Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


The Fantastic Mr Dahl

Came across this article (and this one) yesterday morning. I met Roald Dahl once when I was a child. He was doing a book signing in Kenny’s bookshop in Galway and my parents brought us along. You had to buy a book if you wanted to meet him. I bought the only book by him in the shop that I’d hadn’t read already: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. The book itself was pure shite, a fact that has since forever retroactively tainted the memory of our meeting for me. Each child had been given a small card on which to write their name, so the author knew how to greet us when the time came. My older sister signed her name in joined writing. I didn’t reall know how to do joined writing, but I was fucked if I was letting her beat me. So I improvised. When I was put in front of him, he had no idea what was written on my card and didn’t know what to call me. He looked cross.

He was an old man, not particularly friendly and wearing a pair of flaired green corduroy trousers. I’d never seen flaired green corduroy trousers. Those are my only memories of the encounter, the green corduroy trouser and the fact that he was cross. A few months later we heard on the radio that he was dead.

August 9th, 2010.

12 Responses to “The Fantastic Mr Dahl”

  1. Dolly Says:

    Holy crap do you think your crappy joined writing might have been what killed him?

  2. Paul Says:

    And now your crappy blog piece has killed his widow Patricia Neal. Are you satisfied?

  3. Ger Says:

    Think carefully before you reply. Your next move could have serious consequences for the granddaughter what’s her face..

  4. Eoin Says:

    I will reserve comment so!

  5. darragh Says:

    Man, the great glass elevator was rubbish wasn’t it? I had forgotten about it until reading this Eoin; must have supressed the memory. I now recall it being like the liner notes of a very ropey prog rock concept album with loopy squid monsters and fuck all funny bits.

  6. darragh Says:

    PS. the picture of Roald Dahl is Paedo-rific.

  7. Eoin Says:

    Yeah, awful muck. Far too many outlandish space creatures and no story to speak of. I was so disappointed.

  8. Lisa Says:

    Coincidentally I re-read Going Solo last week. One of those “children’s” books that’s actually far more enjoyable as an adult.

  9. Lisa Says:

    Oh and by the way in a sort of inverse-recommendation way, I’m not going to see Inception tonight with my housemates on the grounds of how much it was panned on here. Better not be missing out.

  10. Eoin Says:

    Loved that book when I read it Lisa, which was practically decades ago at this point. Must dig it out again.

    Re: Inception. Smart move. Just had lunch with my friend Mark. Not only did he hate it, but he’s henceforth using people’s opinion on it as a sort of gauge to sort men from boys.

    It may be the first time we’ve agreed on anything. I’ve clearly become a man.

  11. Eoin Says:

    P.S. Lisa – you still owe me after convincing me to watch Hot Tub Time Machine!

  12. Lisa Says:

    Yes well I’ve gained a new measure of respect for your opinions since you’ve taken to the outdoors.

    Hmm, not sure how to atone for the Hot Tub Time Machine recommendation. How about other children’s classics about the Second World War, or indeed wartime in general? I was very into that whole sort of thing when I was younger. Absolutely adored The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier.

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