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From the bestselling author Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG comes an autobiographical account of his exploits as a World War II pilot! 

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.

About the Author

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by The Saturday Evening Post, and so began a long and illustrious career.

After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site:  www.roalddahl.com

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
785 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

MamaHippo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An unexpected treat
Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2020
My daughter decided we need to read ALL Roald Dahl books. I had not read this one as a kid. I learned so much about the history of World War Two and the history of the man. A remarkable story. Highly recommend for any fan of Roald Dahl or anyone interested in World War Two.
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Timothy J. Bazzett
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Terriffic story-telling from a charming guy
Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2008
Another writer once told me that one of the most important elements to be found in a memoir is a "likeable" narrator. Roald Dahl is perhaps one of the MOST likeable of narrators. Modest to a fault and blessed with a very sly and subtle sense of humor, the story Dahl tells... See more
Another writer once told me that one of the most important elements to be found in a memoir is a "likeable" narrator. Roald Dahl is perhaps one of the MOST likeable of narrators. Modest to a fault and blessed with a very sly and subtle sense of humor, the story Dahl tells in GOING SOLO, his sequel to BOY, is perhaps one of the most readable memoirs of modern times. His story of the quick and almost informal training he received at a flying school in Africa shortly after Great Britain entered WWII, is hair-raising and nearly impossible to believe, except you do believe, because you trust this man. At six foot six inches tall, Dahl was physically quite unsuited to be a fighter pilot, noting that when seated in the various planes he flew, his knees were nearly under his chin and he had to hunch over to fit beneath the plane''s canopy. But fly he did, even after surviving one horrific crash in the desert early on in his career as an RAF pilot. He sustained a very bad concussion (which was to come back to haunt him and finally "invalid" him out of service nearly two years later) and had his face bashed in. As he explained to his mother in a letter: "My nose was bashed in ... and the ear nose and throat man pulled my nose out of the back of my head and shaped it and now it looks just as before except that it''s a little bent about ..." Dahl went on to fly many combat missions in North Africa and Greece, usually against vastly superior odds, but somehow he managed to survive until the middle of 1941, when the migraine headaches caused by the aforementioned crash made him unfit for further flying. Dahl''s nearly laconic and completely unself-conscious manner of writing about the things he did - absolutely heroic things - made me think of Sam Hynes''s WWII memoir of his missions in the Pacific theater. Both writers downplay the importance of their roles. They never speak of heroics or derring-do, only about the importance of their comrades, doing the jobs they were trained to do and trying their best to simply stay alive. This was an enormously satisfying, moving and often hilarious tale. After reading these two slim volumes of memoirs by Dahl, I do wish he had written another. I have ordered his slim collection of stories about WWII already. What a wonderful writer - and gentleman - Roald Dahl was. - Tim Bazzett, author of SOLDIER BOY and LOVE, WAR & POLIO
10 people found this helpful
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D. B. Hopkins
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fine book; excellent writing
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2014
Fine book; excellent writing. This is the personal tale of a master storyteller with experiences that are ordinary, yet extraordinary. As a young man working in Africa, Dahl signs up for the air corps and finds himself flying planes he was never taught to fly in battles... See more
Fine book; excellent writing. This is the personal tale of a master storyteller with experiences that are ordinary, yet extraordinary. As a young man working in Africa, Dahl signs up for the air corps and finds himself flying planes he was never taught to fly in battles that were never planned to be. What is most exciting about this book is that real life is more dramatic than anything that a fiction writer could dream up. It is one of the top five books I have read this year, and would highly recommend it to anyone with a sense of adventure. It is hard to portray what it''s like to be up there in a Hurricane with enemy fighters after you, but Dahl does it with aplomb. I will wait a while and read this one again!
5 people found this helpful
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Jasmine Kang
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Exceptional couldn''t keep it down
Reviewed in the United States on March 6, 2021
I give it 5 stars for the beautiful writing. I was transported into the war and felt the excitement and trepidation a young person embarking on such a journey. The vividness of the scenery that Roald Dahl describes during his time in Africa, southern Europe and middle East... See more
I give it 5 stars for the beautiful writing. I was transported into the war and felt the excitement and trepidation a young person embarking on such a journey. The vividness of the scenery that Roald Dahl describes during his time in Africa, southern Europe and middle East captures the emotions of a young adventurer who is earnestly exploring his new environment and absorbing the experiences.
Absolutely love the book.
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M. WaterMelon
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent--And I Don''t Say That Lightly
Reviewed in the United States on May 19, 2017
Real life good reading. Funny, Compulsive, Driving, Observant. Dahl''s own story. I just kept reading and enjoying it. Almost like a book in two parts but he joins them well. One springs from within another. This man knows how to write. I was so grateful to find this book so... See more
Real life good reading. Funny, Compulsive, Driving, Observant. Dahl''s own story. I just kept reading and enjoying it. Almost like a book in two parts but he joins them well. One springs from within another. This man knows how to write. I was so grateful to find this book so well written and edited. Not an easy combo to find these days. Excellent, and I don''t say that lightly.
3 people found this helpful
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John Hazard Forbes
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Nothing Like Dahl''s Kiddie Books
Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2017
Remarkably good WWII memoir. Dahl here is nothing like his kiddie books. "Solo" is tough, honest, and often downright grim. No romanticized WWII ace flyer bunk here!.
5 people found this helpful
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Eddie Webster
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great Writing. Great Story.
Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2015
I loved these books, and I highly recommend them. Before I read Roald Dahl''s autobiographical books, "Boy," and "Going Solo," I thought that he wrote only children''s books. What a pleasant surprise ! He was a very talented writer who really knew... See more
I loved these books, and I highly recommend them.
Before I read Roald Dahl''s autobiographical books, "Boy," and "Going Solo," I thought that he wrote only children''s books. What a pleasant surprise !
He was a very talented writer who really knew how to tell a fascinating story, with all the wonderful details that keep a reader interested. I only wish he had written a complete autobiography.
2 people found this helpful
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amateco
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If you love planes and stories from WWII, just read it !
Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2016
A beautiful story told in first person because is a memoire and also the way in which Roald Dahl is involved throughout the book.The reader can see the daily struggle to survive and not let down the country and people . It is possible to feel the pain every time a Hurricane... See more
A beautiful story told in first person because is a memoire and also the way in which Roald Dahl is involved throughout the book.The reader can see the daily struggle to survive and not let down the country and people . It is possible to feel the pain every time a Hurricane crashed , the fellowship among them when they were landed . I love those stories of war and planes and this is one of the best , simple but moving
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Top reviews from other countries

PeeJay
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Highly engaging and well written account of Dahl''s WWII RAF experience
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 2, 2016
I chose a few eBooks to take on holiday, this was one I chose without any research other than the fact it had received such good reviews and it was only £1.99. Little did I realise that my holiday destination overlapped with some of those in the book. I went to Marmaris,...See more
I chose a few eBooks to take on holiday, this was one I chose without any research other than the fact it had received such good reviews and it was only £1.99. Little did I realise that my holiday destination overlapped with some of those in the book. I went to Marmaris, Turkey and then a day trip to Rhodes. It was hot and as I started to read the book sat on the beach it was all the more easy to visualise the territories described in the book, they truly came to life. This gives a simple, first hand account of Dahl''s experiences as a trainee fighter pilot and then active service, bringing to life the harsh reality of Hurricane aircraft, Messerschmitts and machine gun bullets. Dahl also relates to the beauty of the vast open spaces and deserted places. Vivid descriptions and the simple reality of colleagues not coming back from missions yet another reminder of the futility of war, as if another one were needed. It''s quite a factual account of what happened and quite shocking when thinking of how the world is today. Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet in Dec 2015, and as a result Putin had banned Russians from holidaying in Turkey. We noted that numbers were down on last year when we were also there. A poignant reminder that air battles are as futile and relevant today as they were in Dahl''s time. Excellent book, easy to read and an education of lesser known aspects of WWII.
7 people found this helpful
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Rob Martin
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Masterful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 15, 2016
I think the only way this could not be given 5 stars is if one is utterly heartless! Dahl''s style somehow translates incredibly well from childrens novels to this more adult memoir of his time as a pilot in the war. It is recalled with alarming clarity and is almost as...See more
I think the only way this could not be given 5 stars is if one is utterly heartless! Dahl''s style somehow translates incredibly well from childrens novels to this more adult memoir of his time as a pilot in the war. It is recalled with alarming clarity and is almost as fantasticly unbelievable than his ficton. The book really is suitable for all although just occasionally it ventures towards darker themes that are handled deftly and sympathetically.
10 people found this helpful
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jiminlondon
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If children like adventure stories, this is a good read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 20, 2019
Loved reading this book to my kids. It is the second part of a what appears to be an Autobiography of Dahl. The first was “Boy” but that has a glaring untruth that has been debunked. It revolves around a master at Repton boys school who he says Crouned Queen Elizabeth II.
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Cat
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Everyone should read this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 22, 2014
If you know Roald Dahl only as an author of children''s books, you should definitely read Boy, Tales of Childhood and this, Going Solo. Going Solo follows Dahl as he sets out as a 22 year old to live and work in Tanzania (then Tanganyika) for Shell. Whilst there, war is...See more
If you know Roald Dahl only as an author of children''s books, you should definitely read Boy, Tales of Childhood and this, Going Solo. Going Solo follows Dahl as he sets out as a 22 year old to live and work in Tanzania (then Tanganyika) for Shell. Whilst there, war is declared and Roald signs up for the RAF and begins flight training in Nairobi. His description of flying over the Serengeti in the early morning takes you back to a different time. One where Shell would pay your wages throughout the war to show their support, one where you had a ''boy'' to do your ironing and washing. Once Dahl moves up to Libya and later, Greece, to join his new squadron, he captured the futility of war perfectly. Decisions made by people putting on a show put lives at risk and the sadness of losing a generation to war is captured beautifully but not by preaching or tugging at the heart strings. I told everyone I love that they must read this book as soon as I finished. You can be absorbed for a few hours and live another life, somewhere long ago and far away.
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wallymac
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A book I could read again immediately.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 3, 2016
It goes without saying that Roald Dahl would put together his experiences in the war without any trace of self praise. His comment on the "management " during his flying career is very telling. As someone who lived thro" the war and experienced as a young civilian the...See more
It goes without saying that Roald Dahl would put together his experiences in the war without any trace of self praise. His comment on the "management " during his flying career is very telling. As someone who lived thro" the war and experienced as a young civilian the horror of being bombed I am still surprised that we won. (Only the input from the USA really made the difference)!
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The Big Friendly Giant, BFG, is unlike other giants. For a start, he’d rather eat repulsant snozzcumbers than chomp on innocent children—lucky for little Sophie, he is far too nice and jumbly. It's not long before the BFG becomes Sophie's very best friend, and the pair are hatching a clever plan to deal with the cruel and nasty giants—with a very exceptional ally.

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