The Witches (Reading Challenge Pick for 1983)
January 13, 2014 § 4 Comments
Title: The Witches
Author: Roald Dahl
Published Date: October 1983
Synopsis: “This Roald Dahl classic tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven-year-old boy who has a run-in with some real-life witches! “In fairy tales witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ordinary jobs. That is why they are so hard to catch.” Witches, as our hero learns, hate children. With the help of a friend and his somewhat-magical grandmother, our hero tries to expose the witches before they dispose of him.” – From Goodreads
Format: eBook (208 pages)
Date Started: January 9, 2014
Date Completed: January 12, 2014
What better pick for 1983 than a children’s book right? I first heard of Roald Dahl in one of my literature courses back in college. My professor for that class was fond of classic and modern contemporary (and the surreal and sometimes weird) works and her course syllabus mirrored this fondness. Now that I think of it, my penchant for such literature types may have been triggered by this course. Mr. Dahl’s works are definitely in this category.
As an adult, I still enjoyed the book thoroughly. I found myself doubting Grandmamma’s stories of the “real” witches at the start of the story. I really thought that Grandmamma was pulling the child’s (and my) leg. I also felt terrified when the boy encountered the witches. There is one thing that bothered me a bit. I thought the boy’s words were not really words a child would usually use. It’s a minor thing though. It was also established in the book that he was an intelligent child and maybe that was why he used adult words.
The eBook I got included the illustrations by Quentin Blake. I didn’t think the illustrations added anything to the story. However, I understand why it had them. A children’s book would feel lacking if there were none.
Although this is a children’s book, I’m not sure I wanna read this book to children haha. At least to children younger than 5 years old. The witches are simply evil and what they do to children are horrible and terrifying. I’m sure if I had read this when I was at that age, I would have been scared sh*tless.
So I would recommend this to slightly older children, maybe 6 years and above. And to adults of course! We all know that children’s and young adult’s books aren’t just for their intended audiences. It would also work, I think, as an audiobook as I’ve said the illustrations really don’t add anything to the story.
My rating on Goodreads is 4 stars (for Really Liked It).