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Castle in the Air | [Diana Wynne Jones]

Castle in the Air

In this sparkling tale, young merchant Abdullah purchases a magic carpet - and soon finds that the enchanted rug is none too agreeable. But despite the carpet's cranky demeanor, Abdullah must rely on its help to rescue a princess from a wicked djinn.
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Publisher's Summary

A companion to Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones' Castle in the Air was named an ALA Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

In this sparkling tale, young merchant Abdullah purchases a magic carpet - and soon finds that the enchanted rug is none too agreeable. But despite the carpet's cranky demeanor, Abdullah must rely on its help to rescue a princess from a wicked djinn.

©1990 Diana Wynne Jones; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"A bewitching romp, gratifying to mind, imagination, and funny bone." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (211 )
5 star
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4.3 (160 )
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4.6 (156 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Christie Hutchinson, KS, United States 02-14-11
    Christie Hutchinson, KS, United States 02-14-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Howl's Moving Castle trilogy book 2"

    NOTE: This is #2 of the Howl's Castle trilogy, so if you don't want to ruin Howl, the you should read it(Howl) first.
    This is a GREAT BOOK!!! If you like magic, wizards, and other like things, you will ADORE this audiobook. Coupled with Narrator Jenny Sterlin (who also narrates "The Hollow Kingdon" by Clare B. Dunkle, which is a similar masterpiece to Howl), this book will export you. The author is riotously funny in several places which I love. All star rating!!!!!! How can anyone NOT love it???:) -Adoring Fan

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Los Angeles, CA, United States 07-24-11
    Ann Los Angeles, CA, United States 07-24-11 Member Since 2010
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    "What Eddie thinks about this book (Eddie is 11)"

    This is a really fun book. This is book two of "Howl's Moving Castle," it might not seem like it at first, but it is! This is about the adventures of a boy and a flying carpet and you see the characters from Howl's Moving castle again. I also really liked the narrator. I just really liked this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 07-07-12
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 07-07-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Wonderful, creative modern fairytale"

    I loved this book. The reader is the best. Her voices are distinctive and embody the characters. My only quibble, and the reason I didn't give it a 5 overall, is that in order for the ending to make sense, the listener must have read Howl's Moving Castle first. And in a way, that was disappointing because I loved the Djin, the genie, and the carpet.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Hoosick Falls, NY, United States 01-17-12
    Amazon Customer Hoosick Falls, NY, United States 01-17-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A wonderful story with a wonderful narrator"
    If you could sum up Castle in the Air in three words, what would they be?

    Enchanting, fun, magical


    What other book might you compare Castle in the Air to and why?

    Howl's Moving Castle & House of Many Ways; same author, same narrator.

    Stardust - love story with lots of magic and perseverance.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the climax of the story, actually - it was very clever.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book. I've already listened to it twice - it was really a lot of fun.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Spanish Fork, UT, United States 06-18-13
    Jeff Spanish Fork, UT, United States 06-18-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It Was Quite Good; What More Can I Say?"

    Castle in the Air is a very interesting book to come after Howl's Moving Castle, mainly due to the fact that it feels like a different world entirely. But I'll get more into that later. In general terms, this is one that lives up to expectations set out in the first book quite well!

    First, the story. I used to be of the opinion that most mid-readers were a little light on story in general, but that there were a few that had really engaging plots. I've been reading them on-and-off for a long time, and books like Castle in the Air are one of the reasons that my opinion is changing. The storyline in this is quite deep, and many aspects of it have multiple layers that you can peel back and enjoy on their own. While the story does have one main thread that ties it all together, the smaller stories that come from it are no less interesting. It's particularly enjoyable when small things that seem to be mentioned in passing end up playing a fairly big role in events. However, with so many story elements there are bound to be a few that fail to resolve or that feel like they were done in a deus-ex-machina way. I won't go so far as to say that it's like Scooby-doo and everything reveals in an anticlimactic way, but some aspects are just unsatisfying. But the thing that keeps me going is the thought that maybe everything will tie together in the next book.

    Characters are quite good. Diana Wynne Jones is terrific at giving us characters with specific motivations and foibles that we as readers can all identify with. Characters seem to be able to think and see what will happen as a result of their actions and can adapt, but we can also tell that they have reasons whenever they happen to make a bad decision. Sometimes it can get a little frustrating, though because characters only seem to have one or two motivations that drive them throughout the entire book. While this can be good sometimes, I feel like it would be served better if there was some break in the character's primary motivation. Let's be honest: a person can't fixate on one idea forever, and it seems that the characters have a tendency to fall into that trap. However, since this is mid-reader, I figure we have to give Ms. Jones the benefit of the doubt.

    Insofar as the narration is concerned, it has kind of worn on me. As an American, I generally can't catch the minute differences between an English accent and Welsh one, especially when compared with that of an English (?) person impersonating the accent of an affected Middle-eastern carpet merchant. British pronunciation is naturally the norm, and I found that the many differences (and their frequency) tend to pull me out of the story. The reader seems to be in a near-constant shouting match with the microphone, which can make her voice sound strained and almost tinny. I feel that the narration would be much stronger if she were to speak in a more normal tone, but this could be the exception rather than the rule. The parts of the recording that stand out most strongly in my memory are the times when Ms. Sterlin was speaking very loudly.

    In all, this book is quite enjoyable. While I don't think these books will ever reach the same level of popularity that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone or The Lightning Thief enjoyed, they are nevertheless worth your while to pick up. They're entertaining, fun and fantastical.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie Severna Park, MD, United States 03-15-13
    Annie Severna Park, MD, United States 03-15-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Fun read for adults and kids"
    What made the experience of listening to Castle in the Air the most enjoyable?

    The character development and performance were great. The adventure on the carpet was funny and the castle oddly familiar until you realize why.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I would have to say the Genie. For one you wonder how on earth will they ever ask a wish that could be fulfilled without disaster.


    What does Jenny Sterlin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    You would catch the funny parts but now perhaps in the way you would while listening to someone. She has the ability to pull you into the character's mind and absorb you into the plot... what's coming next...


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The section of the book when they had to guess the secret name through when the Genie and carpet "changed" back into my 2 of my favorite character's from Howl's moving castle.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Wyatt Colorado Springs 12-26-12
    Daniel Wyatt Colorado Springs 12-26-12 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Funny and Unexpected"
    Where does Castle in the Air rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Castle in the Air ranked amongst the top 25%.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author didn't settle for the norm and completely changed things around. It was funny and interesting. This was a refreshing...


    What about Jenny Sterlin’s performance did you like?

    The ability to use accents.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    None

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnny Saint George, UT, USA 12-09-09
    Johnny Saint George, UT, USA 12-09-09
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    "I'd really like to recommend this book but..."

    This is one of my favorite reads and i enjoyed listening to it all the way till almost the end. The author used a very high squeaky voice for one of the characters in the book and it sounded awful! It has the effect of scratching nails on a chalkboard and makes the end of the book almost intolerable.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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