15 December 2010

Book Review: HP and the Goblet of Fire

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher/Year: Scholastic/2000
Date Finished: A long time ago
Source/Format: Bought/Print

Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid

Challenges: Challenges: 100+ Reading, Hogwarts Reading Challenge, 101 Fantasy Reading, Young Adult Reading, Read the Book, See the Movie,

The Short and Sweet of It
Once more Harry returns to Hogwarts; only this time, the entire school is in a tizzy due to the reintroduction of a cross-school event: The Triwizard Tournament, pitting the top students of three wizarding schools against each other in a terribly exciting competition. But when Harry's name is called up, the action takes a decidedly more sinister turn.

A Bit of a Ramble
This is the book I can most easily skip over when I'm reading the series. For some reason, it doesn't hold the same interest for me as the other installments in the series. I'm sure it is technically better than the first two, but while they seem necessary for stage-setting and the such not, Goblet of Fire feels like an almost irrelevant middle book.  Perhaps my problem is that the book serves as a bridge between the first three and the last three; as such, it is both immature and sinister, entertainment-driven while trying to be more "epic" simultaneously.

A few exciting and important events do happen in the book: we finally see the horror of the Death Eaters when they torment a muggle during the Quidditch World Cup; we get first hand looks at the three Unforgivable Curses (control, pain, and death); and of course, there's the little matter of Voldemort returning. Big apologies to those who haven't read the series yet (but really?). Despite the big happenings, I still don't have strong feelings towards this one. I am thinking, however, that I might want to re-read it to be sure...

The Filmic Connection
The film is much darker than the three prior, which makes sense as this is the point where the story takes a darker turn. I went with my cousin to a midnight showing of the film, and I remember enjoying it. But as with many adaptations, the changes, the losses, bother me. The story Rowling has written is long and complicated, and to make the epic tale into a series of films requires a great deal of pruning.

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  1. This is my least favorite of the series. For me, I think it's because of the repetitive writing, so many of the same phrases used again and again, plus the huge plotholes. There are parts I really like, especially in the humor, but parts that just really weigh the book down. It needed some good scrubbing and polishing I think.

  2. I'm going to start my re-read of HP in Jan. As I basically love the books in the order they were written (1 least fav, 7 fav) I am also kind of in the middle about G.o.F. Still read it lovingly though. Nice ramble!

  3. I agree that the losses are problematic. It becomes clearer what is going to happen when all the surrounding material is pruned away. So much for depth and complexity. My partner David and our son recently watched all the movies--and I just couldn't do it. They were weakening my love of the books.

  4. Right, it felt like HALF the book was cut from the movie. I guess I understand on the logical side of my brain, but it still upsets me. I see this movie as the turning point...things become deadly, and the gang becomes hormonal slightly. I couldn't skip it, but it is not my favorite.

  5. Well I only read 5-7 so I still need to read this one. Yes I jumoed on the HP wagon quite late, but I will read them eventually :) great review.

  6. Five is my least favorite book, I think. I found it pretty boring and a bit emo. I've only read each book once, though, so maybe my opinion will change when I get around to rereading them!

  7. These posts are timely as I need to brush up on what happened in the HP books because the neighbor girl is reading them for the first time and wants to discuss them and I'm all "Ummm...now what happened? It has been so long."


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