Audio Review: The Witches by Roald Dahl

witchesThe Witches
Author: Roald Dahl
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Age Group: Children’s
Source: Library
The Book Depository
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

A young boy and his Norwegian grandmother, who is an expert on witches, together foil a witches’ plot to destroy the world’s children by turning them into mice.

My Thoughts

Roald Dahl is one of my favorite children’s authors, and I recommend his books to kids all the time at the library.  Matilda is probably my favorite, but I have also read and enjoyed James and the Giant Peach, The Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Twits.  The Witches has been on my TBR list for such a long time, but I never got around to it.  I think a large part of the reason I hadn’t read this one was because I have seen the movie about a zillion times.  I loved that movie when I was a kid, even though it scared the crap out of me.  But I was determined to read The Witches this year, and I decided to tackle it early in the year by listening to the audiobook.

And oh my gosh, you guys, the narrator was AWFUL!  I mean, terrible.  I am not sure when the audiobook was put together, but it felt like it was recorded awhile ago, when people were first recording books.  The narrator, Ron Keith, sounds like this older man, and he is so affected.  Like he is putting on this act because he thinks that is what children will like it.  Which of course, they don’t like that stuff.  Kids know when people are putting on a show for them.  Luckily the story was interesting enough for me to stick with the audiobook until disc 4 when it quit working.  From there I just grabbed the book from the library and read the rest.

Anyway, the story was pretty awesome, and very Dahl-esque.  It does differ from the movie, or I should say the movie differs from the book, but I enjoyed them both.  The main character is a boy (you know, I don’t think we ever learn his name) who is pretty interesting, and he definitely likes adventure.

And his grandmother is very cool.  I loved how Dahl didn’t make her this little old lady.  I mean, she was old, but she didn’t want to just knit all day, you know?  Not that there is anything wrong with knitting, but she had other things she did, like every person.  I guess what I am trying to say is that his grandmother wasn’t the stereotypical grandmother.

The best part of the book, though, is the witches.  They are totally creepy, especially if you are reading this book as a child.  I loved the beginning, when we learn how different witches have gotten rid of children.  I mean, it is freaky, but it really makes the story interesting.

Overall, I’m really glad that I finally got around to reading this.  I do wish I had bipassed the audiobook, though.  Ugh, that narrator was TERRIBLE.  I can’t say that enough.  But the story was a  lot of fun.  Roald Dahl is definitely one of my favorite children’s authors.  Do you have a favorite Dahl book?  Mine is definitely Matilda.

P.S.  Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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8 Responses to Audio Review: The Witches by Roald Dahl

  1. ChrissiReads says:

    I think mine is either Matilda or The BFG!

  2. I love this book! Next year I want to do a theme month full of his books. They are awesome and super entertaining. 🙂

    Mine is also Matilda!

  3. ladyruby07 says:

    Matilda might be my favorite Dahl book too. I own Danny, Champion of the World (such a good book) and I highly recommend The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar which is a short story collection of his adult stuff and so amazing. He’s such a versatile author. I own Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but I haven’t read it just yet…

  4. Heidi says:

    Oh noes! I’m so bummed that the narrator for this one sucked–it’s probably my second favorite Dahl book after Matilda (I still read his books regularly–love him). The girl who was trapped in the painting STILL scares the crap out of me.

    • Quinn says:

      Seriously, the narrator was awful! The way he would say “grandmama.” Ugh! It says something about how wonderful the story is that I stuck with the audiobook until disc four. And oh my gosh, the girl stuck in the painting! Totally freaky, especially the part about her disappearing one day form the painting. Creeeepy.

      Matilda is definitely my favorite Dahl. I have been kind of obsessed lately with the song “When I Grow Up” from Matilda the Musical. I want to so it so much when it comes to Broadway!

      If you are looking for a good Dahl audiobook, James and the Giant Peach is narrated by Jeremy Irons and he kills it!

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