that long ago that Europe was sticking its fingers everywhere on that continent and elsewhere. Dahl's adventures in World War II, especially in Greece, were seriously intense, with numerous close shaves and narrow escapes. I kept thinking to myself how glad I was that he didn't die there, because then we would have missed out on all the books he would go on to write. The narration was also excellent, although now my mental picture of Roald Dahl as a young man looks like Dan Stevens, even though I went and looked Dahl up to find pictures from his RAF days." said.

"heh. recommended to me by Miriam, who noticed that it wasn't on my Flying shelf. That's because I read it long before I set up my Goodreads account! Dahl's account of the Battle of Athens is one of my touchstones - the desperation and exhaustion of the RAF pilots, their relative cluelessness about what's going on everywhere else, the hands that shake too much to hold a cigarette when you're back on the ground - it's incredibly vivid and has influenced my own writing. The rest of the book is jaw-dropping too, for its evocation of 1930s Kenya and Empire life there. Going Solo is perhaps not Dahl's most lauded piece of writing but it's certainly the one I recommend most often.

There! On my flying shelf now!
" said.

" The book Going Solo is full of exciting, breathtaking, suspenseful, and defiantly worth reading. This book is about a young mans life and all of his adventures. The one thing that I really like about this book is that the fun never stops. First they talk about his adventures traveling with the Shell Oil company, and how he went to Africa and ran into many obstacles on his way.
The second half of this book gets even better. Roald Dahl enter the Air force and encounters many different situations of life and death and is just lucky enough to come out alive. Another thing I love about book Going Solo really goes into detail when it comes to the dogfights with the Germans and Roald Dahl. He explains what it is like to be thousands of feet in the air spinning, turning, and having bullets fly by you. He expresses really well about how he feels when he is flying, or even after he has shot down his first plane. All in all the book Going Solo is one that I would not suggest skipping.
" said.

"جنگ جهانی دوم، از نگاه یه انگلیسی جوان خلبان.
بعضی قسمتهاش جالب بود.
***
رولد دال برای کار در شرکت نفت میره آفریقا. جنگ جهانی دوم شروع میشه و انگلیسی های جوانِ ساکن آفریقا رو میکنن افسر ارتش. روزی که شروع جنگ رسما اعلام میشه، رئیس دال بهش میگه بره تو جاده جلوی راه آلمانی هایی که قصد فرار دارن رو بگیره و اسیرشون کنه. (آلمانی هایی که تو آفریقا زندگی می کردن و غیرنظامی بودن.) دال میگه تعدادشون زیاده، اگه مسلح بودن چی؟ رئیسش میگه با مسلسل کلکشون رو بکنید، با مسلسل میشه 500 تا مرد مسلح رو درو کرد. دال میگه اگه زن و بچه همراهشون بود چی؟ رئیسش میگه ابتکار عمل با خودته!
خلاصه میره تو جاده می ایسته و موفق میشه جلوی فرارشون رو بگیره و اسیرشون کنه (و البته این وسط یه آلمانی هم کشته میشه.)
شب میره خونه، می فهمه خدمتکار آفریقایی ش وقتی شنیده جنگ شروع شده، رفته با شمشیر (!) سر آلمانی همسایه شون رو قطع کرده. دال شوکه میشه، ولی چیزی بهش نمیگه؛ «نمی خواستم او را به خاطر کاری که انجام داده بود سرزش کنم. او یک آفریقایی وحشی بود که به دست ما اروپایی ها در قالب خدمتکاری خانگی درآمده بود و حالا قالب را شکسته بود.»
خب معلومه کاری که اون آفریقایی کرده برای ما خیلی وحشیانه و غیرمعمول به نظر میاد، اما نکته جالب اینجاست؛ اون وقتی که رئیسش بهش میگه اگه مجبور شدی 500 تا مرد غیر نظامی رو بکش، حتی اگه همراه زن و بچه بودن، دال قبول میکنه و میره ماموریتش رو انجام بده، اما در مقابل کشته شدن یه آلمانی این طوری شوکه میشه. چون قرار بوده اون مردها خیلی تمیز و شیک با مسلسل کشته بشن! و به دست یه انگلیسیِ باکلاس، نه یه آفریقاییِ خدمتکارِ وحشی!
***
دال خلبان جنگ میشه. یه جا ماموریت داره بره یه زمینی تو فلسطین رو بررسی کنه ببینه برای فرودگاه شدن مناسبه یا نه. میرسه اونجا می بینه یه مزرعه بزرگ ه که یه زن و مرد با 40-50 تا بچه یتیم اونجا زندگی میکنن. مرد میگه ما یهودی های تبعیدی هستیم.
از او پرسیدم: این زمین مال شماست؟
گفت: هنوز نه.
پرسیدم: یعنی امیدوارید که بتوانید آن را بخرید؟
او مدتی ساکت مرا نگاه کرد و بعد گفت: در حال حاضر این زمین متعلق به یک کشاورز فلسطینی است، اما به ما اجازه داده که در اینجا زندگی کنیم و برای تامین خورد و خوراکمان، کشت و زرع کنیم.
از او پرسیدم: پس شما و این بچه ها از اینجا به کجا می روید؟
او لبخندی زد و گفت: ما به جایی نمی رویم، همینجا می مانیم.
گفتم: پس همه تان فلسطینی می شوید، شاید همین الان هم فلسطینی هستید؟
او بدون رودربایستی، دوباره لبخندی زد و گفت: نه، فکر نمی کنم که فلسطینی شویم... وقتش شده که ما هم برای خودمان یک کشور داشته باشیم...
" said.

"Following on from Boy, Going Solo was another tremendously important book to me as a child. Where I could relate to his boyhood tales in some way, the next part of his life was a complete window to another world. Read then it was extraordinary and magical; read now I appreciate it on different levels entirely.

Dahl mentions how lucky he felt to have witnessed the later days of colonial Britain and the people that made the empire. All negative issues relating to Colonialism aside (I'm not going to go there and neither does Dahl) I completely understand what he means. The first half detailing his time in Africa working for the Shell Company is brilliant; a window to a life that no longer exists, with long boat journeys, quirky slightly mad Englishmen (and ladies) abroad, the culture and way of life. It's clearly romanticised; a big adventure, but then it's portrayed with such vigour and love that you can see the appeal to a fresh faced early-20 year old. I would have loved it (and probably still would). As a boy it made me dream of African countryside, baking suns, lions, deadly snakes and a different world.

The second part, detailing his experiences in the war as a pilot is equally enthralling though very different in tone. This was my first exposure to the second world war in any real way (back at primary school in the late-80s - we didn't cover the wars until secondary school and my subsequent interest developed a few years after that) and Dahl makes it all seem jolly exciting. Almost over before he began, his initial adoration of flying is powerfully detailed before his (more truthfully documented) account of the crash that put him in hospital for 6 months.

After, we have a series of raids and dogfights which become somewhat mechanical and repetitive in nature but still hold the interest. I wonder now though, whether his emphasis on a jolly adventure isn't quite as truthful as it could be; he states a few times that looking back he wonders why he wasn't more scared. I wonder the same. The horrors of war only really peak through at times and I suspect this was him writing for a younger audience.

Put together though, both Boy and Going Solo are wonderful books for children to open their eyes to different types of stories and worlds. Dahl's relaxed narrative envisages a cosy fire and glass of whiskey, reminiscent of an afternoon with your granddad. Equally of interest to the adults too.
" said.

June 2018 New Book:

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