(Short Story) “Lamb to the Slaughter” Review

Hello, everyone! I have decided to do something quite new for me here! 😀 . So, since I was in the mood to read, but not reading a book, rather, I wanted to read something nice and short, I decided to look for short stories! They are nice since they don’t require too much of your time, and you don’t need to remember all the details since you can finish them in one-sitting.

For the moment, I can’t exactly finish books, since I need to deal with plenty of assignments, but I do have the time for short stories! 🙂 . Hence, I have decided that I will do short story reviews from time to time! Hopefully, this is not boring to you 😀 .

Here goes!

“No, I’ve got meat, thanks, I’ve got a nice leg of lamb, from the freezer.”
-Roald Dahl, Lamb to the Slaughter


The name ‘Roald Dahl’ always sounds familiar to me. I can’t fail in recognizing that name. Everytime I hear that name, images of his works such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda, all come to mind. Nevertheless, perhaps of the colorful book covers and how cheerful they all sound, I can’t associate Dahl with something dark and twisted. I mean, if thought properly, there might be a few disturbing elements found in his works, but they are often not given as much spotlight and exposure as the other themes of the story.

The moment I read the title Lamb to the Slaughter, I knew immediately that this wouldn’t be a cheerful tale. Apparently, I searched for famous short stories, and I decided to pick one with the more appealing title for me, and I read this one. Knowing that the author was Dahl, I believe the story might not be as dark as the title sounds.

When I was reading, I completely forgot that the writer was Roald Dahl. The image inside my head when I picture Mary Maloney waiting for her husband was peaceful, yet for some reason, I could feel that something bad was going to happen. When Patrick returned, stayed silent, and kept on refusing Mary’s offer to cook him supper or to pour him a drink, that feeling became more prominent; it just kept on rising within yourself, that feeling of excitement, knowing something bad was going to happen, and a mild fear of what was going to unfold.

And it happened, but it didn’t end there.



Source: HERE


The story manages to amuse me a lot despite of its really short length. The simple yet brilliant course of actions taken by Mary is nice, as in, readers might be slightly disturbed by her behaviors, but that’s the point; it makes all that foreshadowing pay off. When the policemen arrive at the scene, the readers know what happened, but the policemen do not, resulting in a very good employment of dramatic irony, and that keeps on escalating until the end of the story, and that ending is satisfying 😀 .

Dahl manages to incorporate mild feelings of dread with dark humor in the end, and the consistency of his narrative helps in building the atmosphere before ending it wonderfully, just like a joke with a great punchline.

Perhaps most of you have read it, but for those who have not, if you have about ten minutes to spare, read Lamb to the Slaughter. I think you will be engaged, disturbed a bit, and then ultimately amused by it 🙂 .

Rating from me: 4/5


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