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Publisher's Summary

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 comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

©2007 Roald Dahl (P)2007 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Dahl's stories work better in audio than in print.... The best of the lot, I think, is Miranda Richardson's The Witches. In her voice, the main witch, a kind of demented Lady Hitler with a hoarse Teutonic caw, rolls her rrr's like a machine gun. She gives a musical delivery that can turn the word 'cheese' into a five-syllable delicacy spilled in a descending glissando of notes. My middle-school children could hardly understand this character, partly because whenever she started speaking they screamed with laughter.... Richardson's élan and glee at The Witches, well, bewitched me." (Gregory Maguire, The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    347
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    80
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    23
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    7
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    7

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    304
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    59
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    37
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    10
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    7

Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    330
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    62
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    14
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AGAIN WITH THE VOLUME ISSUES

What disappointed you about The Witches?

Again, as with Matilda, I was horribly disappointed by the volume levels of this book! It goes from whisper to blast your ear drums and back again and again, it's maddening to listen to!

What about Miranda Richardson’s performance did you like?

Beautifully performed the voices were wonderful!

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Witches?

If I could play editor, I would do NOTHING but LEVEL out the Volume! It's unfair to ruin such a perfect book and potential great experience because someone behind the scenes is incompetent.

Any additional comments?

I truly hate to report we shut this book off two hours prior to the finish even though we didn't want to at all, simply because the volume was giving us a headache and distracting horribly from the story and beautiful performance that was being given by Miranda Richardson~

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

poor character voice

How could the performance have been better?

The voice performed for the Grand High Witch is almost impossible to understand. It's too much. My kids and I were all confused as we listened on our commutes to school. Other than that, it was great.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Don't listen in the car

Do NOT listen to this book in the car, as the voice of the High Witch will make you want to drive straight into a wall. Her voice is so shrill that nails scratching on a chalk board is much more comforting. Besides making our ears bleed, we could understand about every third word of the High Witch. Did anyone at the publisher listen to this before releasing it for sale?? I would be shocked if that were the case. Besides the skin crawling voice and the inaudible performance, the sound would go from so loud your head throbbed, to so low, you had to stop a rewind a few times before you could figure out what was said. Terrible engineering by the producer. The other character voices were great. The story itself was fabulous, and the only reason we finished the book...which was no easy feat. Getting to the end was touch and go several times! Unfortunately, without knowing if Miranda Richardson is going to use her pleasant voice or her screeching voice, we will never buy a book she narrates again. This book should have come with a WARNING on the front cover. I really wish I could give this book a higher rating.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Some of her voices are very difficult to understand

Some of the reader's voices, particularly for the witches are very hard to understand. Particularly for children. There is a British accent as well, which I rather like, but compounded with the character voices with challenging to follow. Great book though, as to be expected with Dahl.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • ANach
  • california
  • 03-20-16

Witches Voice is terrible

The voice of the high witch is terrible and difficult to understand. We didn't finish listening because of it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

A little shrill at times...

The story is delightful. While I appreciate Richardson's dynamic reading for the most part, some of her witch impressions were hard on the ears.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Great story, difficult to understand at times

Great story, though it was difficult to understand narrative when narrator was in character. Great for family road trip.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant!!

Better then what the other reviews said about the high witch voice. We thoroughly enjoyed listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This Book Is Amazing!!

Where does The Witches rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The highest this is one of my most enjoyed books, so far

What did you like best about this story?

The way the person narrated it.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Luke sees the Grand High Witches Face.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I read it at school separate days.

Any additional comments?

Yes, This book is Amazing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Awesome Book, Awesome Voice, and Awesome Voice

This books is amazing! The voice is so good and it sounds kind of scary.