Hey hey, welcome to another edition of Less Than Sober Blogging. Tonight’s drink is the tears of my enemies on ice… jk, it’s vodka coolers cuz I’m a basic bish and A LOT OF THEM.
I guess I should tell you why I’m Less Than Sober, right? I mean, the actual reason, not the vodka coolers (yum).
I am in a bit of a fucking funk, to be honest, dear readers, and since I know that the only people who read this terrible blog are my anonymous internet pals and also my mom (hi mom) I feel like I can tell you the TRUTH. The TRUTH is that I didn’t realize getting engaged would be so stressful. I am in the early stages of wedding planning and I already want to throw myself off the tallest 12-tiered wedding cake I can find. My dudes, I want a marriage, not a wedding. And although I think G would, like me, actually prefer to do a quick city hall ceremony, some people are not pleased by that… and for some reason, that is something we (?) have to think about. Even though it is our wedding. Paid for with our money. Planned on my time, causing my stress.
Anyway, good thing is, there are still books to be read, and vodka coolers to be chugged with wanton disregard for tomorrow’s responsibilities, and words to be smithed (smithed? smithied?) in the frigid darkness of my gelid bedroom.
And I ramble on… TO THE REWIEW!
Today, it’s Roald Dahl’s The Witches and yes you can bet your goddamn square-toed feet that there will be gifs as far as the eye can see.
*Cries in nostalgia*
The Summary Heist
‘A REAL WITCH is easily the most dangerous of all the living creatures on earth.’
That’s a pretty horrifying thought. More horrifying still is that real witches don’t even look like witches. They don’t ride around on broomsticks. They don’t even wear black cloaks and hats. They are vile, despicable, scheming harridans who disguise themselves as nice, ordinary ladies.
So how can you tell when you’re face to face with one? Read this story and you’ll find out all you need to know. You’ll also meet a real hero, a wise old grandmother and the most gruesome, grotesque gang of witches imaginable.
I was raised with this story. I knew it before I knew it. The movie was my childhood favourite, watched over and over and over again, the fraying VHS tape an early demonstration of the destructive potential of whole-hearted love. I watched so often I could probably recite every line of the film from memory. I watched it so often that by the time I learned to read, the book was one of the first I sought out, and thus was one of the first I read on my own.
Because it’s fucking awesome.
Dahl is a goddamn genius, you don’t need me to tell you that. But I do recommend that if you haven’t read this book since you were a kid, READ IT AGAIN because it is a whole new kind of awesome when you read it as an (alleged) adult.
This book is dark and hilarious and scary and narratively creative and also weirdly empowering. One of the best parts was that the witch mythology is timeless and familiar, but also uniquely Dahl’s as well – the square-footed, bald witches with overly-large nostrils is so quintessentially absurd and terrifying that only old Roald could have dreamed it up.
I’m too tipsy to be insightful right now but this kind of savagery reminds me of the old fairy tales. And I’m not even talking about the old Grimm’s, though those are so much darker than the watered-down Disnified dishwater we get these days. I’m talking old old school. Ancient school. Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. Bluebeard and his wives. Baba Yaga and her creepy fucking chicken-legged house. Stories that make feel that iron-tasting fear. That’s the kind of terror you get from this story, if you look past the gross-out humour and the silly songs and the Quentin Blake doodles.
Also, can I just say, the Grand High Witch tho. I mean, I know I’m supposed to be afraid of her but goddamn YAS QUEEN. WERK GIRL. WE STAN A PATRIARCHY-REJECTING FEMINIST HBIC.
I could say more but I’m drunk and really do I need to say more though? It’s Halloween, man, read the damn book and see for yourself.
READ IT. So good. Makes me want to hunt children and maybe even get short bangs again (yeah I said it, deal with it, G, you coiffure-dictating despot)
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”
The Grand High Witch
😍 😍 😍
Book Boyfriend material
Get your mind out of the gutter, this is a children’s book.
10 out of 10 cigar-smoking grannies. This book is so freaking good, guys.
ROBYN’S FINAL THOUGHT
Hey. How are you? No, no, really. Are you good? And not just in the ‘are you happy’ sense. I mean, are you good? Are you trying your best? Are you kind? Do you do unto others as you would have them do unto you? If Anubis had a go at it, would your heart weigh less than Ma’at’s feather? I look at you all, and it breaks my heart, because I know we are scared and struggling and hurt, but good god almighty, my darlings, you have still got to try. There is enough cruelty in this world already, and fuck I am sooooo drunk, guys, but I feel like I am also in that seeing-things-a-sober-bitch-wouldn’t phase of drunkness, and I just wanna say say, if you need to be a blade, be a blade, but remember that not every problem is a Gordian knot waiting to be hacked to bits. Have you ever tried slicing a marshmallow? Im-fucking-possible. So what I’m saying is some of us are marshmallows and some of us are butter and all of us are knives when we need to be, and G why you gotta be so mean sometimes, man? Anyway, be nice but also be a Grand High Witch when you need to, cuz no one is gonna conquer the world for you, O Cruel One. You gotta do that all on your lonesome.
NEXT TIME ON THE READING ROBYN: a sober blogger/librarian will review a mediocre/terrible work of literary fiction. Fascinating.