Primary Genre(s): Short Story
Published: Originally in the 1959 issue of Nugget
Page count: @25 (depends on source)
Format: online copy
My rating: ★★★★★
A sinister story about the darker side of human nature. Here, a wife pawns her lover’s parting gift with unexpected consequences…
This story is available online. Please click here to read the story before continuing – it will take about 20 minutes to read. Spoilers are included below. As I have said before, it is difficult to discuss such short stories without giving away the plot. Here are my pros and cons:
- In my last Dahl short story review, I noted how a lot of the stories I have read so far include men that take their wives for granted or just simply treat them very badly. Today’s short story features a wicked woman that gets her comeuppance and it was awesome!
- At the risk of sounding redundant with my other reviews, I simply love Dahl’s writing! Within just a few pages he develops such strong characters. I’ve read 400 page novels with less developed characters. I love how Mrs. Bixby is written as such a smart and clever woman in this one – getting away with her years long infidelity with ease and ingenuity. She is just so quietly arrogant in her manner and thoughts that it makes it all the more enjoyable to witness her fall.
- Mr. Bixby – the ill-treated, unappreciated husband. You begin to feel sorry for him and how he is treated… but you don’t know the whole story yet!
- In typical Dahl fashion, you don’t understand the full brilliance of the story until the very last sentence when you realize the scheming, cheating wife has been cheated on all along! I think I actually laughed out loud at what Mrs. Bixby discovered at the end. Talk about just desserts!
- No cons on this one. I loved it!
This is probably my favorite Dahl short story I’ve read so far and that is saying a lot because they have all been brilliant!
Who else out there is a Dahl short story fan? Any recommendations for my next Dahl review?