Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Will Self Reads his Roald Dahl Aloud and I'm All For It

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In a lovely review (why can't all film write-ups be this good?) of Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Will Self sounds off on his predilection for (nearly) all things Dahl.

At one point, he confesses to reading the author's works out loud, subsequently speculating that “it might be an idea for all literary critics to read the books they analyse aloud – it certainly helps to fix them in the mind, while providing a readymade seminar with your audience.”

A readymade seminar with your audience. It's true, yes? When you read aloud to someone -- a child, a friend, a lover -- it throws everything up for discussion, if only between chapters.

Which (sort of) brings me to my point. Zorgamazoo, my absurd kid's book, is ostensibly a read-aloud novel, and to support that idea I've been trying to get an educator-slash-academic to go on the record and announce that reading aloud to children after the traditional picture-book age is good for them. But nobody's talking.

Certainly, everyone I speak to agrees: Reading aloud is fun, engaging and encouraging to reluctant readers, no matter what their age, but nobody's packing the cold, hard research to support the claim. Hence the prevasive mumness I've been experiencing.

As such, I'll keep searching. In the meantime, perhaps I'll take a stroll down to the TPL and check out The Twits on audiobook.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Robert Paul Weston

Robert Paul Weston's fiction has appeared in magazines on both sides of the Atlantic and been nominated for The Journey Prize in Canada and The Fountain Award for Speculative Literature in the United States. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and lives in Toronto.

His website is

Go to Robert Paul Weston’s Author Page