Matilda | Roald Dahl | Audiobook Review

Why Did I Listen To This Book?

A few weeks ago, I went back to where I used to live to pick up some packages. One of the packages was probably the most epic box I have ever received. Inside it was five Roald Dahl audiobooks. FIVE. Needless to say, I screamed a little. Of course, you know the paradox of too many choices, it took me forever to pick one to start with. Y’all, I choseMatilda to listen to because it is in my top three favorite books byRoald Dahl and frankly, sometimes I like to start with the best.Matilda is just as magical, perfect, and marvelous as I had remembered. And bonus? One of my favorite actresses of ALL TIME narrates this audiobook — Kate Winslet. Y’all, Winslet totally kills it as narrator and I mean that as the HIGHEST of all compliments!

Matilda by Roald Dahl | Good Books And Good Wine

What’s The Story Here?

Go home right now if you don’t know the story ofMatilda.Seriously, you are either too young to be on my blog or someone who has lived under a rock in some cave. Like, you can’t be a true 90s kid without seeing the movie — DANNY DEVITO IS IN IT and he shines! Y’all, here’s the deal, basically Matilda is an incredibly precocious little girl. She can read and do maths before school. She is smarter than I will ever hope of being. Do her parents encourage this? Oh hell no. Basically her dad is a smarmy used car dealer and her mother is a housewife who is more interested in cards than her brother. So, they don’t even put Matilda in school until the Trunchbull buys a car from her father. The Trunchbull is headmistress of a school and tells Matilda’s dad, so then she ends up going to school. Matilda loves school and her classmates and her teacher, Miss Honey. However, all is not sunshine and rainbows. You see, the Trunchbull is an evil, evil woman who hates children and everyone lives in fear of her. She also thinks that Matilda should stay in the lower form, and underestimates the intelligence of most of the children. THEN Matilda develops some magical powers and piss off to your rock cave if you think that’s a spoiler, and hijinks ensue. Basically this whole story is about children triumphing over idiot adults AND IT IS THE BEST EVER can I get an amen, my bookish friends.

lawd baby GIF

How Was The Characterization?

You are reading a book blog written by a slightly (read: hugely) neurotic bookworm, so I am willing to bet dollars to donuts that you’ve read and seen Roald Dahl’sMatilda in at least one of it’s iterations so chances are you relate to Matilda Wormwood. Whether you relate on a level where you, too, read lots and lots and lots of books as a kid, or whether you thought grown ups were dumb, or whether you felt repressed as a youth because let’s face it, adults have so much power and agency in comparison to children — chances are you identified with a character inMatilda. Friends, as an adult, I still identify withMatilda. I still read lots of books. I still think adults are whack. Actually, I even empathize with the Trunchbull a little bit, as I now find children kind of annoying. So, what I am saying is that Dahl is solid in his characterization. I basically love it.

Be Honest, What Did I Think Of This Compared To The Movie?

It’s been awhile since I’ve readMatilda. Prior to this audiobook, my most recent experience withMatilda was watching the film, which you guys I have probably seen at LEAST 20 times. AT LEAST. So, while I was driving along to this audiobook I kept comparing it to the film in my head. I guess things in the film do not happen on the same chronology as the book. Also, the Lissy doll thing only happens in the film. However, I think that the two pair quite well. Danny Devito is the PERFECT Harry Wormwood, and Rhea Pearlman really captures Mrs. Wormwood quite well. And omg, they could not have chosen a better person for the Trunchbull. And of course, Maura Wilson is Matilda forever and always in my heart. What I am getting at is that I found the book AND the movie to be flawless entities that I think do well when you place them side by side. I love them both you guys. Maybe that’s my nostalgia glasses talking, but I LOVE THEM. Love. Jeez, I get defensive over this.

How’s The Narration?

When celebrities narrate books, I get a little concerned because they are not professional audiobook narrators and might not give a book what it needs. Straight out, Kate Winslet is a boss narrator and I will happily listen to anything she reads. She’s not afraid to get silly with voices. She dramatically reads Dahl’sMatilda in a way that is not annoying, but a way that will hold a child’s, and consequently, my attention. Winslet brings some superb accents to the story too, as it’s NOT set in America, like the movie you guys, but in England. I just pretty much love it. Matilda Wormwood sounds so proper. The Trunchbull sounds so mean. Miss Honey sounds so gentle. I just, I loved her narration. This version ofMatilda by Roald Dahl is produced by Penguin audio. It’s 4 hours and 18 minutes unabridged. I recommend it for anyone with a beating human heart.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

Matilda dancing with magic movie

Disclosure: Review Copy Provided By Publisher

Other reviews of Matilda by Roald Dahl:

The Steel Review – “an absolute classic of childrens literature
Quinn’s Book Nook – “this book was still magical
Any Excuse To Read – “Such a heart-warming tale

Books by Roald Dahl:
The Twits
Esio Trot
The Magic Finger

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I’ve watched Matilda countless times but I don’t think I’ve read the book. This audiobook sounds amazing so now I’m really intrigued to give it a listen and read the book. Awesome GIF 😉

  2. Love that Kate Winslet narrates this! I feel like the movie does a really good job of bringing this story to life even with its changes. The only one about which I’m ambivalent is the ending, regarding Matilda’s powers-still not sure which ending I prefer.
    Bookworm1858 recently posted..War and Peace, Volume III, Part ThreeMy Profile

  3. I STILL watch this movie when it comes on TV but I’ve never read the book! I’m a huge Roald Dahl fan too so I’m not sure how this escaped me. I loved your review of the characters and will probably go find the audio book to hear Kate speak like the Trunchbull. Great review and I’m so glad someone else appreciates this classic!
    Emily recently posted..WanderloveMy Profile

  4. I read this book when I was in 3rd grade and mannnnnn…. it’s one of those defining childhood books. I wasn’t a HUGE fan of the movie, but some of the characterizations couldn’t have been more spot on. The Trunchbull was a thing of my childhood nightmares and to see her come to life in that movie… oh chills! I’ll have to check out this audiobook… just to relive some childhood memories! 🙂
    Candice @ The Grown-Up YA recently posted..Halloween!!!My Profile

  5. I’ve seen the movie (it terrified me as a child because of that box with all the sharp things they lock children in), but I honestly cannot remember if I’ve read the book. I should probably fix that.


    Also, I am like INSANELY jealous of this audiobook package. That is the best ever. Roald Dahl is my jam. And his stories would be great on audio, because they are just generally amazing.

    “Seriously, you are either too young to be on my blog or someone who has lived under a rock in some cave.” Hahahahaha

    I always get the plot of the movie and the book confused. Clearly it is time for me to reread, amirite?
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted..Review + Blog Tour Giveaway: The Girl Who Soared Over FairylandMy Profile


  1. […] that she is not interested in. Others are to books that have truly shaped her (my favorites were to Matilda and The Time Traveler’s Wife). Then at the later section of the book are recommendations of […]

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