Amazon Best of the Month, September 2008: Long before Willy Wonka sent out those five Golden Tickets, Roald Dahl lived a life that was moreJames BondthanJames and the Giant Peach. After blinding headaches cut short his distinguished career as a Royal Air Force fighter pilot, Dahl became part of an elite group of British spies working against the United States' neutrality at the onset of World War II.The Irregularsis a brilliant profile of Dahl's lesser-known profession, embracing a real-life storyline of suave debauchery, clandestine motives, and afternoon cocktails. If this sounds oddly familiar, it's no coincidence: both Ian Fleming (the creator of 007) and Bill Stephenson (the legendary spymaster rumored to be the inspiration for Bond) were members of the same outfit. Although "Dahl...Roald Dahl" doesn't quite carry the same debonair ring, there is no discrediting this fascinating look at the British author's covert service to the Allied cause during WWII. --Dave Callanan
Episodic narrative of author Roald Dahl's role in the World War II British spying efforts in America. This ground, as Conant acknowledges, has been many times plowed already, so she doesn't attempt an exhaustive history, but relies on synopses, brief biographies, and moderately interesting anecdotes to drive this inconsequential account. Dahl was a sometimes appealing but often abrasive character in his own right, who has been the subject of many biographies and memoirs, for example Roald Dahl: … more
"The Irregulars" revolves around Roald Dahl and his activities during World War II, but at times it's almost easy to forget the main character as details of other interesting people are described. A huge portion of this book is about Charles Marsh and Washington D.C. social and political life. The discussion of what role the United States should play in world politics is very interesting background to the political concerns of today. Some of my favorite … more
So up front let me say, I haven't finished this book. I probably won't. It's not bad or anything like that, just a bit... uninteresting. This is something of a surprise since I like reading about WWII and loved Roald Dahl's books back when I was a wee youngster. It's not poorly written or anything, it's just that the subject completely failed to grab my attention. I wish I could say more here, but I really can't. It's possible you may enjoy it more than I did.
In peace or in war, allies spy on each other, sometimes overtly, but most often covertly. Despite their close association in World War II and the desperate need that Great Britain had for U. S. aid, the British maintained a spy and information apparatus in the United States during the war years. This effort was under the overall guidance of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and involved the dissemination of pro-British and anti-Axis propaganda in concert with a conventional spying operation. … more
Conant. Jennet. "The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington', Simon and Schuster, 2008. The Unknown Dahl Amos Lassen There is something about a spy story that keeps me riveted and a true story will definitely hold my attention. Jennet Conant's "The Irregulars" is a fantastic read which I had a hard time putting down. I have always loved the literary works of Roald Dahl since having first studied him … more