Get a free audiobook

$14.95/month + applicable taxes after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

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

What the critics say

"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 listeners say about The Witches

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

good story

My kids and I loved this story but the narrators voice for the grand high witch is terribly annoying. The kids wanted to shut it off but we forged through only because it's a good story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book for the whole family

We have listened to all the Roald Dahl audiobooks and this is one of our favourites! Miranda Richardson does an incredible job with all the voices (although the Grand High Witch's voice is a bit grating after a while). Thank you #Audible1

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fun Read!

Listened to it with my 8-year-old boy, and he was right into it! As others have said, the voice of the Grand High Witch can be a little much. We didn't find it scary or irritating or anything, but it was just hard to understand what she was saying sometimes, so I had to do a bit of interpreting for my son. Sometimes we would read along in a physical copy of the book while we listened, which made it a little easier. Either way, it was a good listen!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ANach
  • 2016-03-20

Witches Voice is terrible

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

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elicia
  • 2016-08-14

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.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Avendesora
  • 2015-10-04

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.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mom of 3 boys
  • 2016-11-15

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jenbugg
  • 2014-06-11

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~

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 2015-08-10

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anders
  • 2020-09-12

The Grand High Witch's Voice Ruined It

UPDATE 10/22 Before getting the book, I checked out other reviews and saw some negative ones about the Grand High Witch's voice. After hearing the really nice sample that included sound effects, voice-changes, etc, I thought such a reviewer could just be overally sensitive. Boy, was I wrong... or was I??????

The book was rather pleasing and well done up until Chapter 7 where we hear the Grand High Witch. Then the chapterk took a tumble and it's a large one for me. I almost didn't want to listen to the rest of the audibook. That particular chapter was so bad that I could only grasp 30-40 percent of what the Grand High Witch was saying, My daughter, who this audiobook was for, could probably only pick out 5-10 percent....maybe.

After that terrible chapter, I was worried about how the rest of the book would be and I am happy to report that... IT GETS GOOD AGAIN! We could finish the rest of the book without a whiny witch and I have to say, I did like the job of the reader other than that hard-to-listen to chapter.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Danae Duby
  • 2019-11-17

So much screaming

This book is great, until the witches speak. At that point the author just screams and shrieks for two hours and my ears couldn’t take it. It was a sad way to experience such a great book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leslie K
  • 2017-05-27

Brilliant!!

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

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gary Shapiro
  • 2014-12-06

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.

7 people found this helpful