Reader reviews for Howl's Moving Castle

I never managed to get quite irritated with Sophie, and that is a good thing.

The dialogue in the book was pretty awesome and I have saved some very neat quotes (Howl inspires). :D Have I mentioned that Howl's drama reminds me of my husband?

The story was quite simple, yet filled with complexities and feeling. I loved how feelings were expressed by the main characters and I think the path to knowing someone is more often like this than what is seen in movies. :)
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This book is an amazing piece of fantasy and is a must read for anyone interested in magical realism. This author is a treasure.
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A delightful tale of fantasy exploring the many levels humans role-play alignment.
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Sophie, the oldest of three daughters, is not destined for anything in life (after all, everyone knows that it's the third daughter who is bound for greatness). But when Sophie is cursed by the Witch of the Waste, she is forced to leave home and comes in for more than her fair share of adventurers as a cleaning lady for a dashing young wizard. As always, Jones's characters are likeable and her stories original and entertaining, and Howl's Moving Castle is one of my favorites.
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Sophie, the hatter’s daughter, is minding her own business one day when she is suddenly turned into an old lady by a wicked witch.I adored cantankerous old Sophie, and the whole cast of very-flawed characters, and the fast-moving pace of this adventure/fairy tale. A spectacularly imaginative take on the redemption/restorative story and a fierce love story. I hope to read many more of hers.
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A young girl is transformed by a curse into an old woman and gets tangled up with a young wizard, his apprentice, and his fire demon, Calcifer. Calcifer was my very favorite character in this book and his dialogue is fun and entertaining.
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In a fantasy story involving three sisters and a step-mother, to have one sister be the natural daughter of said step mother usually implies a certain way of things. Not in the world of Howl's Moving Castle. Not only does Diana Wynne Jones point out right away that the older sisters are, in fact, not ugly, but an argument between the two younger sisters ends with one vowing to become wealthy by marrying a prince and the other retorting that she will become wealthy without having to resort to marrying anyone.The clearing up of this kind of old clutter, is the thing that makes way for fantastic adventure. After all, this is a story where nothing - even Howl's infamous moving castle - is what it seems. When Sophie has found herself cursed by the Witch of the Waste, she decides her only chance for a cure is to as the Wizard Howl (despite his reputation for eating young girls hearts). Getting indebted herself by a fire demon...well, what does one expect from a fire demon?This is a fast and clever story with plenty of room for humor and adventure. Not to mention, learning how to accept that there's more to life than simply accepting your fate. See, some things in fairy tales bear repeating. Even today.
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This book seemed mostly without direction or a plot, but the characters were all extremely well written and lifelike.I loved the funny character of Howl - the vain, dramatic, and handsome young wizard who is also selfish and foolish.Sophie, the main protagonist, is a pretty hat-shop apprentice until she is placed under a spell that turns her into a grumpy old woman.Michael is Howl's careful, timid, and kindhearted apprentice, and Calcifer is a tricky fire demon imprisoned in Howl's fireplace.I liked the characters, and the story was funny and cute, but I still think it should have had a lot more substance to the plot line.There were, at times, too many things going on, and half of them never even led up to anything. Such as, the scarecrow that was following the castle. I suppose that this is the one of those books you have to read the sequels to in order to truly finish the story.This book has great characters, but not such a great plot.
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I felt I had to read this book after watching Miyazaki's adaptation of the story into an animated film. Unlike most book-to-movie situations, I wouldn't say that the book is better than the movie. The stories differ so much that the movie feels like just a different adventure with the same characters. These are some adorable and memorable characters, too, that are all presented as slightly nicer people in the movie. But seeing this side of them in the book, frustrated with the hands they've been dealt in life, though constantly being distracted from their goals, is so much more human. Even when they are close to attaining their goals, they hesitate, with that slight sense of fear of the unknown. Their faults make them vulnerable and thus more loveable to the reader, who will find connections with their mistakes and regrets. Not that this book is entirely about the faults of the characters, but that was one of the major differences I found between the book and the movie.The curses the main characters bear, that of Howl's, Calcifer's, and Sophie's, which I don't want to discuss in detail for fear of ruining the story for anyone who hasn't read it yet, drive the story forward in how the characters choose to deal with them. And if that isn't enough of a problem, there's the Witch of the Waste with some unknown and unfinished business with Howl. Even after watching the movie, there were plenty of parts to this book that I wasn't expecting. I'm glad I picked it up!
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A crazily beguiling tale that would be loved by fans of Peter Beagle and the like. My daughter has been telling me to read this for years (thanks, daughter!)
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