Penguin has just announced the publication of a beautiful if rather sinister set of four books bringing together Roald Dahl’s short stories. Each of the paperbacks bears a fittingly disquieting cover illustration created by artist Charming Baker.
The Fear, Innocence, Trickery and War collections are gathered for the first time since Dahl completed them, and "reveal Dahl’s fascination with the darker traits of human nature," according to the publisher. It adds: "In Innocence you will read of events in Dahl’s own childhood that have never left him, as well as the wager that destroys a child’s faith in her father; in Trickery , we are shown the depths of deception that people will sink to for their own gain. War relates Dahl’s incredible experiences as a fighter pilot stationed in East Africa during WWII and finally Fear, a collection of tales brought together by Dahl’s extensive personal research of the most timeless and haunting ghost stories ever written."
Baker is an artist based in West Sussex who counts the likes of Damien Hirst and gallerist Harry Blain among his admirers. Like most things in life, his work often touches on sex and death, and has been dubbed "a kind of romantic melancholy that is very British. And sometimes the melancholy turns out to have sharp claws". As such, it’s the perfect accoutrement to offset Dahl’s darker writings.
The series will be released on 10 August 2017, with each paperback priced at £8.99.