A girl named Charmain must inhabit her ailing great-uncle's time-traveling home full of magical belongings. As Charmain begins a journey of amazing discoveries, she comes to the attention of the powerful sorceress Sophie and an elusive wizard named Howl.
©2008 Diana Wynne Jones; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
A fun young adult novel. Diane Wynne Jones does a nice job of mixing humor and magic. I also really liked the narrator, I think she did a wonderful job.
I don't think I agree with another reviewer who was shocked by the Lubbock being a "rapist". It's a big bug that lays eggs in people by stinging people in the back. A villain, to be sure, but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call it a "rapist." If you're especially sensitive to that sort of thing you can skip it, but I think most people will enjoy the book.
NOTE: Read "Howl's Moving Castle" first (it's book one). Otherwise, you'll ruin it for yourself:)
LOVE IT!!!! 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), 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
I have come very late to discovering Diana Wynne Jones, and I am stunned by the felicities of her imagination. There are not enough of her books in this world.
Leaving her over-protective home in order to look after her great-uncle's house while he's away, Charmain finds herself coping with more than she ever expected, from magic gone wrong through petty acts of malicious mischief to major villany. (Her toughest lesson is probably learning to wash dishes.) She discovers her own aptitude for magic, makes new friends ranging from a small dog to a king, and works with Howl, Sophie, and Calcifer (from Howl's Moving Castle) to save the kingdom.
House of Many Ways is in some ways a new direction for Diana Wynne Jones, and in many ways reminiscent of her other lighter, funnier works. It's entertaining and has some good bits of character insight/development, and some nice moments of tension, and it is pretty much free from the underlying hatred of adult women which tarnishes so many of Jones's otherwise more engaging works.
What makes this recording a joy to own and hear, however, is Jenny Sterlin's sterling performance. After years of Gerard Doyle's agonizing struggles to get meaningfully from one end of a sentence to another, it is a dazzling relief to finally have a reader who is brilliantly suited to Diana Wynne Jones's works, with range, flexibility, intelligence, and humor.
Here's fervently hoping that others of DWJ's best novels will be given the reader they deserve.
Yes I would. I love hearing stories instead of reading. I am dyslexic and being able to hear a story is easier for me to process and not get caught up reading a sentence 3 or 4 times and still not understanding what I read (when it's something simple like "he turned left" might come across as eh turned eflt.
Well I would compare it to Howls moving castle and castle in the air because they are by the same author. They have cross overs from a few characters however the story stays true to new characters in each book. Sophie and Howl make an appearance in castle in the air and house of many ways, however the books are not "about" them. It adds to them, I like knowing they are still around.
I greatly enjoyed the way she did Great Uncle William's voice.
A house that goes back and forth in time as well as space.
I loved this book, I really hope there might someday be a 4th book. I would love for it to be about Howl and Sophie as the main characters. I would also like to re visit Abdula and Flower in the Night, and also Charmaine and Peter.
It's a fun listen with some fun ideas, but most of the plot is unremarkable. Also, there are far to many undeveloped characters, events that don't do much to further the plot, etc. I find that Diana Wynne Jones's books are never bad, but many of her books just can't reach the quality of the others. (Howls Moving Castle being among the most excellent.)
we loved listening to this story. it had us rolling our eyes, laughing, and at times at the edge of our seats. we of course loved Charmaine, but we looked forward to interact with Sophie, Calcifer, and Howel again.
Jenny Sterlin has such a vocal range at times it sounds like multiple narrators. Love Diana Wynne Jones's kids books, they're so fun to listen to. I also use these books to fall asleep and because they are all about 8hrs long, I can judge if I got enough sleep by if it is still playing when I wake up.
So much love!
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