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Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's…
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Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Castle) (original 1986; edition 2012)

by Diana Wynne Jones

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,946279519 (4.3)449
Member:calmclam
Title:Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Castle)
Authors:Diana Wynne Jones
Info:Greenwillow Books (2012), Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Collections:Kindle
Rating:*****
Tags:kindle: children's

Work details

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

Recently added bymartiice, astoldbykaryn, drake14, private library, Laeta, Quilby, chelseysnow, jdeobeso72, nurfherder
  1. 141
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  2. 130
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    ed.pendragon: Another in the same series featuring Howl and Sophie Pendragon (nee Hatter)
  3. 110
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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 also 449 mentions

English (274)  French (2)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All (279)
Showing 1-5 of 274 (next | show all)
It’s hard to review a book which is so closely associated with my childhood. I have clear memories of sneaking pages of Howl’s Moving Castle during mandatory 5th grade camp, desperately trying to air conditioned places to read in. I’m happy to say that even reading it years later, Howl’s Moving Castle is still a book worth loving.

Sophie Hatter is the oldest of three sisters, and she knows she won’t amount to much. Her youngest sister will probably go off and seek her fortune, having great adventures, but Sophie? Her future holds nothing more than hats. Then the infamous Witch of the Wastes comes into the hat shop and curses Sophie, transforming her into an old woman. In a state of shock, Sophie wanders out of the hat shop and off into the hills, where she comes across Howl’s Moving Castle. Howl is nearly as infamous as the Witch of the Waste, and Sophie’s always been told to stay away from him since he devours young women’s hearts. But Sophie’s no longer a young woman, so what does she have to be afraid of? She barges her way into Howl’s castle and makes a deal with a fire demon – if she breaks the demon’s contract with Howl, the demon will free her from the curse.

Jones’s prose is straight forward but utterly charming. Howl’s Moving Castle has something of the feel of an original fairy tale. The world of the book contains witches and wizards, seven league boots, kings and princesses, and other elements out of European fairy tales. For all that, the focus of the novel is small, centering around Sophie, Calcifer (the fire demon), Howl, and Howl’s apprentice Micheal.

The real strength of the novel lies in the characterization of Howl and Sophie. They are both likable but by no means flawless. Sophie underestimates herself for the majority of the book, and she’s got an incredibly fierce temper. Howl is vain, childish, fickle, cowardly and lazy. There’s a wonderful scene where he throws a temper tantrum about botched hair dye and Sophie shoves him fully clothed into a cold shower.

If there’s one thing that I dislike about the novel, it’s how Diana Wynne Jones always feels the need to pair everybody up at the end. It’s not a major flaw, but it’s a pattern I’ve seen in her books that annoys me.

If you’re already familiar with the animated movie, there’s still a lot to surprise you about the book. The second half of the book has an almost completely different plot than the movie, and there’s many differences of characterization. The movie sanded off a lot of Howl’s and Sophie’s rough edges, so I strongly prefer the book versions.

It was a delight to revisit this novel from my childhood, and it is a story I would recommend to anyone, of any age.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
2 vote pwaites | Jan 10, 2017 |
A fun fantasy, my ten year old listener and I both enjoyed. Sophie is the eldest of three daughters, so she knows that in classic fairytale fashion, she cannot expect much in life, but her bravery and intelligence lead to adventure and success. I liked the fact that all "heros" in this story were flawed in some way, but still able to act heroically, and that Sophie spent much of the book as an elderly woman, subtly undermining stereotypes of the elderly. Many myths about romantic love and attraction are lightly debunked also. ( )
1 vote kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
a young woman is turned into an old woman by a jealous witch. She ends up becoming the cleaning lady for the wizard Howl in an attempt to get him to turn her back. The jealous witch is after Howl. Everything turns out ok in the end. I would have to recommend reading this before watching the movie by Miyazaki. A much more full bodied story and things are explained a bit more. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
This was an interesting book that I really enjoyed reading - I didn't put it down till I finished reading it, in one day. :) ( )
  RobertPop | Nov 23, 2016 |
E poi ci sono quei libri che non puoi fare a meno di rileggere perché, ogni volta che te li ritrovi tra le mani, cominci a sognare.
Il Castello Errante di Howl resterà per sempre uno dei miei libri preferiti perché risveglia ogni volta la nolstalgia delle vecchie fiabe ingenue e genuine, quelle dove le forze del bene sono semplici, pure e, allo stesso tempo, cariche d'intensità. Questo è amore eterno! ( )
  Crissy8686 | Oct 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 274 (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 9 descriptions

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