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Howl's Moving Castle [Paperback]

Diana Wynne Jones
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Aug 2005

A new look for one of Diana Wynne Jones’ funniest and most popular novels.

In the land of Ingary, where seven league boots and cloaks of invisibility do exist, Sophie Hatter catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell.

Deciding she has nothing more to lose, she makes her way to the moving castle that hovers on the hills above Market Chipping. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the souls of young girls… There she meets Michael, Howl’s apprentice, and Calcifer the Fire Demon, with whom she agrees a pact.

But Sophie isn’t the only one under a curse – her entanglements with Calcifer, Howl, and Michael, and her quest to break her curse is both gripping – and howlingly funny!


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Howl's Moving Castle + Castle in the Air + House of Many Ways
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; New edition edition (1 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006755232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006755234
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 517,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones is recognised internationally as a major writer of fantasy and in 2007 received a LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD at the World Fantasy Convention. She has also won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award (twice) and the Guardian Award for CHARMED LIFE. Her books have been translated into more than eighteen languages, and her novel HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE was made into an animated film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. Diana lives in Bristol with her husband, a professor of Early English literature.

Product Description

Review

“…Her hallmarks include laugh-aloud humour, plenty of magic and imaginative array of alternate worlds. Yet, at the same time, a great seriousness is present in all of her novels, a sense of urgency that links Jones’s most outrageous plots to her readers’ hopes and fears…”
Publishers Weekly

From the Back Cover

'In the land of Ingary, where seven league boots and cloaks of invisibility do exist, Sophie Hatter catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell.'

Deciding she has nothing more to lose she makes her way to the moving castle that hovers on the hills above Market Chipping. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the souls of young girls… There she meets Michael, Howl's apprentice, and Calcifer the Fire Demon, with whom she agrees a pact.

But Sophie isn't the only one under a curse – her entanglements with Calcifer, Howl, and Michael, and her quest to break her curse is both gripping – and 'howlingly' funny!

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
By Anne
Format:Paperback
Diana Wynne Jones is renowned for being "hotter than Potter" and her books are sold all over the world. They are popular and loved by each generation they touch. Diana Wynne Jones is famous for the award winning THE CHRESTOMANCI SERIES, and other works such as DARK LORD OF DERKHOLM. Yet out of all of her novels there is one novel which is without a doubt the most popular, treasured and loved of them all - HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE. Most people who have read it will confirm that it is a charming tale of magic, love, humour and wonder. It touches the fibres of your heart so greatly that the sound of the character's names "Sophie", "Howl" and "Calcifer" bring a smile to your face. Although each character is faulted they are wonderfully painted so that you love them as if they were real people.

The story follows the tale of Sophie Hatter, the eldest of three sisters, who unfortunately lives in a world where fairytale traits are the laws of physics. For that reason, despite being attractive, intelligent and talented, the eldest child is destined to come to nothing. While her younger sisters go out doing their own thing, Sophie is forced to make hats in their late father's hat shop. However, it turns out that she has a remarkable talent with magic as well as a needle as she speaks life into the hats, giving them personalities so that good things will come to the wearer of the hat. This is how Sophie attracts unwanted attention from the jealous Witch of the Waste, thinking her a rival witch, and turns her into an old woman to punish her.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Howl's definitely moved me! 2 Feb 2005
Format:Paperback
Thank goodness there are people out there like me!! I have read this book at least 20 times (probably more!) since my early teens and at 23 I'm still going strong, thumbing through dog-eared pages!
I have no hesitation in saying that this is my favourite book of all time. I fell in love with the magic and the mystery the book conjures up. I was sucked into the world of Ingary and every visit I made I never wanted to leave! I have been waiting eagerly for years for this book to be made into a film. Forget Harry Potter, this is the fantasy story that deserves a cinematic showing.
I know the characters so well they almost feel like family! Sophie with her defiant attitude and ambition (despite a spell that's turned her into a 90-year-old crone!) and Howl with his womanising and three-hour long bathroom stints, hmmm reminds me of a few men I know!
With a door that can open to four different towns Howls Moving Castle is a fantasy masterpiece that everyone must read. If you're a lover of all things weird and wonderful this book will knock your seven league boots off!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 1 Sep 2007
By Lulamae
Format:Audio Cassette
I have read a few Wynne Jones books and this is the best one so far, I agree with the reviewer below that you want to start all over again as soon as you finish it. This is a rare enough thing in the world of the book.

She has a lovely, light-hearted style and great characters. Sophie and Howl are really wonderful characters, both flawed and funny, and I loved Calcifer who had a very definite personality all of his own. I don't know how she writes like this, she doesn't give explanations yet you feel that nothing is left out. A magician.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my copy is worn out - unlike the story 10 Mar 2007
Format:Paperback
i only came on to this page to investigate the price of a new copy of this book. I bought my copy just 4 years ago and since then it has been read so many times that there is barely a book left! i have never been so engrossed in a story before, or the characters. I have to confess that at 19 (nearly 20) i own every book that DWJ has ever written and i've not been disappointed by one of them! she is a fabulous writer and a true gem. this book however is, i think, her best work. howl is such a loveable character and i am sad that she did not write more about him and calcifer.still everyone must read this book at least once!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. By far the best book I have ever read 26 Dec 2007
Format:Paperback
I watched the film first as i am a big fan of anime. After the film was finished in the credits I noticed it said that the film was based on a book so I bought it the very next day. I'm so glad I did. The magic is not to over the top and everything about the book is believable. It's written so well. Much better than Harry Potter although i dont know why people are comparing it to this. One thing that did strike me about the book is that it's so different from the film so dont not buy the book because you think its going to be an exact copy because believe me its not!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! 10 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
First of all, if you think this is a kids book think again! It's brilliant for both kids and adults. Howl is everybodys ideal hero (because he's not perfect)and many female readers will totally fall in love with him(although i myself prefer Tom from "Fire and Hemlock")and cheer for Sophie as she falls from mis-adventure to mis-adventure...read it! Believe me, it's worth it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hilarious and heart felt book 6 April 2011
By Aaron
Format:Paperback
Just a quick synopsis before the review (could be caonsidered to be a *SPOILER*):

Sophie, the eldest of three sisters, runs the family's respectable milliner business with her step mother after the tragic death of her father. As the family rely on her, because she is the eldest, the younger sisters and step mother set off to make their own lives and futures. Sophie, left to run the shop, finds herself feeling tired of her dead end life.
The Wicked Witch of the Waste however soon changes everything for Sophie when she sets a curse upon her making her look as old as she feels; a ninety five year old woman.
To break her curse and make a life for her own Sophie sets out to find Howl the wicked wizard who eats young women's hearts, who lives in his tremendous moving castle high on the hillside. Inside Sophie finds more than she bargains for and is quickly making deals with fire demons, fleeing from animated scarecrows and involved in long set battles between wizards and witches who are in league with the King himself.

I found this to be a wonderful children's tale following the adventures of Sophie and Howl, as well as being entertaining for adults alike, as the reader is easily enthralled with its eccentricity, adventure, hilarity and romance. The story is well written but does not drown the reader with too much worded detail. It builds the characters personalities slowly throughout the story, but still leaves them with the `human' unpredictability.
Set in another world where magic and demons really exist, the author manages to craft this world of impossibility so well it leaves our reality feeling almost impractical and unrealistic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun to read aloud
DWJ always writes magic in a totally believable way, and her characters sparkle with life and humour. Great fun to read aloud, or a good one to curl up with on a rainy afternoon. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Ms F Bowers
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an old favourite with its wit and warmth and clever plot turns
Officially this is a children's book but DWJ has plenty of adult fans (including me). This is an old favourite with its wit and warmth and clever plot turns. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Beth
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
Lovely book! Defiantly read if you have seen the movie! Good to get back to the orrogional!
Published 12 days ago by Darcey Hamilton
5.0 out of 5 stars I adore this book!
As the anime has been one of my favorite movies ever since my childhood, I was extremely excited when I now, many years later, realized that it was based on this book. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Isabella
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent and by far her best fantasy story
Published 24 days ago by Miss Abigail M Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars <3<3<3
The book came in a day in perfect condition and I love the book! One of my favs <3
Published 1 month ago by duaa rehman
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing
I first heard of this book when a friend of mine told me she was reading it, I'd already watched the film adaptation and was excited to read the original. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Linda Mary Sprous
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
i love the story.
Published 1 month ago by Michal Kopka
4.0 out of 5 stars Howl's Moving Castle Is Brilliant.
I absolutely loved this book. Although it is very different from the anime, like with any book to screen adaptation, it was still, just as magical and breathtaking. Read more
Published 1 month ago by mikayla
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very good, got so mixed up with story
Not very good, got so mixed up with story, I had to give up half way, which is very unusual for me! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Daisy
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