Friday, April 12, 2019

Dahl Study: Neck

My author study of Roald Dahl started with a reading of his Collected Stories while watching the accompanying episode of Tales of the Unexpected. Each Friday I'll recap a story and show (with spoilers, just so you know), but I encourage you to read and watch them on your own if you're interested!

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"Neck" from Collected Stories (read 1/3/19)

This story was a little strange overall. It took a bit to get into the action, then I think the ending was over my head (no pun intended). A newspaper columnist meets an important man's wife, and manages to get invited to their estate for the weekend. The husband used to own a newspaper when he was single, but he got rich, his wife nailed him down, and now he is an art collector and has huge statues all over the estate. The columnist hits it off with the husband while the wife is very rude and flirts with other guests. The newspaper columnist and husband walk the grounds and see the wife goofing around with a guest, even kissing him. She gets her head stuck in a statue and the husband has to cut her out with an ax or saw... but the ending was ambiguous to me. I think he lets her die from asphyxiation? 

"Neck" from Tales of the Unexpected (viewed 1/3/19)

The show cut to the chase quickly, having an art historian (instead of a columnist) come to the estate of an art collector and his wife. The wife came on to the art historian in his room one night - something that wasn't in the story. The backstory of the husband owning a newspaper and his wife chasing him into marriage came out in later dialogue. The sculpture scene and kiss happen, but the husband first tries to put Vaseline on the wife's neck to pull her head out. It makes her mad that he makes her messy trying this, because it makes her look silly. I was hoping the film would show the ending to clear it up for me, but it still had him going for her/the sculpture with an ax, and her screaming, so who knows. Maybe he chopped her head off with the ax in this one?

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