All of Roald Dahl’s Books in Order!
Who is Roald Dahl?
The author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda or The BFG, Roald Dahl was a celebrated british novelist and beloved children’s books author.
When he was young, he attended Repton School in Derbyshire, where he dreamed of inventing a new chocolate bar to win the praise of a certain Mr. Cadbury, the owner of the Cadbury chocolate factory. There was then no sign of a great literature career, as one of his english teachers wrote “I have never met anybody who so persistently writes words meaning the exact opposite of what is intended.” But it didn’t stop Dahl obviously, who had a passion for litterature, an interest in photography and was a sportman (he played cricket, football, golf and squash).
Before becoming a celebrated author, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, became a fighter pilot, an intelligence officer, an acting wing commander. He rose to prominence as a writer in the 1940s, and he invented a lot of words in his books. He is also one of the man behind the Wade-Dahl-Till valve, prompted by the need to alleviate the head injuries endured by his son after an accident in New York.
Considered one of “The 50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945” and referred as “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century”, it’s the moment to remember that Roald Dahl was a writer of his time in a way. His works are known for their unexpected endings, their macabre, championing the kindhearted, and also have been criticised for antisemitism, racism and misogyny.
How to Read Roald Dahl’s Books in Order?
The Roald Dahl Novels
- The Gremlins (1943) – Adult book. The Gremlins is the story of Gus, a British World War II fighter pilot, who during the Battle of Britain turned to look out on the wing of his plane only to see an amazing sight: a little man, no more than six inches tall with horns growing from his head, drilling a hole in the plane’s wing. Gus was the first man to ever see a Gremlin, and what happened after that would change the war, and the world, forever.
- Some Time Never (1948) – In 1943, RAF pilot Peternip discovers a Gremlin or miniature being, drilling holes on the wing of his aircraft, so he sets off with his squadron to unearth the story behind them. Many years ago gremlins were the rulers of the world, but they were forced underground by the spread of humanity and have spent the time since then planning their revenge.
- James and the Giant Peach (1961) – After James Henry Trotter’s parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. Inside, James meets a bunch of oversized friends-Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the great adventure begins!
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) – Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!
- The Magic Finger (1966) – To the Gregg family, hunting is just plain fun. To the girl who lives next door, it’s just plain horrible. She tries to be polite. She tries to talk them out of it, but the Greggs only laugh at her. Then one day the Greggs go too far, and the little girl turns her Magic Finger on them. When she’s very, very angry, the little girl’s Magic Finger takes over. She really can’t control it, and now it’s turned the Greggs into birds! Before they know it, the Greggs are living in a nest, and that’s just the beginning of their problems…
- Fantastic Mr Fox (1968) – Someone’s been stealing from the three meanest farmers around, and they know the identity of the thief-it’s Fantastic Mr. Fox! Working alone they could never catch him; but now fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded. What they don’t know is that they’re not dealing with just any fox-Mr. Fox would rather die than surrender. Only the most fantastic plan can save him now.
- Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (1972) – Last seen flying through the sky in a giant elevator in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie Bucket’s back for another adventure. When the giant elevator picks up speed, Charlie, Willy Wonka, and the gang are sent hurtling through space and time. Visiting the world’’ first space hotel, battling the dreaded Vermicious Knids, and saving the world are only a few stops along this remarkable, intergalactic joyride.
- Danny, the Champion of the World (1975) – Danny has a life any boy would love-his home is a gypsy caravan, he’s the youngest master car mechanic around, and his best friend is his dad, who never runs out of wonderful stories to tell. But one night Danny discovers a shocking secret that his father has kept hidden for years. Soon Danny finds himself the mastermind behind the most incredible plot ever attempted against nasty Victor Hazell, a wealthy landowner with a bad attitude. Can they pull it off? If so, Danny will truly be the champion of the world.
- The Enormous Crocodile (1978) – The Enormous Crocodile is incredibly hungry-and incredibly greedy. His favorite meal is a plump, juicy little child, and he intends to gobble up as many of them as he can! His is sure that his “secret plans and clever tricks” cannot be foiled. But when the other animals in the jungle join together to put an end to his wicked schemes, the Enormous Crocodile learns a lesson he won’t soon forget.
- My Uncle Oswald (1979) – Adult book. Meet Oswald Hendryks Cornelius, Roald Dahl’s most disgraceful and extraordinary character . . . Aside from being thoroughly debauched, strikingly attractive and astonishingly wealthy, Uncle Oswald was the greatest bounder, bon vivant and fornicator of all time. In this instalment of his scorchingly frank memoirs he tells of his early career and erotic education at the hands of a number of enthusiastic teachers, of discovering the invigorating properties of the Sudanese Blister Beetle, and of the gorgeous Yasmin Howcomely, his electrifying partner in a most unusual series of thefts . . .
- The Twits (1980) – Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the smelliest, nastiest, ugliest people in the world. They hate everything-except playing mean jokes on each other, catching innocent birds to put in their Bird Pies, and making their caged monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads all day. But the Muggle-Wumps have had enough. They don’t just want out, they want revenge.
- George’s Marvellous Medicine (1981) – George is alone in the house with Grandma. The most horrid, grizzly old grunion of a grandma ever. She needs something stronger than her usual medicine to cure her grouchiness. A special grandma medicine, a remedy for everything. And George knows just what to put into it. Grandma’s in for the surprise of her life-and so is George, when he sees the results of his mixture!
- The BFG (1982) – The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants-rather than the BFG-she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!
- The Witches (1983) – Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories-but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!
- The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me (1985) – The Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company certainly doesn’t. They don’t need a pail, either, because they have a pelican with a bucket-sized beak. With a monkey to do the washing and Billy as their manager, this business is destined for success. Now they have their big break-a chance to clean all 677 windows of the Hampshire House, owned by the richest man in all of England! That’s exciting enough, but along the way there are surprises and adventures beyond their wildest window-washing dreams.
- Matilda (1988) – Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!
- Esio Trot (1990) – Mr. Hoppy is in love with his neighbor, Mrs. Silver; but she is in love with someone else-Alfie, her pet tortoise. With all her attention focused on Alfie, Mrs. Silver doesn’t even know Mr. Hoppy is alive. And Mr. Hoppy is too shy to even ask Mrs. Silver over for tea. Then one day Mr. Hoppy comes up with a brilliant idea to get Mrs. Silver’s attention. If Mr. Hoppy’s plan works, Mrs. Silver will certainly fall in love with him. After all, everyone knows the way to a woman’s heart is through her tortoise.
- The Vicar of Nibbleswicke (1991) – The Reverend Lee is suffering from a rare and acutely embarrassing condition: Back-to-Front Dyslexia. It affects only his speech, and he doesn’t realize he’s doing it, but the parishioners of Nibbleswicke are shocked and confused by seemingly outrageous comments. At last a cure is found and the mild-mannered vicar can resume normal service. Or at least as normal as is possible for a man who must walk backwards to be sure of taking forwards!
- The Minpins (1991) – Billy’s mum says he must never go out through the garden gate and explore the dark forest beyond. So, one day, he does exactly that! There Billy meets the amazing Minpins, tiny people who live inside the hollow trees. But the Minpins are in danger. The terrible, galloping Gruncher stalks the forest, and the Minpins are disappearing in their thousands. Can Billy find a way to destroy the hungry beast, once and for all–or will it gobble him up too?
Roald Dahl’s Short Stories
- Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying – Drawing on his own experiences as a fighter pilot, Dahl crafted ten spine-tingling stories: of air battles in the sky; of the nightmare of being shot down; the infectious madness of conflict; and the nervy jollity of the Mess and Ops room.
- Someone Like You – A collection of Roald Dahl’s short stories for adults. A wife serves a dish that baffles the police; a harmless bet suddenly becomes anything but; a curious machine reveals a horrifying truth about plants; and a man lies awake waiting to be bitten by the venemous snake asleep on his stomach.
- Kiss Kiss – Eleven devious, shocking stories from the master of the unpredictable, Roald Dahl.
- Switch Bitch – Four tales of seduction and suspense. Topping and tailing this collection are “The Visitor” and “Bitch,” stories featuring Dahl’s notorious hedonist Oswald Hendryks Cornelius (or plain old Uncle Oswald) whose exploits are frequently as extraordinary as they are scandalous. In the middle, meanwhile, are “The Great Switcheroo” and “The Last Act,” two stories exploring a darker side of desire and pleasure.
- The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More (1977) – Meet the boy who can talk to animals and the man who can see with his eyes closed. And find out about the treasure buried deep underground. A cleaver mix of fact and fiction, this collection also includes how master storyteller Roald Dahl became a writer. With Roald Dahl, you can never be sure where reality ends and fantasy begins.
- Two Fables (1985) – Two Fables is a slim volume containing two stories (The Princess and the Poacher and Princess Mammalia) written by Roald especially for this collection.
- Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life: The Country Stories of Roald Dahl (1989) – Whether it is taking a troublesome cow to be mated with a prime bull; dealing with a rat-infested hayrick; learning the ways and means of maggot farming; or describing the fine art of poaching pheasants using nothing but raisins and sleeping pills, Roald Dahl brings his stories of everyday country folk and their strange passions wonderfully to life.
All the short stories are collected in two volumes, in The Complete Short Stories Volume One (1944 to 1953) and The Complete Short Stories Volume Two (from 1954 to 1988)
Roald Dahl’s Poems
- Revolting Rhymes (1982) – A re-interpretation of six well-known fairy tales, featuring surprise endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after finishes.
- Dirty Beasts (1983) – Nine poems telling of the unusual exploits of unsuspecting real animals (save for the Tummy Beast, who is made up).
- Rhyme Stew (1989) – 15 poems that are either parody well known fairy tales or are little stories thought up by Dahl himself.
- Songs and Verse (2005) – Seven sections bursting with rhymes about monsters, magical creatures, gruesome children, ghastly adults as well as a few unusual surprises.
Roald Dahl’s Non-fiction (autobiography, cookbooks, diary and more)
- Boy: Tales of Childhood (1984) – Find out where the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG got all his wonderful story ideas in this autobiographical account of his childhood! From his own life, of course! As full of excitement and the unexpected as his world-famous, best-selling books, Roald Dahl’s tales of his own childhood are completely fascinating and fiendishly funny. Did you know that Roald Dahl nearly lost his nose in a car accident? Or that he was once a chocolate candy tester for Cadbury’s? Have you heard about his involvement in the Great Mouse Plot of 1924? If not, you don’t yet know all there is to know about Roald Dahl. Sure to captivate and delight you, the boyhood antics of this master storyteller are not to be missed!
- Going Solo (1986) – Superb stories, daring deeds, fantastic adventures! Learn all about Roald Dahl’s encounters with the enemy, his worldwide travels, the life-threatening injuries he sustained in a plane accident, and the rest of his sometimes bizarre, often unnerving, and always colorful adventures. Told with the same irresistible appeal that has made Roald Dahl one of the world’s best-loved writers, Going Solo brings you directly into the action and into the mind of this fascinating man.
- The Roald Dahl Cookbook (1991) – also known as Memories with Food at Gipsy House. A collection of recipes with a mixture of anecdotes covering Roald Dahl’s family, his childhood, and his happiness at home with Liccy, his wife, and their numerous children, grandchildren and friends.
- Roald Dahl’s Guide to Railway Safety (1991) – A guide written for young people to help them use the railways safely.
- My Year (1991) – Based on a diary Dahl wrote during the final year of his life
- Revolting Recipes (1994) – a practical guide to making delicacies featured in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Roald Dahl’s other books.
- The Roald Dahl Treasury (1997) – Includes portions of his autobiography, notes written prior to the publication of Esio Trot, and an assortment of unpublished work, such as Christmas cards, personal letters, and songs.
- Even More Revolting Recipes (2001) – An amusing cookbook provides young readers of all ages easy-to-follow recipes to unusual but edible dishes, including Boiled Slobbages and Grobswitchy Cake.
- More About Boy (2008) – In Boy, Dahl recollected scenes from his youth―some funny, some frightening, all true. More About Boy is the expanded story of Roald Dahl’s childhood, with his original text augmented by never-before-seen material from behind the scenes, and some of the secrets that were left out.
- Completely Revolting Recipes (2009) – Completely Revolting Recipes features fifty recipes from some of Roald Dahl’s famous stories – including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Twits, The BFG and Matilda – brought up-to-date from the earlier books Revolting Recipes and Even More Revolting Recipes.
Roald Dahl as an Editor
- Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories (1983) – a collection of ghost stories chosen by Roald Dahl.
If you like Roald Dahl, you may also want to see our Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events reading order, or our guide to Dr Seuss. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.