Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle

Book - 1986
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Eldest of three sisters in a land where it is considered to be a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared wizard Howl.
Publisher: New York : Greenwillow Books, c1986
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780688062330
0688062334
Branch Call Number: YF Jon
Characteristics: 212 p. ; 24 cm

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CMLibrary_akeller Mar 24, 2018

This was a reread for me and I still loved it as much as I used to. It's just a lot of fun and the characters are so enjoyable. Sophie, a young girl, gets turned into an old woman by a witch and sets off on an adventure which leads to the wizard Howl. She manages to find a way to stay with Howl until she can get her curse taking off her. She also meets Calcifer, a fire demon who is tied to Howl in some way. Sophie's interactions with Howl are hilarious and it's so much fun to read!

Library_Jill Feb 15, 2018

This is a deftly-woven classic young-adult fantasy, where the many threads that make up the story are carried along--often subtly--throughout the narrative, until they reveal the whole picture only at the end of the book. I have been a fan of Wynne-Jones for many years, and--like others--I love the Miyazaki movie, but I had never actually read this book. I was surprised at how different the two actually ended up being, but I love the original story just as much as I love the re-imagined story of the movie.

r
ryner
Jan 09, 2018

A young girl is cursed by the local witch simply for standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now in the creaking body of a 90-year-old woman, Sophie opts not to go home, since no one would recognize her anyway, but to leave town to seek employment in the strange, wandering castle of the Wizard Howl. A host of amusing and downright bizarre adventures ensue in this smart and fresh work of fantasy. I'm now eager to see the animated Miyazaki film as well.

LPL_KimberlyL Dec 21, 2017

This book is a treat to read! Howl's Moving Castle is one of my favorite Miyazaki films, and my only gripe is that I waited so long to read the book the film was based on. Sophie is a hilarious main character - she is cursed by a witch and becomes an old woman, something Sophie just immediately adapts to because it allows her to be as grouchy and nosy as she wants. The book is so much fun and is filled with unique magic and clever wordplay. Read this ASAP.

v
vc899099
Jun 27, 2017

Though the original book is pretty good, I found Miyazaki's version is more captivating. I have watched the movie several times while I've never revisited the book.

LPL_FisherA Feb 07, 2017

This is one of my all time favorite books from my childhood since I am a massive Diana Wynne Jones fan. I recently decided to revisit it since I've been on a bit of a Miyazaki binge, and I found that I loved it even more than I remembered. The basic story follows Sophie, the eldest of three daughters, who accidentally upsets the vindictive Witch of the Waste who then curses Sophie to become a 90 year old woman. Sophie sets out to seek her fortune and finds herself embroiled with wizards and fire demons all while trying to reverse the curse. Diana Wynne Jones is the queen of world building and character development, as part of what makes you become so enamored with this series is the relatability and practicality of the protagonist Sophie. Howl's Moving Castle is fantasy escapism at its finest, and is the perfect book to read if you need to get away from the real world. I think that the book is much better than the film, so, like other comments, I recommend watching the movie first so it doesn't diminish your opinion of the adaptation. Seriously, this is one of the best books I've ever read.

p
PatEe
Jan 16, 2017

I was spoiled by having seen the animated movie first - and the book pales by comparison. It is still a fine book - but the movie has a much better plot and defined characters. I much prefer Miyazaki's interpretation.

b
bibliokrisp
Apr 19, 2016

I'd been wanting to read this for a long time, since I love fantasy and enjoy other Diana Wynne Jones' titles. This one was fun, intriguing and ended well. And I'm looking forward to watching the movie!

j
jmatth
Jan 12, 2016

This story was entrancing, goofy, and enjoyably quirky; I never thought I would ship an old woman and a conceited wizard, but their love connection is endearingly perfect!

m
MicaelaMuldoon
Jan 08, 2016

I will say one thing before I really begin this review: watch the Miyazaki movie first, because if you read this first, you won’t like the Miyazaki movie as much. And I really want you to like both, because they’re both wonderful.

The plot is significantly different in this book. There isn’t as much at stake because there is no war in this one, but it feels like there is so much more going on than in the movie.

This is such an unusual, but warm-and-fuzzy fairytale. There isn’t a heck of a lot going on in terms of plot, but this is a character-driven novel for sure, and it delivers. Most every character is lovable, and by the time I finished reading the book, I felt like I’d made new friends. I rarely find a book that special anymore. The magic is subtle and inspires childlike wonder, and the setting is so fitting. (By the way, there is a MAJOR twist in this aspect that will probably make you gasp. Actually gasp.)

The love story between Howl and Sophie is actually not my favourite part. It’s development is unlike that of any other love story I’ve read, so it gets points in that sense. I just wish Howl wasn’t such a floozy, but I enjoyed his silliness and kindness. The gratification of the love story doesn’t come until the very, very end, and even then, not much happens (that we see, anyhow.) Some people may prefer this, but I was all “NOOOO, this can’t end yet! I need more Howl/Sophie fluff.” Maybe we’ll get some in the companion novels?

Please read it. It’s old-timey and reminds me of Anne of Green Gables (one of my faves), only with magic and general quirky weirdness. Read it. It will make you happy.

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Ewang348
Jan 18, 2018

Ewang348 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Sabinlerose
Apr 06, 2017

Sabinlerose thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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fadisi
Feb 26, 2017

fadisi thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

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keylime0
Dec 05, 2016

keylime0 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

blue_butterfly_4102 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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joycemas
Jul 07, 2014

joycemas thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12

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Love_Legolas_111
Feb 12, 2013

Love_Legolas_111 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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mrfbiini2
Nov 15, 2012

mrfbiini2 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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toomanytacos
Aug 19, 2012

toomanytacos thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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snowball40
Jun 21, 2012

snowball40 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Quotes

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KathleenZ
Jan 27, 2014

"Despair!" he yelled. "Anguish! Horror!" ~ Howl on his hair, pg 116

k
KathleenZ
Jan 27, 2014

"It's just a tantrum," Sophie said. Martha and Lettie were good at having tantrums too. She knew how to deal with those. On the other hand, it is quite a risk to spank a wizard for getting hysterical about his hair. ~ pg 122

r
RockHeron
Aug 19, 2013

"We've had lawsuits, and suitors with swords, and mothers with rolling pins, and fathers and uncles with cudgels. And aunts. Aunts are terrible. They go for you with hat pins."

Summary

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j
joycemas
Jul 07, 2014

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, 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. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

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green_tiger_1186
Jun 06, 2014

Sophie, the eldest daughter of a hatter lives in Market Chipping. One day, a mysterious costumer enters the shop. She doesn't like what she sees and turns Sophie into an old women of ninety. Sophie, whose father had recently passed away, wanted to go out and seek her fortune (and get this dreadful spell removed). So she set off on a gran old adventure full of magic, wizards, witches, demons, spells. Read Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones to find out just how active a ninety year old can be when they set their mind to it.

Notices

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Love_Legolas_111
Mar 22, 2013

Coarse Language: Howl ejaculates "Hell's Teeth!", "Great Gods Above!", and "Damnation!" once each. Michael is mentioned swearing and Sophie angrily saying a bad word, but the words are not put in print. Calcifer says "Curses!"

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