Boekverslag : Roald Dahl - Going Solo
De taal ervan is Engels en het aantal woorden bedraagt 1280 woorden.

About the book:

This book is an autobiography which Roald Dahl writes 40 years after date. It’s the sequel of ‘Boy’. In ‘Going Solo’ he writes about the things he has experienced from 1938 till the end of 1941.

Roald Dahl is about 23 years old in this book and he is a bit off a daredevil. He is friendly and he wants to enjoy himself. Dahl, of course, is the main character. There

aren’t many other important characters; Mdisho and David are two of his best friends and then there is also his mothers, to which he writes many letters. Mdisho is

his friend and ‘helping-hand’ when he’s in Africa. David is a soldier, like Dahl. He gets to know David in Greece.


In autumn 1938 Roald Dahl went with the boat from England to Africa which took about two weeks. Dahl worked for the Shell Oil Company. In Africa he was

supposed to supply the machines of Shell customers with petrol and oil. He had a nice job, made long journeys through Africa. Together with some colleges he lived

in a nice house. They had a cook, a gardener and each of them had there own servant (in the book called their ‘Boy’). The Boy of Dahl is Mdisho. They became very

good friends. Many Germans lived in Tanganyika, the land where Dahl was staying.

It isn’t really safe out there. One day he sees a black mamba gliding to Salimu, another Boy. He shouts to Salimu. Salimu gets his rake and hits the mamba on the

middle of the neck and so he killed it. Another day his cook’s wife is almost eaten by a lion. But again they were very lucky. They shoot the lion and they notice that

the lion didn’t harm the cook’s wife. And another accident with a mamba occurs, a green mamba this time. On a Sunday evening he‘s invited to the house of an

Englishman called Fuller, for a sundowner (watching and enjoying the sun go under while drinking a snifter). When he arrives there, he sees the snake gliding into the

house. He warns Fuller. The ‘snake-man’ comes and he gets the mamba. Nobody is hurt accept for the dog, he’s bitten and he didn’t survive the bite.

Mdisho wanted to do something nice for Dahl. He takes the sword, which Dahl had bought somewhere, and he runs with it for four hours until he reaches the house of

a German. There he finds the German in the garden and Mdisho cuts off his head. Very proud he returns to Dahl.

When the Second World War was very near Dahl was ordered to become the officer of a group trained soldiers. With this group he had to lock the Germans up, who

were trying to run away, as soon as the war was declared. Dahl succeeded in locking them up. Only one German got killed as he was threatening Dahl.

Dahl decided to stay in the war and so he quitted his job with Shell and joined the air force, the RAF. With the RAF he was trained for about six weeks, there he flew

solo with little airplanes. After that he was transferred to Habbanija in Iraq. His training took another six months and after it, he became a hunter. He was replaced

again, this time to the 80 Squadron to fight the Italian in the desert of Libya.

On his first assignment it went wrong already. He had to fly with his fighter aircraft, a Gladiator, to the base. But due to misinformation (they gave him the wrong

coordinates) he gets lost. He searched for a while to find the place where he had to be. He soon realised that he hadn’t got enough fuel to make it back and it would be

getting dark soon, so he took a forced landing. That went completely wrong. He couldn’t find a suitable, flat spot to land on, there were rocks everywhere. He tried,

but crashed. He managed to get out of his plane. He was injured very badly. The English, who had seen the smoke of the aeroplane, found him and brought him to a

hospital. His recovery took about 5 months, his face was unrecognisable, he had severe brain damage, he couldn’t see temporarily and so on…

They advised him not to fly again but he was persistent and he got back to the 80 Squadron. They weren’t in Libya anymore but in Greece. When he arrived in Greece

he was astonished! There were just 15 Hurricanes left. They had to resist to half off the air force of Germany. Dahl was inexperienced, he had never fought! He was

placed with David, a very friendly guy, who gave him some basic instructions. His first flight went well. He had to scare away six bombers and he even managed to

take one down.

On the 20th of April 1941, four days after his arrival in Greece, there were only twelve Hurricanes left. Despite of this, they were ordered to fly in formation. For the

first, all the planes were up in the sky together because on their previous flights, they always went solo. The reason why they went all together was to give the moral

of the habitants of Athens a boost. Suddenly there were over 200 hostile airplanes who surrounded them. Now it was everybody for himself. It was very chaotic.

People on the ground recorded four losses on the English side, six hunters returned to base. The losses on the German side were a lot bigger (about 20), because there

were so many German planes that they probably shot down accidentally some of their own side.

When David and Ronald were refreshing themselves after this battle, the Germans attacked their base on the ground. But no one was killed. The ground personnel left

the base that night and the pilots too left it at dawn. They had to go to a new base somewhere on the coast. They had to protect the boats of the marine against the

Germans. The new base was quickly discovered by the Germans. He knew they’d better get away before six, because that would be the time this plane needed to

organize the attack. But their officers didn’t allow them to get away before six o’clock. Dahl had to bring a parcel to their old base and deliver it to a guy named Carter.

It was a very important parcel, it mustn’t fall into the wrong hands! Dahl succeeded and quickly returned.

The others were ordered not to leave until Dahl flew over them, but they had their engines running for a quick getaway. Dahl was just in time because the German

weren’t far away anymore. They managed to get away, just one hunter was too late and shot down. Then they went searching the ships which they had to protect

against the Germans. But they couldn’t find them anywhere and so they returned. The little base was bombed by the Germans and only a few had survived this

attack. The five remaining Hurricanes were used by the most experienced fighter pilots to fly to Libya.

The others, including Dahl and David, were taken by a small passengers plane. In Mai 1941, the Germans had conquered Greece, Crete and Rhodes. They now wanted

Libya and Syria too. New Hurricanes arrived to help the English protecting the boats and fighting the “Vichy French”.

Four weeks later, the doctor advised him to stop flying, because he was having a lot of headache and sometimes he even got unconscious. Probably a result of his crash

in the desert of Libya. He was sent home. The boat that brought him back was attacked many times, but they were lucky. His mother had moved because the

Germans had bombed her house. Dahl managed to find her anyhow.

This is where the book ends.
Andere boeken van deze auteur:

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