Boekverslag : Roald Dahl - Tales Of The Unexpected
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Man from the south: from Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected

Number of pages

11 (282 in total)

Date of first publication


Choose from

Novel / Novella / Short Stories / Play

Value given to this book


Explain the title

The story involves the narrator, a Boy and a man somewhere from South-America, who is rather strange.

Who tells the story?

The I-figure.

Where does the story take place? Does the setting play a decisive role in the story?Explain.

Jamaica, but that doesn't matter because it is mentioned only once and it doesn't involve the story.

When does the story take place? (If you are not sure about the exact dates, guess by fifty years, e.g. 1600-1650, etc.) Does it really make any difference (to the story) in which time it takes place? Why do you think so?

I think the story takes place during the 70's, because that's when the story is told and nothing else indicates another time.

How much time passes between the beginning and the end of the story? Indicate the amount of time.

One day.

Which part of the book did you find most interesting or fun? Why?

The end, as the title (of the book) says it is quite unexpected, that's what makes the end fun.

Which part of the book was very bad or very uninteresting, according to you? Explain why.

Not one part, but I think that is because the story is only 11 pages so it has to be told very short.

Suppose you had to choose: which character in the book would you like to be? Why this particular character?

I wouldn't want to be a character from the story because I know to little about them.

Mention one character from the book you dislike, or could eventually dislike? Why?

Nobody because (as I said) I know to little about them.

Compare the main character(s) of the beginning of the story to those same characters at the end of the book. Have they / Has he or she changed? Have they / Has he or she learnt or achieved anything?

I think only the I-figure has achieved a remarkable story, but he hasn't learned anything.

Could you indicate what kind of story/ play this is? You can choose more than one option.

[ ] love story [ ] science fiction

[ ] adventure [ ] detective/thriller

[ ] (auto)biography [ ] philosophical

[ ] historical subject [ ] comedy

[ ] lifestyle [ ] tragedy

[ ] fantasy/fairy tale [X] A story......

Is it possible to indicate a turning point in the story; a point from which things clearly start to change? Try to describe it.

No, things in the story don't really change.

Do you feel the author has tried to teach you or explain something to you by writing this book? If so, what? Or has he/she only tried to entertain you?

The author has only tried to entertain.

Were you satisfied about the ending of the book? Explain your answer. If you were not satisfied with it, could you explain how you would have expected it to end (more or less)?

The ending was de best, because it was unexpected and quite funny.

Would you recommend this book to anyone? Why? If you were to give this book a mark, what would it be.

I would recommend it. Mark: 8



Mike Schofield is always betting with Richard Pratt during dinner about wine. Mike gives Richard a glass of wine and Richard has to guess what the exact name of that wine was. One day, Mike is certain that Richard can't guess the wine he has now and he is willing to place the hand of his daughter as his bet. Off course she doesn't want that, but reluctantly, she accepts. And while Richard is tasting and searching for the right country, district, commune, vineyard etc., Mark is getting nervous because he thinks Richard can't possibly know the name. When Richard has guessed the exact name, it turns out to be right, but then Mark finds out he knew all along, hence his wife says "Keep calm now, Micheal, dear! Keep calm!"

Lamb to the slaughter

Mary malony was waiting for her husband to come home, and when he does, he tells her he is leaving her. When Mary came in the dining room with supper, a leg of lamb, she is so angry that she lifts the leg and beats her husband to death. Right after that, she goes to the grocery and has a chat with the grocer, acting as though nothing has happened. When she comes back she calls the police and acts like a sad widow, but the police can't find anything. When she offers them the leg of lamb, they accept, and while eating it, a policeman says "I think the answer is right under our noses".

Man from the south

The narrator is somewhere in Jamaica and watches a remarkable bet between an US sailor and a strange man probably somewhere from South-America. The bet is that the Boy has to light his lighter ten times without failing, if he succeeds, he gets a Cadillac, but if he loses, his little finger on his left hand is to be cut off. When he agrees the go to the man's appartment, the narrator as a witness. When they're in the middle of the bet, a woman comes rushing in and makes her husband cease the bet. When the narrator looks at her hand, he sees she has only one finger and a thumb.

My lady love, my dove

Arthur's wife doesn't like the people who are coming to play bridge in their house. She wonders what they think about them, so she comes up with the idea to tap their room. Reluctantly, her husband does it. When they arrive they begin to play, and Arthur and his wife lose. When they all go to bed, his wife can't wait to hear them, and they hear that they have secret codes for telling their cards to one another, and because his wife mistaked once, her husband is very mad, so they are going to practise in their room. When Arthur's wife hears this, she immediately suggests that they should do that too.

Dip in the pool

Mr. Botibol is alone on a cruise, where their is being held a bet about how long it takes for the boat to arrive at a certain place. In a action, he buys a time for two hundred pounds. But when the next morning he wakes up, he sees the ship is going too fast, so he's thinking for a plan to slow the ship down. He decides to jump from the boat, but there has to be someone around off course. To make sure a person who is standing on the deck is not deaf nor blind, he has a chat with her. He tells her he has to exercise now and walks away, then when he jumps overboard and shouts for help, the woman thinks he is doing his exercises and walks away.

Galloping Foxley

The I-person always travels by train, and always sits alone in his cabin until one day someone sits by him and he doesn't like it. For fifteen years nobody has done that, but his voice sounds familiar. Then he finds out the voice is from a Bruce Foxley, or Galloping Foxley as they used to call him. He used to beat him on school. He tells about the nasty time he was picked on, teased and beaten by this Boy. So, he thinks, this is a wonderful time to get even with him. As he tells with him about what happened between them, he would be humiliated, he thinks. When he meets him and says "hi I'm Perkins and I was at Repton in 1907" Foxley says "glad to meet you, my name is Fortescue - Jocelyn Fortescue. Eton, 1916".


Drioli thinks about the time when the famous painter Soutine lived with him, and when he, in a drunken mood, had Soutine paint and then tattoo a picture of his wife on his back. When he walks along he comes across a store with paintings from Soutine and enters. But when the shop owner sees him he asks him to leave because he looks poor. But Drioli refuses and shows the painting to the people there. They begin to offer to remove the skin or to exhibit it with the man attached to it. But when one man offers a great deal, he accepts and, as the story tells, he was apparently mislead because he had 'passed away' after five months.


When the narrator visits the big house of Sir Basil Turton to visit it and look at the art in his house and garden, he notes that Basil's wife is not very nice, but Basil is. When they go to the garden for a walk, they see his wife with another man, kissing and photographing her. Then they see her being stuck with her head through a wooden hole. When the butler, who doesn't like her, arrives with a saw and an axe, he slightly holds the axe up higher, but Basil knows what he wants and hesitates, but he picks the saw.

Nunc dimittis

Lionel is dating Janet for a while now and when he takes Gladys Ponsonby home from a party she tells him about a painter, who paints his subjects naked first, and then with clothes. After that she tells him that Janet thinks he's a bore. So in order to get even Lionel thinks of a scheme to let the painter make a painting of her and he leaves the town, when he returns he buys the painting without anyone knowing it. Then he takes off the top paint so that you see her naked. Then he invites everyone for a dinner at his house. He leaves the room dark with a few candles. When he turns the light on, everybody sees Janet naked on the picture and Lionel runs to another city. But then he founds out Janet didn't find him a bore at all and she is sorry if she upset him in any way.

The landlady

Billy Weaver has to choose from staying at a expensive hotel, or a cheap house, he takes the house and notes there are only two guests in the guestbook. So he asks The landlady about this. She verifies that. He remembers the two persons lightly and asks The landlady again about them but she tells him they were the only two guests in 6 years.

William and Mary

William Pearl left a letter to his wife which explained a strange experiment of keeping his brain alive when he is dead, he describes the whole process and asks her to go and see him even though she is against it. When she does she wants to take him home but the doctor says she can't do that, but Mary doesn't seem to hear this and is already planning things to do with her 'husband'.

The way up to heaven

Mrs Foster has a strange fear of being late for a train or boat etc. When she is going to Paris to visit her daughter, her husband seems to deliberately slow the trip down, but when they arrive at the airport, they see the plain has a delay until the next morning. So Mrs Foster drives back home and the next morning her husband asks if she could drop him of at 'the club'. But he wants his wife to give her daughter a present, but he can't find it so he goes back in the house. Then she sees the present between the car seats. She wants to tell her husband but he locked the door, and because of her urge, she leaves for the airport. And when she comes back for Paris she lets a repairman for the stairs come and waits patiently for him now her husband has gone.

Parsons Pleasure

Mr Boggis has a weird way of making a living, he searches farms for old furniture which is valuable. But instead of telling the owner that, he offers a few pounds. One day he sees a chair which is worth ten thousand pounds and very cunning he manages to buy it for 20 pounds, he told the owners that he needs the chair for the legs to put on another chair. So when he gets his car to put the chair in, the owners take the legs off by saw and smash the rest into peace's because they think it can't fit in his car because 'parsons (as he introduced himself) never have big cars', though Mr Boggis owns a station wagon.

Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's coat

Mrs Bixby is having an affaire with a colonel whom she sees once a month. Her husband doesn't have a clue about this. One day the colonel gives mrs Bixby a mink coat, probably worth a couple of thousands of pounds. She can't let her husband see the coat so she takes it to the pawnbroker and says she needs money until Monday because she lost her wallet, so she gives her coat without giving her name or description. At home she tells she found the ticket and she would Monday collect the item, but Mr Bixby insists he would collect it, his wife agrees. When she sees it Monday, it is not a coat but a mink necklace. She is baffled until she sees Mr Bixby's assistant walking with the coat.

Royal jelly

Albert and Mabel have a child who is refusing to eat properly, so they are worrying. Then Albert, who is fond of bees, reads an article about the substance which is given to new born larvae for three weeks exept for the queen, who gets it all her larva period. He gets the idea to put some Royal jelly as it is called in the baby's food because the article says it's very nutritious. His wife doesn't like it at all, especially when Albert says "cover her up, we don't want our queen to catch a cold".

Edward the conqueror

When Louisa and Edward are sitting for a bonfire when they see a cat who apparently seems to like the music of Liszt when she plays it on the piano, but her husband doesn't like it at all because she is beginning to think that Liszt has reincarnated in a cats body. When Louisa made dinner for the cat she sees Edward coming back from the bonfire and gets really scared.....
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