Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Roald Dahl's "Man From the South"

The unexpected ending in Roald Dahl's short story called "Man From the South"

As some of you may already know, this short story is about an old man with a Spanish or Italian accent who is offering a young Amrican sailor a bet. He told the young American boy that if he manages to light his lighter ten times in a row the old man would give him his brand new Cadillac. If the boy loses the bet, however, the old man would chop off his pinky on his left hand. After some discussion the boy accepted the bet. The boy, his girl, thte old man and the narrator of the story, which probably is an English man, all og to the old man’s room to have a drink and to bet there because there is no wind there, the old man said. After they had a drink, a Martini I think, the old man bound the American sailor’s left arm to the table so that his little finger on his left hand was ready to be chopped off if he failed to strike his lighter ten times in a row. The boy managed to light his lighter eight times before a woman, the old man’s wife came into their room and took the chopping knife away from Carlos’ hand. The unexpected ending in this story is that this woman comes into the room just after the 8th stike. I, and probably many other, thought that the boy either would get his pinky chopped off or win the Cadillac. But this didn’t happen I was very surprised to see that a woman came into the room and stopped the old Carlos. And when she put her hand on the table to take her car keys, I was even more surprised to see that she only had one finger and a thumb on her left hand.

I think «Man From the South» is a quite interesting short story and is among the best stories that I have read. Roald Dahl truly was one of the best British writers of all time. Personally I don’t think he was one of the best British writers, I think HE was the best of them all. Actually I don’t know  that many British writers and that’s the reason why I think Roald Dahl is the best of them all.  


  1. I agree, it is a good story and exciting to read. It is unexpected the ending here. Typical Roald Dahl in other words! Good posts, like how you describe the content!

  2. Great thanks Dimitrije for sharing the story of the 'MAN FROM THE SOUTH WITH US'I would like to share it with my learners when resume classes next year.

    1. Your welcome :) And thank you for taking time to comment my blog post.