June 02, 1980 12:00 PM

by Roald Dahl

Dahl, noted for his tales for children (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and grisly short stories, has a unique imagination. He delights in poisonous yarns of disgusting people who prey on the worst qualities of their fellowman. This time an old Dahl character, Uncle Oswald, and a beautiful woman companion go around gathering sperm from famous men so they can sell it to rich women who want to give birth to geniuses. (Sounds a bit like a recent news story, of course, but Dahl wrote the book before the launching of the Nobel laureates’ gene bank.) The closest thing in literature to this depressing material is the sex fantasies of Frank Harris. My Uncle Oswald, Dahl’s first adult novel, is basically a long dirty joke. (Knopf, $8.95)

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