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The Witches

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4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  200,937 Ratings  ·  4,308 Reviews
This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches.

Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There's nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma's stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he come
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Paperback, 201 pages
Published August 16th 2007 by Puffin Books (first published 1983)
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The Ugly Truth by Jeff KinneyRodrick Rules by Jeff KinneyThe Last Straw by Jeff KinneyThe Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future by Dav PilkeyThe Witches by Roald Dahl
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5th out of 99 books — 32 voters
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323rd out of 3,269 books — 1,179 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wendy Darling
Re-read for our classics discussion Friday 10/30! Still had me giggling from the very first chapter.
Jessica
May 08, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Warning: Extremely Long Review and Childhood Storytelling

When I was ten or eleven, I was sitting in the playground at summer camp, minding my own business and reading this book, when one of the playground supervisers came and asked me what I was reading. When I showed it to him, his eyes got wide and he took the book from me. Then he went to the trash can and started ripping it up, page by page. And he washed his hands afterwards, "to get rid of the filth." It was a library book. He was just goi
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Michael
I was a very sheltered child.

Or was I a wuss? I was probably a wuss.

For instance, when I was a little tot, Sammy Terry scared the shit out of me. I remember being frightened by commercials of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, and the one time I inadvertently saw part of a Friday the 13th movie on TV? Fogettaboutit. Nightmares for weeks.

But that all came later.

But this book. Oh, this was traumatic shit.

I was in preschool, probably 4 years old, when the teacher decided to read us The Witche
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Mariel
Nov 05, 2010 Mariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dancers
Recommended to Mariel by: greedy kid me
I've noticed for years and years that critics love to say that Roald Dahl is "spinning in his grave" over some such filmic adaptation of his works. I'm a curious type person so I had to look up what the hell was in his grave, anyway. He was buried with pool cues, his typewriter and pencils (backup?). Guess he'd need to hustle his way past the pearly gates? I'm kidding! Don't dance on my grave. (Gosh, real critics are so harsh.) If he's spinning I guess there's plenty in there to make lots of rac ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
The witches of England have a plan to do away with ALL English children. This little Norwegian orphan boy and his grandmamma come up with a plan to do away with all English witches instead. When they've accomplished that task, the little boy is noticeably altered in size and appearance. He doesn't mind, though. He sets off cheerfully with his grandmamma on a grand tour to rid the entire WORLD of those evil witchy creatures.

I've always known there were real witches in the world, because Mrs. Nai
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sarafem
I would love to know why I am the only person on the planet who did not like this book. I tried to find some bad reviews on GoodReads, but the only one and two star reviews said things like "Bad no like mousey! dlksk djglsk diewqls!" I'm assuming they were in a foreign language and not written by a kid who could not type, but I was too lazy to click on the profiles. Maybe I should learn the language and go live there, where we can all unite in our hatred of this book.

It seems to me that 90% of t
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Brendon Schrodinger
Dec 21, 2015 Brendon Schrodinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Witches are out there. You're lucky you're reading this now. It means that a witch never got you as a child or you escaped from their clutches.

Witches are demons and have the following features: they wear wigs, they have squared-off feet with no toes and they smell faintly like old urinal. They have an insatiable need to kill, maim and turn children into animals. They can't stand children because to them they smell like dog poo.

And they love meetings. And they love forming a club.

I swear I have
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Brian
Sep 03, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Readers in the Roald Dahl know come to his books with an understanding that PG-13 level violence and mayhem are a part of his charms. This fast moving tale doesn't let fans down; all of the recognizable Dahlian tropes are on display and we are rooting for the child all the way to the end.

I had the extra bonus of having this read to me by my daughter. She's at the stage now where she tries on different accents for each character; her English accent was adorable. So, five stars for the book, five
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Saoirse Sterling
Read as part of the #InfiniteVariety2016 Reading Challenge based on the BBC's Big Read poll.

There seem to be several types of Roald Dahl books: the usual, weird and often absurd, and the more linear and normal, with aspects of realism coupled with utter nonsense. I kind of like them both, but it takes a while to get your head around the fact that the same person wrote them. I'm not sure Dahl really intended to have a varied style, but often the length of the book determines just how linear it ac
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Manny
Headlands Hotel

For people who don't already know: the hotel used in the movie actually exists. It's The Headlands Hotel, Newquay, England, and I've eaten there several times.

The staff are friendly and well aware of the relevant history. If you ask, they'll show you the room where the witches had their big meeting and the spot where the baby carriage nearly gets pushed off the cliff. The food is good, and you get a fantastic view over the bay, where people surf in summer. Recommended!
Irena
Feb 02, 2016 Irena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5
Review to come later today.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Witches, Roald Dahl
عنوان: جادوگرها؛ نویسنده: رولد دال؛ مترجم: شهلا طهماسبی؛ تهران، مرکز مریم؛ 1377، در 208 ص؛ چاپ سوم 1382؛
خلاصه ی داستان:قهرمان داستان پسر کوچکِ نروژی ست که در سن هفت سالگی پدر و مادرش را در یک سانحه ی رانندگی از دست داده. او به نروژ میرود و به همراه مادربزرگش زندگی میکند. مادربزرگ او زنی ست مسن که تجربه و دانسته های بسیاری از جادوگرها دارد و در اوایل داستان تلاش میکند که با متقاعد کردن نوه اش مبنی بر این که جادوگرها واقعی هستند، این دانسته ها را به او بیاموزد. قهرمان داست
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tigerofbooks
Nov 11, 2015 tigerofbooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aw hahaha, this book!!! Roald Dahl was an amazing author, I remember this book was creepy but also fun!!
Ilaria
Jan 15, 2016 Ilaria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
non importa chi sei o che aspetto hai. Basta che qualcuno ti ami.
Stacey (prettybooks)
This is a short blogpost taken from Thoughts on Roald Dahl: The BFG, The Witches & Fantastic Mr. Fox.

The Witches was chosen as part of this year's Halloween Reads and it was a perfect children's book for October! It was everything I hoped it would be from the very first page. Again, it made me think how spot on the adaptations are – they capture the tone of each book perfectly. The Witches is morbidly funny, terrifying and brilliantly inventive, and it'll make any child wonder whether witche
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Kimberly Sabatini
May 23, 2013 Kimberly Sabatini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg-ya
I'll be honest. My boys and I LOVE Roald Dahl books. All of them. Rather than review this book in my predictably gushy manner, I thought I would tell you a funny story that happened during our nightly reading sessions...

For those unfamiliar with the story, a grandmother is instructing her grandson on the multiple ways one might recognize a witch in disguise. While giving this info to my eight year old, he checked me over to confirm that I was indeed, not a witch. When he heard they wore itchy wi
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notgettingenough

The trouble with this movie, is that we are supposed to cheer for the wrong side. The premise, for those who haven’t read or seen it, is that the witches have a practically foolproof plan to turn all the children of the UK into mice.

I mean, what’s not to like?

You may say I shouldn’t have been watching this movie with a cat. It’s true, the cat and I have never been more on the same wave length. As I sat there biting my nails and screaming at those witches ‘not the soup, please don’t eat the cre
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Trish
Oct 07, 2015 Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know the story of Matilda but only from the film adaptation so The Witches was my first book by Roald Dahl. The story seemed oddly familiar and I think I might have read it when I was younger (in school perhaps?) or may have seen the movie (I googled, there is one with Anjelica Houston as The Grand High Witch) but I can't remember.



Anyway, the story was quite good. A little creepy, a little weird, a little funny, a little adventurous - the perfect mix.
I've heard people say that this was too sca
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Flannery
I did an analysis of the differences between the book and the movie here.
Jesse
Jul 16, 2015 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: formative
Was at a friend's last night, saw this on his bookshelf and couldn't resist borrowing it. Subsequently spent an enjoyable sit revisiting an old favorite. Because this is an old favorite--my favorite Roald Dahl book, to be exact, which means growing it was one of my VERY favorite books. Technically, it's probably a four star book--it takes a bit too long to get going and far too long to wrap up--but the nostalgia factor kicks it up to five star level. The central mock-RSPCC meeting, with its incr ...more
Bark's Book Nonsense
This is a dark-edged children's tale about a group of witches who despise children who they believe smell like "dogs droppings". These witches don't hold back their hatred for these "small piles of filth" and at their annual meeting they devise a plan to rid the earth of these vomit inducing creatures by turning them into mice and exterminating them. What they haven't planned on is the ingenuity of one brave little boy who overhears their dastardly plans and does his best to thwart them.

This boo
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Ms. Vigilante
Oct 16, 2014 Ms. Vigilante rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Such a good book! Anyone can read this fun loving tale about witches, real witches! I really enjoy this book because it is entertaining. It follows the path of a boy who sets out to take out all the witches in the world. I like the bond the boy and his Grandmamma have! This is just a fun fantasy tale, it is especially great to read before Halloween. If you are a Roald Dahl fan, this book is for you!
Christina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
bp
May 09, 2007 bp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 5th graders. And their parents.
The way my life is recently, I'd be lucky to be able to finish reading the headline of the Post before having to attend to something else.
So in the absense of any meaningful free time in my life, I will be reviewing books from years past, the glory days when I could actually curl up on the couch and fall into a story. Or in the case of Roald Dahl, through the scary trap-door into bizarro world of teacher-witches, crazy chocolate factory owners, and insects live and chat with youngsters inside o
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Carol
De pequeña vi la película un millón de veces, la tenía en cinta VHS original, ni siquiera grabada de la tele. Me acuerdo bastante de ella y tengo algunos fotogramas grabadísimos a fuego en la memoria y me sorprende mucho no haber leído el libro antes, pero para todo hay un momento.

He disfrutado muchísimo la lectura, creo que tiene un humor muy particular. La abuela y el niño son encantadores, la descripción de las brujas insuperable.

Es un libro fascinante que pueden disfrutar los adultos al 10
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Karen A.
Mar 30, 2008 Karen A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children 6 and up
Shelves: junior-fiction
My kids and I listened to this one in the car. I initially thought that it was too scary. Some of the author's descriptions of witches are very scary. Add to that that they are snatching children out of plain daylight I figured my kids (8yrs and 5 yrs) would be having nightmares. However when I asked if they liked it I received a resounding 'YES'!!! And my daughter finally just told me to bring the tapes into the house so she could finish listening to the story. By then I was hooked as well. The ...more
Neda
Apr 04, 2015 Neda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was different from other novels of Dahl but I did love it. Especially its ending was a great one..
Amazing..
Coos Burton
Ante ustedes, una historia que de pequeña aportó un granito de arena a ese amor que fue creciendo en mi interior por el horror. Y que levante con orgullo la mano quien alguna vez tuvo un leve escalofrío al ver en la película a una de éstas brujas. Puedo decirles que a mí, personalmente, me perturbaron bastante, y a la vez me fascinaron.
Para los que no estén familiarizados con la historia, la historia es narrada por un chico el cual pierde a sus padres en un accidente de auto justo cuando estaban
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Anita
Sep 20, 2011 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘The Witches’, one of Road Dahl’s most popular tales, is about a young boy who gets turned into a mouse by the Grand High Witch of the entire world. Undeterred by this unfortunate turn of events, he goes on to steal the mouse-maker potion and turns all the witches of England into mice instead- saving the day.

I enjoyed reading this book as much now as I did as a child. All the exciting twists made for a very gripping read. For children, I think that one of the main attractions will be that the b
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Elisabetta
Mar 30, 2015 Elisabetta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bambini tremate, le streghe sono tornate!!

Questo libro mi ha riportato indietro nel tempo, addirittura a quando frequentavo la scuola elementare e la maestra di italiano ci faceva chiudere gli occhi e ascoltare la sua voce che impersonava i vari personaggi e leggeva il libro… e così non era difficile immaginarsi le streghe pelate, con unghie affilate e senza dita dei piedi…
Rileggendo questo libro ho rivissuto nuovamente quelle sensazioni.

È incredibile come sia coinvolgente questa storia dolce/am
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Is it fair to call this book misogynistic? 32 157 Mar 11, 2016 08:39AM  
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Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who rose to prominence in the 1940's with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's bestselling authors.

Dahl's first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was Shot Down Over Libya. Today the story is published as "A Piece of Cake". The story, about his wartime a
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More about Roald Dahl...

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“It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.” 1436 likes
“She might even be your lovely school-teacher who is reading these words to you at this very moment. Look carefully at that teacher. Perhaps she is smiling at the absurdity of such a suggestion. Don't let that put you off. It could be part of cleverness.

I am not, of course, telling you for one second that your teacher actually is a witch. All I am saying is that she might be one. It is most unlikely. But--here comes the big "but"--not impossible.”
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