The result is certainly eclectic. Two autobiographical pieces and a non-fiction piece that isn’t autobiographical, along with, you know, four short stories. They range the light comedy of The Hitchhiker to the straight up horror of The Swan to the gentle whimsey of the title story. And none of them have the phantasmagorical nature of his children’s books.
I first read the book when I was in my single digits. At the time, it was interesting but it felt strange because it was so different than everything else I’d ever read by the man. And, reading it as an adult... it’s still pretty strange because the stories are also pretty different than his standard fare for adults, which tended to be black comedy with nasty little twists.
All that said, it’s a good read. The title story in particular is a fun ride because it is an engaging story and because it defies every expectation you have for Dahl, actually being a happy story.