By Margot Mifflin
Updated August 18, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT
Advertisement

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. Roald 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. A

Comments