My Uncle Oswald Background

My Uncle Oswald Background

One of acclaimed British author Roald Dahl's books written for adults, My Uncle Oswald (originally published in 1979), tells the story of the eponymous Uncle Oswald, who one day discovers that the so-called "Sudanese Blister Beetle" has tremendous powers for sexual health. To that end, he decides that he ought to steal the semen of great and powerful and intelligent men and sell them to women who want to have incredibly intelligent children.

When it was released, My Uncle Oswald received mostly positive reviews. Kirkus Reviews, for example, thought that the book was simply okay. In their review, they wrote that "Roald Dahl's first full-length adult fiction is immaculately phrased, crisply turned, and terribly disappointing." They also wrote that the book is "Mildly entertaining ribaldry, then, dotted with famous men in heat—a classy enough Rabelaisian diversion, but not the grabber of a novel that Dahl's fans might have hoped for." Novelist and essayist Vance Bourjaily reviewed the book more kindly, writing that " What can be said is that "My Uncle Oswald" provides four or five hours of effortless reading and some amusing scenes, mostly of the kind film makers have taught us to call soft porn—so soft, indeed, that at times they turn out almost fluffy. The leer is civilized... the dialog gets mean and raunchy, but the physical detail is kept decorous.... Mr. Dahl's guests are not invited to vicarious orgy, then, nor will they hear a disguised lecture by a wicked satirist of morals and manners.... Summer reading."

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