Good Reading : September 2016
GOOD READING SEPTMEBER 2016 7 low on fuel, he couldn’t find the airstrip. Forced to land in the desert and causing the undercarriage to hit a boulder, he crashed the plane. He fractured his skull, smashed his nose and was temporar ily blinded. He managed to drag himself away from the blazing wreckage but then passed out. He was rescued and it was later discovered that the flight plan he was given was wrong. In 1953 he married American actress Patricia Neal. They had five children. Their son, Theo, was badly injured while in his baby carriage when it was struck by a car. He suffered as a result of an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. Roald Dahl worked with an engineer and a neurosurgeon to invent a device that would alleviate the problem, not only for Theo but also for 3000 other children around the world. His eldest daughter, Olivia, died at the age of seven from measles encephalitis. He became a fervent advocate for immunisation and dedicated his book The BFG to Olivia. He became disillusioned with his faith after seeking solace from the former Archbishop of Canterbury, who told the author that although Olivia was in Paradise, her beloved dog Rowley would never join her there. Why was the hereafter only for humans? Dahl couldn’t believe it. After he died from leukemia his family gave him what his granddaughter has described as a ‘sort of Viking funeral’. He was buried with his snooker cues, some very good burgundy, chocolates, HB pencils and a power saw. You can visit his gravestone at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. I raise my glass of Frobscottle to you, Roald Dahl.You were a great man who led an amazing life, survived harrowing ordeals and adventures and left a truly wonderful legacy for generations to come. We will never forget you. FOREWORD LA LARKIN, a Sydney-based thriller writer, is fascinated by Antarctica. See page 16 GRANT HANSEN is a Sydney lawyer and amateur historian who has a lifelong fascination with the past. See page 24 JENNIFER LIVETT, who migrated as a child from England to Tasmania, has lectured in English at the University of Tasmania. See page 30 And Baxter, who says I’m just portly!