Margot Mifflin
August 23, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Skin And Other Stories

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Roald Dahl
publisher
Viking
genre
Short Stories, Fiction

We gave it an A

Although this collection of previously published stories was compiled for teenagers graduating to adult fiction, Skin and Other Stories will also seduce grown-ups with its nefariously nimble wit. Dahl, who wrote both short stories and children’s books (notably ”Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”), was a champion of ingenious pranks and revealing deceptions. In ”Lamb to the Slaughter” — famously adapted as an episode of ”Alfred Hitchcock Presents” in 1958 — a jilted wife kills her husband, then cooks and serves police the murder weapon, a frozen leg of lamb.

”The Champion of the World,” also filmed, follows two imaginative poachers who drug, steal, and hide pheasants in a baby carriage — until the the birds wake up, take flight, then alight near the thieves like a feathery indictment. ”Skin and Other Stories” is a posthumous treat from a devilishly funny author.

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