My Uncle Oswald

My Uncle Oswald is a 1979 adult novel written by Roald Dahl.

My Uncle Oswald
RoaldDahl MyUncleOswald.jpg
First edition
AuthorRoald Dahl
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherMichael Joseph (UK)
Publication date
October 1979
Media typePrint (hardback and paperback)
Pages222 pp. (hardback edition) * 208 pp. (paperback edition)
ISBN0-7181-1864-2 (hardback edition) & ISBN 0-14-005577-0 (paperback edition)

The novel stars Uncle Oswald, a character who previously appeared in "The Visitor" and "Bitch", two short stories also written by Roald Dahl (and which can both be found in the 1974 book Switch Bitch).

Plot summaryEdit

When Uncle Oswald discovers the sexually invigorating properties of the "Sudanese Blister Beetle"', he devises a plan to steal the semen of great men and sell it to women who want to have children fathered by geniuses.


Victims of Oswald's plot in order of appearance in the book:


Uncle OswaldEdit

Oswald Hendryks Cornelius: The nameless narrator has revealed snippets of the lovable, lascivious Uncle Oswald's life in other collections, but this is the only novel—brief though it is—dedicated solely to the diaries of "the greatest fornicator of all time."


In his 1980 review, Vance Bourjaily said:[1]

What can be said is that My Uncle Oswald provides four or five hours of effortless reading and some amusing scenes, mostly of the kind film makers have taught us to call soft porn—so soft, indeed, that at times they turn out almost fluffy. The tone is that of a gentleman telling ribald anecdotes to his male guests after dinner. The leer is civilized... the dialog gets mean and raunchy, but the physical detail is kept decorous.... Mr. Dahl's guests are not invited to vicarious orgy, then, nor will they hear a disguised lecture by a wicked satirist of morals and manners.... Summer reading.

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt called it "a festival of bad taste that is at heart so innocent that we soon forgive it and enjoy ourselves," "thoroughly juvenile fun," and said "I haven't had so much fun of this sort since my last all-night joke-telling session at summer camp."[2]


  1. ^ Bourjaily, Vance (1980), "Civilized Ribaldry," The New York Times, 20 April 1980, p. BR4
  2. ^ Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher (1980), "Books of the Times," The New York Times, 29 April 1980, p. C9

External linksEdit