Review: The Witches- Roald Dahl

For those who didn’t catch my post for Roald Dahl day (find it here) you may not know that up until Sept 13th 2018 I had never read The Witches! Of course I had to rectify that, especially since I proudly own the Roald Dahl collection of children’s fiction. So to celebrate the greatest children’s author of all time I finally sat down to devour it last month.

Page Count 224/ Publication year 1983

SYNOPSIS

BEWARE. Real witches dress in ordinary clothes and look like ordinary women. But they are not ordinary. They are always plotting and scheming with murderous, bloodthirsty thoughts – and they hate children.
The Grand High Witch hates children most of all and plans to make every single one of YOU disappear.
Only one boy and his grandmother can stop her, but if their plan fails the Grand High Witch will frizzle them like fritters, and then what . . . ?

*****

For years I’ve been hearing others tell of their fear after reading and/or watching Dahl’s The Witches. I’m honestly amazed I didn’t read it as a child, I loved to be scared even then. So I entered into this determined to try and visualise it through the eyes of a young whippersnapper.

Of course The Witches is a truly magical tale, I expected no less of Dahl but it had been such a long time since I’d read his work and much longer still since I experienced any of his books as new to me.

One of my favourite things about Dahl is the way he tackles fear, monsters and even death in such a matter of fact manner and with blunt honesty, much like young children tend to do. He writes of these things without glamour but gives enough gentle assurance so as not to traumatise any young minds.

Whilst I can see why so many people found this book scary in their youth I think Roald Dahl balances scary and silly perfectly, leaving a lasting impression of entertainment rather than fear. His description of a witch walks the line between nightmarish and hilarious,

‘REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women and they work in ordinary jobs.’ 

‘REAL WITCHES are bald as a boiled egg’

I also love that Dahl uses heroic children as main characters in his tales. There are often brave kids with good morals for young readers to look up to and a safety blanket in the form of a caring, no-nonsense adult figure (often a family member) features in most stories.

Reading The Witches took me right back to my childhood and was still just as fun. How, how, how did I ever forget about the little rhymes Roald Dahl weaves into his stories? This is how I shall leave you..

“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!
Say “Eat up!” then say it louder..”

 Happy Halloween!

Roxanne’s Reactions:

 

Mini Review: The Hollow Tree- James Brogden

“WHO DANCED WITH MARY BEFORE SHE DIED?

thehollowtree

Page Count 400/ POV Multiple 3rd

Publication date March 2018/ Publisher Titan Books

Price £3.79 Purchased From: Amazon Kindle (23/03/18)

“WHO DANCED WITH MARY BEFORE SHE DIED?
After her hand is amputated following a tragic accident, Rachel Cooper suffers vivid nightmares of a woman imprisoned in the trunk of a hollow tree, screaming for help. When she begins to experience phantom sensations of leaves and earth with her lost hand, Rachel is terrified she is going mad… but then another hand takes hers, and the trapped woman is pulled into our world. She has no idea who she is, but Rachel can’t help but think of the mystery of Oak Mary, a female corpse found in a hollow tree, and who was never identified. Three urban legends have grown up around the case; was Mary a Nazi spy, a prostitute or a gypsy witch? Rachel is desperate to learn the truth, but darker forces are at work. For a rule has been broken, and Mary is in a world where she doesn’t belong…”
Continue reading “Mini Review: The Hollow Tree- James Brogden”

10 Must-See Horror Movies

It’s October, what could we possibly do aside from reading, playing or watching horror? Probably plenty of things. But I LOVE all things horror so expect nothing less from me this month.

I’m not huge on Halloween as a holiday, not here in the UK at least. I have had the fortune to twice spend Halloween in the US, after that the UK efforts will just never compare.
I’ve donned costumes for house parties, clubs, trick or treating and family events in the past but these days I much prefer the stay at home and scare yourself scenario.

He is a hard-core fan of horror video games but I draw the line under reading and watching them. I can’t take the suspense of playing as the character, I dropped my controller in fear whilst playing Alan Wake years ago and knew then, single player horror games are not for me.

So, whilst we’re not side by side engrossed in our own hobbies, him playing horror games and me reading horror novels, we watch horror films together. Here are a few suggestions to fill your October evenings…

Continue reading “10 Must-See Horror Movies”