I have just read a short story by Roald Dahl, called “The Landlady”. The story is about the 17 years old Billy Weaver. When he arrives in the little town Bath, he has to find a place to stay. He ends up knocking on the door to an old lady, who offers him a room for a very cheap price. Everything seems perfectly fine, and the lady is very sweet and pleasant. Billy even gets the whole 2. Floor for himself! But, as we all know, looks can be deceiving. After some time everything seem a bit weirder. Billy discovers that the two only earlier guests came for more for more than two years ago, and he remember that he must have seen these names somewhere before. When Billy asks when the earlier guests left, the landlady answers that they never left and that they live on the third floor. Slowly Billy remembers that they both disappeared when they were out travelling. When he asks about her stuffed animals she smiles at him and says that she always stuffs her pets when they pass away. The story ends with Billy drinking tea with the lady, and he thinks that it tastes a bit funny.
It is pretty obvious to all of us that the old lady never was a sweet and pleasant woman. It is very unexpected, because in the start of the story it seems to be about an old, sweet lady, but in the end it turns out to be about something very different! We also saw the movie-version of this short story in class, and there it seems pretty obvious that the landlady killed her earlier guests. In the end you can even see that Billy dies from drinking his tea!
I liked both the movie and the short story. The story is very well written, and has a very open ending, but the movie shows very clearly what happens. I believe that they are both good, and if you haven’t read or seen it before, I recommend you do it now!
Here is a link for the short story: http://annmic.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/the-landlady2.pdf
And here is a link for the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSgNs8CvSVI