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Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
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Howl's Moving Castle (original 1986; edition 2001)

by Diana Wynne Jones

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,854316649 (4.3)484
Member:jgbell
Title:Howl's Moving Castle
Authors:Diana Wynne Jones
Info:Eos (2001), Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work details

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (1986)

  1. 161
    Stardust by Neil Gaiman (DeltaQueen50)
  2. 130
    House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Another in the same series featuring Howl and Sophie Pendragon (nee Hatter)
  3. 110
    The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede (Anonymous user, rosylibrarian)
  4. 110
    Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Also features Howl and Sophie
  5. 90
    Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (infiniteletters)
  6. 60
    The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (LCoale1)
  7. 50
    The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Despite a castle being in the titles of both books, each novel is really about the human stories contained within and the characters' interaction with the magic they come in contact with.
  8. 40
    A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Similar style of writing - whimsical and magical
  9. 73
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  10. 30
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  11. 20
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    cammykitty: sweet romance
  15. 11
    Jinx by Sage Blackwood (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Similar in style and tone, both books are filled with magic and wizards, spells and rumors about mysterious and dangerous beings to be avoided.
  16. 00
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    DWWilkin: When reading these books it seems that they have a great deal that would be make each compliment the other.
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    LongDogMom: Although Howl's Moving Castle is considered YA, this book reminded me of it in the whimsical and quirky way the story is written and the romance and magic involved. Both books are delightful!
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(see all 20 recommendations)

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» See also 484 mentions

English (311)  French (2)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (316)
Showing 1-5 of 311 (next | show all)
I never read anything by Diana Wynne Jones when I was a kid, but I knew about her, somehow. When I decided a few months ago to indulge in gentle, low-stress books - and that means a lot of children's favorites - I knew that Howl's Moving Castle would need to be on the list. I didn't really know much about the plot except that Sophie is under a spell that makes her old, only it's her own doing, and Howl is ridiculous, and also there is a castle that floats around. But I know it's very popular, and that Diana Wynne Jones is well respected.

Frankly, I love the book, too. There's a few parts that don't work for me, but I love fairy tale land settings, and protagonists who are dislikable but still lovable, and POV characters who are flat-out wrong about their POV.

The bits that didn't work - I'm not sure I'm a fan of reverse portal fantasy element of Wales, though I do like stories where our POV is the portal-land (Sophie, not Howl). I just don't really see why Wales or what it adds to the story, which works perfectly nicely if Howl's home were another part of Ingary, or Norland, or wherever. I also wasn't very clear on the resolution of the plot. I can't point out which part lost me, or what's confusing, only that I feel there's something unsettled or unexplained still, and which I need to have explained to me. Or maybe I am disgruntled with how it seems everyone knew Old!Sophie was Young!Sophie since the very beginning, and it was all disguised so well through Sophie's pov.

But, oh, I love that Sophie embraces her old ladyness so thoroughly, grumpy and muttering and the way she goes about things impulsively, instead of logically. She's exasperating, but really so. Howl is also exasperating, never explaining anything, never pinned down - he's certaintly a slitherer-outer - but I like him a lot, too. It's fun having a male main character who is so vain and selfish, but also kind and considerate underneath. I would have been delighted if the end scenario was a friendship between the two, rather than the romance, but a romance is fine - I think I might be interested in non-porny fanfiction exploration of what their lives end up doing. (I'm told by LibraryThing that there are two sequels, but they're not exactly sequels about Howl and Sophie.)

I'm very fond of Sophie's sisters, too, and I'm sad that her stepmother got so besmirched by the teenagers. Michael is a bit of not much, I think, but I'd love to have my mind changed about his interestingness.

One fun thing is that since Howl's Moving Castle was written in 1985, it is completely uninfluenced by Harry Potter. I've noticed that books-with-magic are a lot more varied in what magic spells are like and what it can do in the before-HP days. Or maybe it's just the books I pick up. ( )
  keristars | Dec 3, 2018 |
Sophie Hatter has been cursed all her life. Being the eldest of her sisters means she will never succeed in life and she will never find her fortune. So when young Sophie is actually cursed and turned into an old woman by the Witch of the Waste it barely comes as any surprise to her. What does surprise her is the bravery she finds in her “old age”, her own magical abilities, and the fact that the wicked Wizard Howl who lives in the moving castle outside town is not so wicked at all…

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love Miyazaki’s adaptation of Howl’s Moving Castle. Mere moments into my first time watching this film I knew it was going to become a favorite. What I didn’t know, however, was that this film was based on a novel. When I first spotted it in a Miyazaki display at Newbury Comics I thought it was a novelization but as I got closer I realized, to my delight, that it was a novel! I quite literally squealed and then promptly handed over my money. Since I know you’re going to ask, I will just say- I liked the movie more. That’s likely because it was my first experience of Howl’s Moving Castle and I have a theory that the first is always better (as opposed to the old adage “the book is always better) when it comes to book to film adaptations. Even though I liked the film more I do feel that the book and film complement each other quite well and, in my opinion, that is what happens with an ideal book to film adaption. Miyazaki’s adaptation is visually stunning and really brings Howl’s world to life. The movie has that wonderful ethereal feel fans of Miyazaki have come to love. But the novel gives a depth of understanding that cannot be attained by watching the film. I loved learning about how the magic works in this world and I loved getting to know all of the characters a little better than I got to in the film. Jones’ writing is beautiful in its simplicity and this novel is extremely well paced. One rather large benefit of the novel over the film is that it is part of a series which means I get to have more. More Howl, more Sophie, hopefully more Calcifer, more Ingary, more places like Ingary (or not at all like Ingary), and more magic.
( )
  EliseLaForge | Nov 20, 2018 |
Wish I hadn't seen the movie first! ( )
  LinzFG | Oct 20, 2018 |
I've read this book over and over again. I think that it can stand alone separate from its movie as they are very different. Diana Wynne Jones crafts easy to read yet complex stories that are never how you expect them to be. ( )
  mmaestiho | Sep 20, 2018 |
Listening to on CD with kids. so far, so good.

A fine narrator of a terrific story of kooky magic, a snarky, sullen Howl, his equally histrionic fire demon, Calicifer, and the nosy, prematurely aged Sophie. The story is complex and enjoyable. ( )
  msmilton | Jul 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 311 (next | show all)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Wynne Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Craig, DanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sessions, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Jos. A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sterlin, JennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevens, TimIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
This one is for Stephen
The idea for this book was suggested by a boy
in a school I was visiting, who asked me to
write a book called The Moving Castle.
I wrote down his name, and put it in such a safe
place, that I have been unable to find it ever since.
I would like to thank him very much.
First words
In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worse, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.
Quotations
She was not even the child of a poor woodcutter, which might have given her some chance of success! Her parents were well to do and kept a ladies' hat shop in the prosperous town of Market Chipping. -- Chapter 1 (p.1)
It was odd. As a girl, Sophie would have shriveled with embarrassment at the way she was behaving. As an old woman, she did not mind what she did or said. She found that a great relief.  -- Chapter 5 (p.83)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This record is for the book, not the movie. Please do not combine this with the movie or the DVD.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006441034X, Mass Market Paperback)

In the land of Ingary, such things as spells, invisible cloaks, and seven-league boots were everyday things. The Witch of the Waste was another matter.

After fifty years of quiet, it was rumored that the Witch was about to terrorize the country again. So when a moving black castle, blowing dark smoke from its four thin turrets, appeared on the horizon, everyone thought it was the Witch. The castle, however, belonged to Wizard Howl, who, it was said, liked to suck the souls of young girls.

The Hatter sisters--Sophie, Lettie, and Martha--and all the other girls were warned not to venture into the streets alone. But that was only the beginning.

In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, people and things are never quite what they seem. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? And what will happen to Sophie Hatter when she enters Howl's castle?

Diana Wynne Jones's entrancing fantasy is filled with surprises at every turn, but when the final stormy duel between the Witch and the Wizard is finished, all the pieces fall magically into place.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:05 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Eldest of three sisters in a land where it is considered to be a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared wizard Howl.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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