Intermediate-plus Novels

Parsons Pleasure by Roald Dahl

Parson’s Pleasure is a wonderful gem of a short story from Roald Dahl, the master of the sting in the tail.In Parson’s Pleasure, Roald Dahl, one of the world’s favourite authors, tells a sinister story about the darker side of human nature. Here, a priceless piece of furniture is the subject of a deceitful bargain . . .Parson’s Pleasure is taken from the short story collection Kiss Kiss, which includes ten other devious and shocking stories, featuring the wife who pawns the mink coat from her lover with unexpected results; the young man in need of room who meets a most accommodating landlady; a wronged wife taking revenge on her dead husband, and others.’Unnerving bedtime stories, subtle, proficient, hair-raising and done to a turn.’ (San Francisco Chronicle )This story is also available as a Penguin digital audio download read by Derek Jacobi.Roald Dahl, the brilliant and worldwide acclaimed author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and many more classics for children, also wrote scores of short stories for adults. These delightfully disturbing tales have often been filmed and were most recently the inspiration for the West End play, Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales by Jeremy Dyson. Roald Dahl’s stories continue to make readers shiver today.

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Parsons Pleasure by Roald Dahl

Mr Boggis was driving the car slowly, leaning back comfortably in the seat with one elbow resting on the sill of the open window. How beautiful the countryside, he thought; how pleasant to see a sign or two of summer once again. The primroses especially. And the hawthorn. The hawthorn was exploding white and pink and red along the hedges and the primroses were growing underneath in little clumps, and it was beautiful.

Parsons Pleasure by Roald Dahl

He took one hand off the wheel and lit himself a cigarette. The best thing now, he told himself, would be to make for the top of Brill Hill. He could see it about half a mile ahead. And that must be the village of Brill, that cluster of cottages among the trees right on the very summit. Excellent. Not many of his Sunday sections had a nice elevation like that to work from.

He drove up the hill and stopped the car just short of the summit on the outskirts of the village. Then he got out and looked around. Down below, the countryside was spread out before him like a huge green carpet. He could see for miles. It was perfect. He took a pad and pencil from his pocket, leaned against the back of the car, and allowed his practiced eye to travel slowly over the landscape.

He could see one medium farmhouse over on the right, back in the fields, with a track leading to it from the road. There was another larger one beyond it. There was a house surrounded by tall elms that looked as though it might be a Queen Anne, and there were two likely farms away over on the left. Five places in all. That was about the lot in this direction.

Mr Boggis drew a rough sketch on his pad showing the position of each so that he’d be able to find them easily when he was down below, then he got back into the car and drove up through the village to the other side of the hill. From there he spotted six more possibles – five farms and one big white Georgian house. He studied the Georgian house through his binoculars. It had a clean prosperous look, and the garden was well ordered. That was a pity. He ruled it out immediately. There was no point in calling on the prosperous…

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