The Starving Bibliophile

Books before food (and any sort of comfortable life).

Howl’s Moving Castle

Summary: Sophie Hatter has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters of a hat maker, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. Sophie resigned to assist her step-mother in the family hat shop while her two younger sisters are apprenticed to a pastry cook and a witch. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, a powerful witch who has mistaken Sophie for her sister, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl‘s castle. Sophie leaves the shop and finds work as a cleaning lady for the notorious Howl, famed in her town for eating the hearts of beautiful young women. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl and strike a bargain with fire demon Calcifer: if Sophie can break the contract Howl and Calcifer have signed, then Calcifer will return Sophie to her original form. She meets Howl’s apprentice, Michael Fisher, who runs most of the day-to-day affairs of Howl’s business, while Howl chases his ever-changing paramours. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl – and herself – than first meets the eye.

Diana Wynne Jones, I could kiss thee. I was disappointed however, although I’m not sure whether I was disappointed in the movie or the book; they are two separate things entirely. It’s like the screenwriters read the first three or four chapters and then said “the rest of the book is irrelevant.” Now, don’t be fooled: I really don’t mind if they did this. There is now two completely different stories to enjoy, and they’re both great. Concerning Howl, I loved him equally in both book and movie. In the book, he’s womanizing, egotistical, metrosexual, cranky, petulant, narcissistic, and Welsh, surprisingly. Yes, you read that right: Howl is from Wales, although there he’s called Howell Jenkins. This was one of the (many) odd parts of the book. I found myself laughing at every other page. What I loved the most was that every time something went wrong, Howl somehow managed to blame Sophie. It was hysterical! And I could NOT believe how dense Sophie was. Every time Calcifer, and even Howl although unintentionally, revealed parts of the contract, Sophie never got any of it. It was highly frustrating. But I really loved this book; my imagination ate it up.

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This entry was posted on March 20, 2011 by in Books and tagged , , , , , , , .
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