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The Witches

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  328,112 ratings  ·  8,020 reviews
'A REAL WITCH is easily the most dangerous of all the living creatures on earth.'

That's a pretty horrifying thought. More horrifying still is that real witches don't even look like witches. They don't ride around on broomsticks. They don't even wear black cloaks and hats. They are vile, despicable, scheming harridans who disguise themselves as nice, ordinary ladies.

So how
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 9th 1989 by Puffin Books (first published October 27th 1983)
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Akshat Roxx the existence of witches cannot be explained as they are mythical creatures, these are not yet proved by anyone but several sightings have been made..…morethe existence of witches cannot be explained as they are mythical creatures, these are not yet proved by anyone but several sightings have been is for you to decide wheteher they exist as they are perfectly hidden in the society....they may be anywhere....they might be ur neighbour or EVEN A MEMBER OF THIS WEBSITE GOODREADS......who knows!!(less)

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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  328,112 ratings  ·  8,020 reviews

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May 08, 2007 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
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know what to expect when I started this book. Believe it or not, this is the very first Roald Dahl book that I have experienced. I enjoyed this book tremendously. This chapter book tells a story of a grandma, a grandson, and their journey together is ridding the world of 'real' witches and saving the world's children. I will be reading more of this author for sure. I would recommend this book to everyone. It is a fun read and well worth the experience! ...more
JV (semi-hiatus)
"A REAL WITCH hates children with a red-hot sizzling hatred that is more sizzling and red-hot than any hatred you could possibly imagine."
So starts a splendiferous tale about a young boy telling his personal story about the absolute horrors of being turned into a mouse after having some run-in with the real witches! Although these witches weren't quite the cannibalistic ones found in "Hansel and Gretel", they, nonetheless, attract children with a smorgasbord of treats, confectioneries, and d
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Witches, Roald Dahl

The Witches is a children's fantasy novel by the British writer Roald Dahl. It was originally published in 1983.

The story is set partly in Norway and partly in the United Kingdom, and features the experiences of a young British boy and his Norwegian grandmother in a world where child-hating societies of witches secretly exist in every country.

The witches are all ruled by the extremely vicious and powerful Grand High Witch, who in the story has just arrived in England to
Wendy Darling
Re-read for our classics discussion Friday 10/30! Still had me giggling from the very first chapter.
Miranda Reads
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.
After the tragic loss of his parents, a young boy goes to live with his much beloved grandmother. He soon learns of the impossible - witches exist. And they're sole joy in life is to find ways to make children disappear. Preferably in nasty and mysterious ways.

We soon discovers how to recognize a w
Roald Dahl is in my top 3 of favorite children's authors. I had read a few of his books as a child, but most of my exposure occurred as a young adult and while in college.

The Witches was actually a book I read after the movie with Anjelica Huston was produced. I am a huge fan of her work, and when she appeared in this movie, I was fascinated with the story. I'd definitely recommend reading the book first as the movie takes the story so much further.

For one thing, the book has an unnamed narrator
"Down vith children! Do them in!
Boil their bones and fry their skin!
Bish them, sqvish them, bash them, mash them!
Brrreak them, shake them, slash them, smash them!
Offer chocs vith magic powder!"

Oh, thank goodness for the likes of Roald Dahl, who can combine the scary with the funny stuff and open a treasure chest of children's fairy-tales with all the wisdom humanity is capable of (which, of course, still is quite limited).

As a child, I was terrified and fascinated at the same time when I read t
Mariah Roze
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am currently trying to read all of Roald Dahl's books! When reading this book I realized that I definitely read this when I was in elementary school :) It brought back some memories. I loved this book and the creativity and that Roald does with this story line. ...more
Joe Valdez
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My introduction to the fiction of Roald Dahl is The Witches and this is one of those books whose language and imagination are so exotic that I wanted to scribble down every paragraph, until the story pulled me in and I surrendered to its spell. Published in 1983 with illustrations by Quentin Blake, I was presented a 30th anniversary edition for Christmas--by a dear friend on Goodreads--which includes Blake's etchings. Without the mischievous charcoal drawings to accompany it, Dahl's text alone w ...more
My daughters and I had just wrapped up the audiobook of The Witches with Miranda Richardson yesterday, having listened to it all week in the car, and we were still blissed out on those wonderful, awful witches. . . .

. . . when this idiot playground dad got in my way.

So, the story goes like this. . . I'm an animated woman. I love stories, both listening to them and telling them, and I love a good joke, too. And I found myself, yesterday, engaged in conversation with a playground dad's mother, her
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
2.5 stars, I suppose. While a cute, quick read, this was definitely less advanced than much of his other work. It blazed through the build and climax incredibly quickly and easily, leaving no tension at all. The ending was endearing, and the relationship between the grandmother and her grandson were the most heartwarming of all.
Things that are cool:

-a cigar-smoking grandma who encourages you to take safe action


-solving problems

-witches with accents

Things that are creepy:

-Having to stay a mouse the rest of your life

-Feet without toes

-Pet mice that go missing and are never found

-A boy who is never reunited by his family, or even mouse-trapped

-Talking about dying while in bed with your grandmother

Roald Dahl never worked for me as a kid. I distinctly remember picking up James and the Giant Peach and being si
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 Witch
Michael Finocchiaro
The story of the young unnamed narrator and his grandmother living between Norway and England and affronting the Great Witch and her minions was delightful and fun. It would not be in my Top 5 of Dahl though (I appreciated the two Charlie books, the BFG, the Magic Finger and James and the Giant Peach more.) I love reading them to my kids in any case and getting all excited on what crazy twists the stories will take.
¸¸.•*¨*•♫ Mrs. Buttercup •*¨*•♫♪

Finally! After all the ups and downs, I finally re-read a book by Roald Dahl (my favourite author from my childhood) and end up liking it just as much! I was honestly losing hope for this. This is a surprisingly creepy, funny rollercoaster of hilarious adventures, plot twists and straight absurdity from the good ol' crazy Roald! Absolutely delightful.

Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
**Re-read in October 2020 for the release of the HBOMax adaption. I loved it just as much as I did the first time around. Such a fun, whimsical, and spooky read!


This was my first Dahl read ever and I LOVED it. The movie is one of my favorites so when I found it was a book years ago I wanted to read it and haven't gotten the chance until now. I think this is one of the good ones that has been adapted to film almost perfectly as well. I read this on audiobook too, narrate
Nov 29, 2007 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
Ammara Abid
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Roald Dahl is one of the best and my favorite children's writer.
He's a master in depicting ordinary details in excellent manner.
Uptill now, I didn't find anything written by him which I don't love. ♡
The Witches is a surprising book. The story is deceptively simple but many great ideas are buried in between the lines that tell it, make it a rich read leading to many buried treasures that shine in the light of the new understanding they bring.

It all start when a seven year old boy whose name we never learn (isn't it that clever?) loses his parents in an car accident, and goes to live with his grandmother in Norway. Grandma is a master storyteller, who tells the boy about witches with claws in
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, audiobook
What is a witch? After my last book, all about the Salem Witch Trials, I have a pretty good idea about what the Puritans thought. However, it would serve me well to allow Roald Dahl to present an answer to that for his childhood readers. According to Dahl, a witch has claw-like fingers (always gloved), remains bald (but wears a wig), and has squared feet (no toes and a horror when shopping for shoes!). But, the most important piece of knowledge about witches is that they DESPISE children more th ...more
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
What a fun time I had reading this book as an adult!
I didn't get a chance to read The Witches as a kid so I went into this book not knowing the plot or characters.

The Witches is about a boy and his Grandmamma taking on and stopping a whole coven of witches from doing evil deeds.

The witches in this story are more of the "cooking and eating Hansel" type and not the "helping and protecting munchkins" type.
I loved how Roald Dahl describes the witches along with how evil and cunning they are. He was
Peter Topside
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up watching the 1990 version of Witches, and despite its scariness, (When Angelica Houston removed her mask, my little jaw dropped!) I always loved the film. It wasn't until I heard about the 2020 remake (Also a great movie!), that I developed a curiosity about the original book. Much like Roald Dahl's other works, it is an easy read, has great characters, and there is just an expected dash of magic in each of his works that makes them all so special. This was no exception and even my sev ...more
Shirley Revill
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, children
One of my daughter's favourite books and I still have it today. Storytelling at it's best. ...more
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
Jeanette (Again)
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
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!
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This has always been one of my favourite Roald Dahl books.

This story tells the tale of a Grandma and her grandson who travel to England to continue the boys education after the passing of his parents.

During this time the Grandma tells him stories of witches worldwide, with the story continuing with the discovery of English witches and an adventure ensues. As always I loved it!
Who wants to see the movie that is base off this book?

This is a middle grade book. This book is about witches. I have to say I hated the beginning, but by the middle of the book I really liked it. My daughter really did not like it, but she does not like scary book. I would say this book is very scary for kids. (*)
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, classics
Gorgeous, cute book and the illustrations of Quentin Blake are just too cute as well. I've seen the movie of course several times and hey, the movie has a different ending, that is a surprise! Roald Dahl, a great, entertaining writer...! I really need to start reading the 'grown-up' books soon :-) ...more
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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 adv

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