”The Landlady” by Roald Dahl

In todays English lesson, we are going through a story written by a norwegian- english author Roald Dahl. His short stories are known for their unexpected endings and his children’s books for their unsentimental, often very dark humor. ”The Landlady” also is this type of story.
17- year old Billy Weaver is a boy from London, which has just arrived in Bath to start a job in business. He was supposed to find his own place to stay, so he was heading to the ‘The bell and dragon’ hotel which someone earlier that day had recommended him. Walking by a row of houses, he saw a notice offering bed and breakfast. The lady seemed very kind, but there was something wrong about her which he didn’t notice at first. After a conversation and drinking tea made by her, she confessed to him that she likes to stuff dead animals, and she made it clear to him that his drink was poisoned. He realized that she wasn’t offering bed and breakfast.
In my opinion the story seemed very captivating and interesting, but the ending is not what I was expecting at all. I think that the author has done a great job making us believe that the landlady was harmless, while she was the victim of the novel. Somewhere before the ending, i realized that she was up to something, but it was near the very last setning of the story that we get to know to what she had planned. In my opinion, the story was very breathtaking and it made the reader want to finish it.

After watching the short film based on the story which we have read earlier today, I can now compare the similarities and differences about the two things and give my opinion on how both of them came out. The whole storyline is exactly the same as in the novel, but there are some thing that make it a little bit different. Apart from small unimportant exceptions, the most important thing which we get to see in the movie, is the actual process of what the woman does to her offers, which isn’t described by Dahl. In the book we have to imagine it ourselves, while the short film gives us a certain image of what she is doing. I think that both ways of telling the story are a good idea. By reading, I got a brief image of what happens, and it gave me a good opportunity and a lot of space to envision the events, but by watching the film I had everything already explained.

I enjoyed both the story and film, and I can highly recommend reading other Roald Dahl’s stories.


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