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The Witches [Hardcover]

Roald Dahl , Quentin Blake
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 7.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Sep 2010
The Grand High Witch of all the World has gathered together the witches of England for an annual conference at the Hotel Magnificent in Bournemouth. Their agenda is the elimination of all the children in the country and the prospects for their young victims look bleak. But the Grand High Witch and her cronies have reckoned without the spark and ingenuity of a young guest at the hotel and his rather brilliant grandmother...

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The Witches + Matilda + The BFG
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (2 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224083872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224083874
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 13.7 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 283,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

"This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches." So begins one of Roald Dahl's best books ever, and, ironically, it is such a great story because the premise is perfectly plausible from the outset. When the narrator's parents die in a car crash on page two (contrast this terribly real demise with that of James's parents who are devoured by an escaped rhinoceros in James and the Giant Peach), he is taken in by his cigar-smoking Norwegian grandmother, who has learned a storyteller's respect for witches and is wise to their ways.

The bond between the boy and his grandmother becomes the centrepiece of the tale--a partnership of love and understanding that survives even the boy's unfortunate transformation into a mouse. And once the two have teamed up to outwitch the witches, the boy's declaration that he's glad he's a mouse because he will now live only as long as his grandmother is far more poignant than eerie.

Of course, there's adventure here along with Dahl's trademark cleverness and sense of the grotesque. Dahl also communicates some essential truths to children: if they smoke cigars, they'll never catch cold, and, most importantly, they should never bathe, because a clean child is far, far easier for a witch to smell than a dirty one. (Ages 7 to 10, or read aloud to younger children) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"How is it it's so real you think it must be true . . . and so fantastic you can't begin to guess what will happen next?" (New Statesman)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended 7 Sep 2006
I am currently reading this book to my children at bedtime, and it must be the most gripping book they have had so far! Unusually for them, they sit silently, listening and hanging on every word. I read just a few chapters a night and every night so far they have cried, "NOOOO! Not yet!! one more chapter...PLEASE just ONE more chapter!!".

The style in which the book is written is the key to it's success I believe. The book has been written as though it is a true story.

We have previously finished reading James & the giant peach, and although they enjoyed it, The Witches is most definitely more popular.

A truly great read. Well done Mr Dahl!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious Dahl 11 July 2006
Are you at home right now? I hope so. Oh, you're not. You're in one of those internet cafes. Oh dear. Then - and I don't want to scare you - you're not safe. Not at all safe. Put down that sticky slab of chocolate cake and sneak a look at the person sitting beside you. Is it a lady? Oh it is.

Is she a witch?

Well you wouldnt know would you. I didn't before I read this book. And you MUST read this book: not just so that you're able to tell the difference between a witch and a regular kind old lady but because this is deliciously good fiction.

The Witches is a classic Dahl recipe in every sense: a simple and plausible premise, mixed with oodles of imagination, some super-scary baddies, a sprinkling of poignancy and morality, and a big dollop of dark-edged humor. This is Roald Dahl writing at his very best, at his haughtiest and naughtiest; and the effect is spellbinding.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witches - a must for any 8 year old 27 Feb 2006
This is enchanting book, which I read to my 8 year old son at bedtime. A truly gripping story that holds no punches when appealing to a childs intrigue for ghoulish scariness. He couldn't even wait for the next installment and secreted the book into his school bag as a replacement for his class reading book the next day!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wicked Book 14 April 2008
This book is about a boy and his grandma. Unfortunately his parents died
so he went to live with his Nan in England. In the 6 weeks holiday he was going to Norway but his Nan had pneumonia so he could not. He went to Bournemouth instead. In the hotel there were roughly 99 witches (including the grand high witch). He went to train his mice and he got caught in the room with them .....
I like the book because the characters were amazing.
It was just the words I wanted to read, I could not wait to read on to the other chapters. It is my all time favourite book.
I would give this novel a rating of a wicked 5.
Faran Cox Herbert Thompson Primary School

I love the book `The Witches' because the witch characters are really well described. They do not clean their toe nails. They wear long black hats. I like the boy because he his brave. It was funny because the witch was saying a funky saying.
Soraya Chamani and Jessica Kingsley Herbert Thompson Primary School
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"A scalp scratching, nail biting, mind boggling book!"

Outstanding! I guarantee this jaw dropping book will make you fall off your chair with laughter! If you like humour, adventure and action, you should definitely read this book. I love the excitement in the atmosphere and I'm sure you'll love it too. With fantastic illustrations, take it from me, this is a truly brilliant book!

It starts with an eight year old boy and ends with a smaller and more hairy creature. This boy has encountered unusual human-like creatures far from our imaginations... Witches - with their peculiar features. You do not want to come into contact with one; or you're in for a frightfully bumpy ride.

Will the boy survive the encounter..?

Roald Dahl is one of the best-selling authors in the world. He is very successful and has an indescribable imagination! His story "The Witches" is not only a book but has been adapted into a stage play and a two-part radio dramatisation for the BBC.

I recommend this book to everyone!
Book may involve a highly dangerous potion - `Formula 86 Delayed-Action Mouse Maker' used by the Grand High Witch herself!
By Jessica
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every parent should read this to their kids! 23 July 2001
By A Customer
I recently re-read this childhood classic and to my amazement, I think I love it even more! In my wee days it scared me. Dahl's delicious descriptions could make every child's hair stand on end, but now I can enjoy Dahl's brilliant abilities of observation and talent for description.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary! 12 Feb 2008
Plot: To witches children smell like dogs droppings and you never know where one is. On the outside (with a disguise on), a witch can look like any ordinary women. Without the gloves to cover their cat like claws; they wear wigs because they are actually bald; witches are very difficult to tell apart from humans, or are they?

Fact: The boy (who is unnamed) in the story's grandmother is Norwegian and is really based on Roald Dahl's mother who inspired him a lot!

Rating and recommendation: I would rate this brilliant book 7/ 10; I think would recommend this perfect paperback to all Roald Dahl fans, especially 7 - 12 year
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book was really good .I really enjoyed it ! 18 July 2001
By A Customer
When I read the book I was so amazed I was about to faint.The book had such good ideas it was unbelieveable. Once I read the first few paragraphs I was glued to it and my mother told me to stop reading but I wouldn't let go it was it was so good.I would recomend other people to read the book to.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Efficient
This book arrived quickly, along with the film and delighted students in both KS3 and KS4. Although, it was originally for KS3 students.
Published 6 days ago by Mrs Janette D Booker
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous story!😄
Amazing plot! Did not expect the story to be so good! This is a must! You should definitely read it, it made me read it overnight! Read more
Published 12 days ago by M.D
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book
thought it was a good read and very imaginative. . thoroughly enjoyed the experience... I look forward to another story
Published 13 days ago by Patricia Daglish
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever
Brilliant book reminded me of my child hood reading it all over again. Everyone should read at least 1 roald dahl book in there live time
Published 24 days ago by geriant dando
5.0 out of 5 stars Roald dahl is the best author ever !
Roald Dahl is hilarious and touches your heart. There is nothing his books that I don't like! I recommend this book to children age 8-12 -fantastic book.
Published 1 month ago by patricia mckay
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Quality Paperback
We were asked to read this book by my daughter's school as part of the term topic. She is 7 years old and in year 2 and I definitely feel the content and especially the pictures... Read more
Published 1 month ago by jo albon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
My son loves this book!! It is scary and full of adventure. Ronald Dahl is so brilliant. He never
disappoints. Read more
Published 1 month ago by data24
5.0 out of 5 stars To Roald Dahl from Joshua park
It was the best book I read out of Roald Dahl I ever red I am 9 Matilda is so funny
Published 1 month ago by joshua park
5.0 out of 5 stars awesomely good
I really liked all of it , especially the end! I would really recommend it for 6-11 year old readers.
Published 1 month ago by Marlow Eliot
5.0 out of 5 stars classic book
Loved reading the book just as good as an the rest and even better than the film as its left to your own imagination
Published 1 month ago by sian ghosh
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