©1986 Diana Wynne Jones; (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC
"A wonderful blend of humor, magic, and romance." (Publishers Weekly)
OMG!! I actually clapped my hands while driving the car (alone, mind you) when the reader spoke the last words of this amazing audiobook. I LOVE the movie, but Miyazaki's version is so far removed from Jones' original novel, I was astonished. I enjoyed every second listening to cantankerous Sopie and vain Howl and manic Calcifer. Oh, how I want a Calcifer of my own! A wonderful, wonderful story for kids and adults.
I really love this book, it is inventive and rich in so many ways. It has themes that appeal to all ages, and playfully tweaks the fantasy genre while creating one of the most memorable wizards in literature. The story is quite different than the movie version, with surprises right up until the end. The narrator has a unique voice, but I liked her interpretation, and highly recommend this audiobook.
I watched the movie with my kids and was struck that some movie events did not relate to each other. A sure clue that the book has been selectively abridged for the screenplay. The book's story and movie actually are two entirely different stories that cover the same characters and some events. This book is great! The movie now disappoints, even though it was an Academy Award nom. Ghibli films are always well done, but Ms. Jones wrote a much better book!
I downloaded "Howl's Moving Castle" based on all the great reviews, even though I had never heard of this book. I have young children and like to read ahead and give them good recommendations. That being said, I absolutely loved this book. I listened once, then had to listen again the minute I was done. I am now reading it outloud with my kids - although I am not nearly as entertaining to listen to as Jenny Sterlin (narrator). As a matter of fact, I am wondering if I loved this book so much because of the great narration or the amazing story. I am eager to get going on the sequel - "House of Many Ways."
I love books! All kinds... classics, mysteries, Christian fiction, suspense and action! I'm also a sucker for anything romantic. ;) And just recently started getting into some non-fiction, philosophical books.
It is quite different than the movie. Some parts are similar, sometimes things that happened at the beginning of the movie happen at the end of the book and vice versa. I liked the characters a lot more, in the book, as there was plenty of time to flesh them out and get into their issues.
This all being said, I might have had a difficult time understanding the magical side of things, the house in 4 places, the change, Calcifer, the scarecrow... without having seen the movie first. Personally, I'm glad I saw it first, then read the book. I was so much more pleased with it then had it been the other way around.
The movie had it's own agenda, which wasn't in this book at all, and that was the war. I mean, war was suggested as a possibility in the future, but that wasn't the point of the book. And honestly, that annoyed me in the movie. The book, instead, focused on characters, vibrant descriptions, mystery and excitement.
Quite good and very enjoyable. :)
I waited years after first seeing Studio Ghibli's masterpiece adaptation of this book before finally deciding to give it a listen-- like most people, I was afraid it couldn't possibly live up to the movie. In some ways, it doesn't; I find the end of the film to be preferable, though the ending of the book is good. The two stories start off similarly, and Sophie is an immediately likable character (as are Howl, Michael/Markl, and Calcifer) in both, but partway through the stories diverge radically. I assume that some of the threads left hanging by the book are tied together in the sequels, which I plan to listen to later.
Diana Wynne Jones is clearly an incredibly talented writer: the phrases she uses elicit images that are fresh and magical, and the world she created in this book is one that I want to revisit over and over. The characters she invented are never one-dimensional-- just like most of the objects in Howl's castle, they aren't what they initially seem.
I recommend this book for any lover of fantasy as well as fans of the movie (just don't expect the same story), and most importantly, I recommend it for readers of all ages. This book is listed as a children's/YA novel, and while I'm sure that younger readers will love it and benefit from Sophie's understated brand of strength, reading it for the first time in my mid-twenties has given me insight into the characters and their motivations that I know I would have overlooked at a younger age.
Simply one of my favorite books of all time. It has a perfect blend of unique ideas, fantasy, and great humor. Sophie, Howl, and Calcifer are unforgettable characters. It’s timeless and appropriate for all ages.
Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite authors, though she is not well known. This book is one of her few more lighthearted tales, and is one of my favorite books. It revolves around a girl named Sophie who feels herself to be drab and uninteresting and wanders away from her home when she is cursed by the Witch of the Waste. She winds up in the home of the evil and flamboyant Wizard Howl - turning both of their lives upside down, resulting in hilarity, disaster, and happy endings.
I loved this book. My daughter and i watched the movie and i loved the story so i got the book. It is a children's book, but i was so amused that i wished it wouldn't have ended. I recommend this to anyone of any age.
This is a great book, read by a great narrator. I loved listening to the story unfold and could really feel the character development. I usually have to be working on something while listening to an audiobook, but I could just sit around with this and listen to it over and over again. The writing is funny, quick, and original, and Jenny Sterlin brings Sophie, Howl, and Calcifer to life. Especially Sophie; I loved her character tremendously. I'm about to make a bold statement and don't want to cause any controversy, but this is the kind of performance that makes the audio version better than the written one, and I mean that with full compliments to Diana Wynne Jones. A painting is only as good as the drawing underneath.
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