Friday, August 04, 2006

74. "The Witches" ~ Roald Dahl


Many adults despise Roald Dahl's books, whether because of puritanical health figures or a worship to the gods of political correctness.

In this case, we have a grandmother who smokes smelly cigars (dash number one) and witches who are trying to kill off all the children in the world (dash number two because witches, i.e. Wiccans, should be protected for their religious rights).

Dahl is long dead, which is a pity, because I would like to see his written responses to today's political climate.

Back to the book - the young hero arrives at his Grandmother's in Norway after his parents die in a mysterious car accident. There, to keep his mind off mourning, she tells stories of witches - what they really look like, what they act like, and, specifically, what they want to do to little children.

On holiday, the boy finds out that he is hiding in a ballroom full of witches, who are there for the international witches convention. He gets to meet the grand high witch herself, but not without losing part of his own identity.

Not for children (or adults, for that matter) who cannot separate fact from fiction. Read aloud over a period of weeks to my own kids, they hung on every word. There may be pirates or silly milk cows in summer movies, but only their imaginations and this book were enough to incite several nightmares.

3.5 out of 5.0 Non-Alcoholic Eggnogs.

1 comment:

RC said...

I love this book, I think it's a whole lot of fun. and ever since the movie it has to be Angelica Houston in my mind.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com