on 14 August 2001
This fourth volume makes you hope there will be many more. By far, so far, the best, and the thickest. The book is packed with events and a tremendous level of creativity and imagination. At the same time the references to the previous volumes are still numerous, giving to this new episode a perfect continuity in the story.
The first element that jumps out is the fact that Harry Potter has been growing in age from one volume to the next, and in this volume he really has his age, thirteen. This is the mark of a very good writer who is able to follow the maturity or the maturation of the characters, so that the story is realistic. Never in the four volumes, and particularly in this volume, are the characters older than they should be. Hermione discovers social consciousness and gets interested in the fate of elves, as well as she discovers the difference between friendship and love. Ron Weasley discovers the need to believe his friends and the first pangs of love or sexual awareness. Harry Potter opens his eyes to the necessity to assume his responsibilities by learning what he needs to accomplish his tasks and the sense of honor and human solidarity even within a competition in which he tries, and he is not the only one, to remain human, with his challengers or co-competitors, instead of being an unsensitive and selfish winning machine. This is done with great subtlety and delicacy. Fred and George Weasley are older and they discover the need to have a social and economic position in society that brings in an income based on a creative project for the whole community : this is known as business in any society.
The second element is that the confrontation between Potter and Voldemort finally comes to a direct face-to-face one-on-one duel whose stake is life or death for Harry Potter as well as life or death for his direct friends and the whole community. The battle leaves the level of individuals to reach the level of society, a real universal value, a cosmological dimension. And in this progressively built up, and non-final because undecisive as for the life of death of Voldemort himself, frontal shock, the writer shows a level of imagination that has no limits. She uses older elements in an unforeseen or at least partially unpredictable way, and she adds new elements that are totally undeductable from the previous volumes. Suspense is absolute and never, at this level, loosened or weakened.
The third element is The widening of the national and ethnic scope of the book. The author introduces a competition that brings into the picture two schools from abroad : one from France and another one from eastern and central Europe. Hence there is a play on the particular « dialects » of those foreigners in their use of English, a play on food variations, on clothing variations, on transportation variations, etc. This is supposed to widen the scope of the students' consciousness and awareness of the differences that exist between and among humans to bring out a wider accepting of national and international cooperation. But she also widens the scope by introducing several other communities, particularly some that are traditionally rejected by wizards and witches on the basis or pure prejudice, that is to say racism : merpeople, elves, goblins (a little), giants (only a beginning). The aim is always to show that cooperation between different ethnic groups is necessary to give the future some stability and predictability.
The fourth element has to do with political power and its abuses. Power for the sake of power (Lord Voldemort), or for the sake of stability (The Minister of Magic, Fudge), or for the sake of lawfulness (that always covers some unlawful element and some inhuman attitudes to impose the law), or for the sake of personal privileges (like the power to show off, to get publicity, to bet and gamble) leads to abuse and cecity, at least shortsightedness, the incapability to see how the future will change and warp those principles or objectives, those ambitions, those values : to be a real leader you have to keep in mind the unification of your people and the wider longer aims of human life, of social life, of history. Lord Voldemort and his followers find themselves on the wrong side of history, just the same as the Minister of Magic who only wants to protect what has achieved, which is the past, and to prolong it into the future. This idea that the future needs moral commitment and the accepting of change is essential in this book. There is a real mirror in the book that gives us a picture of our own society that uses democracy in order to capture power in the name of change and progress, and then defend it in the name of stability. Any political leader is led to conservativeness, I am even inclined to saying conservation.
We thus wait for the next volume that will have to deal with the fight against the revived Lord Voldemort and also with some fundamental issues that have not yet been solved : love and its outcome, the fate of Harry's godfather, the need of justice and to avoid injustice or to repair cases of injustice, when injustice occors, etc. We can trust the writer to bring in new elements that will constantly feed the mill of suspense and imagination.
on 8 May 2004
Having been told many times of J K Rowling's fourth installment of the Harry Potter series being considerably darker than the first three, I was simultaneously skeptical as to whether or not the effect would be successful, and at the same time eager to experience the change in her storytelling technique. I wasn't disappointed. Yes, it's a long book, and although that seems to put some people off, let me assure you that the effect has the author drawing the reader in to an enchanting and many-layered plot like never before. The level of detail is far more enhanced than the previous books containing Harry's adventures: The author seems aware that the original Harry Potter fans have now matured along with the young wizard, and are now capable not only of understanding the changes Harry is experiencing, but also able to take on board a more complex storyline than is usual within the set of books.
The first hundred or so pages see Harry suffering at the hands of his wretched relatives - the Dursleys - before finally being released for long enough to enjoy the exciting atmosphere of the Quidditch World Cup. Upon returning to Hogwarts, Harry and his fellow witched and wizards learn of a once-annual tradition known as the Triwizard Tournament. It is at this point that J K Rowling unleashes information about magic schools in other countries: Durmstrang and Beaxbatons are the names of the other two schools that compete against Hogwarts for the Triwizard Cup. Times are stressful for Harry during the competition, and it is then that we glimpse changes in his personality and angry outbursts caused by his awkward adolescant phase.
There are, of course, plenty of new characters introduced to the reader: The new Defence Agsinst the Dark Arts teacher - the eccentric and - some believe - dangerous 'Mad-Eye' Moody. We also come across some familiar faces, such as the amusing house-elf Dobby, formerly seen in book two - The Chamber of Secrets. Not only this, but surprising facts are uncovered about characters such as Neville Longbottom, and sinister pasts of thoses working for the Ministry of Magic. There is plenty of excitement within the Goblet of Fire, and suspense during difficulties Harry must overcome during tests of friendship between himself, Ron and Hermione. There are lots of surprises in store, plenty of twists and several weepy moments. It is my personal favourite in the series, and I urge you to give it a read.
on 2 October 2001
I absolutely loved "The Goblet of Fire" by J.K Rowling. It is definately my prefered book of all of the Harry Potter books so far. "The Goblet of Fire" is simply enchanting, and it is a wonderful broadening of Harrys personality. "The Goblet of Fire", being the fourth Harry Potter book, really has a sense of pre-teenage behaviour on all of the characters behalves. The main change being the female roles within the book and the males reaction towards them. I was so delighted to read of the underlying romance which sadly turned fatally into undeniable tradgedy. This really caught me tenderly as I was enraptured with the characters emotions and staggered with other characters awful fates. "The Goblet of Fire" is definately more mature than the previous books, bringing Harry so much closer too the reader, driving my passion for the books even more. I am completly crazy about all of J.K Rowlings amazing books, which frankly are more than books to me, my friends and family. All of the Harry Potter adventure stories get more and more exciting and addictive in each novel, I am restless with impatience and hanging on edge awaiting the anticipated arrival of the next enchantment. "TheGoblet of Fire" along with all the previous Harry Potter books are a definate must have within all families. And for those who have never read a single Harry Potter adventure thriller, shame on you, and I hope these books will find their way into your Cristmas stocking.
on 20 February 2002
The great thing about Harry Potter is that the books appeal to everybody. Both children and adults love them!
I have to say that I think this one is the best so far. Like the other three it's immaginative, exciting and hillariosly funny! There's also the usual strange and exciting twist at the end when the baddie's identity is revealed. This book brings in some new characters, who are just as well written as all the old ones.
The story picks up exactly where it left off; Peeves is still up to his usual tricks, Professor Trelawny is still as batty as ever, Fred and George are still mischevious, and we find out exactly what Pettigrew did after he escaped.
This book starts to open up a wider wizarding world to the reader. Just when we think we know everything there is to know about the wizarding world we discover many new secret facts about characters. This book starts to bring in politics a bit more as we discover other wizarding schools and start to learn a bit more about Voldemort and other dark wizards and exactly why things happened the way they did. We learn a lot more about the past and what it was like when the dark wizards were strong.
The story is very exciting. It's not what you would expect. Sometimes the suspense will make you grip the book very hard indeed, and sometimes you' ll be driven mad trying to figure out what on Earth's going on.
The story finishes very dramatically and leaves you hungry for more.
Congratulations, J.K. Rowling; it's another winner!
on 12 June 2006
I think Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the best book in the series so far. If you have watched the movie you have to read the book because a lot was left out.
It's Harry's 4th year at Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, a lot of unexpected events are about to happen. There are a lot of evil and dark moments but there are some really funny parts which balances it out.
Her descrpition is so precise, it creates an image in your mind. It's so colourful and dark at the same time. The new characters that she has added are so colourful and interesting to read about.Its great how the three main characters (Harry, Ron and Hermione) are growing up. The problems which they have to overcome are quite challenging, even more so in our world.
Overall I have enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series, especially Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. These books make good reading for both children and adults. If you are not used to reading fantasy books, then these Harry Potter books are a good way to introduce you into the world of fantasy.
on 1 November 2001
My only regret is that at 64 years old I cannot read these books with the wonder and imagination of being a child. The great thing about this long story is that it breaks into natural sections allowing you to pause before diving headlong into the next phase of the adventure. Magical and spellbinding, the dark tale still manages to shine brightly with the activities of Harry and his friends Hermione and Ron and gentle coloured tints of his approaching adolescence. The Quidditch final is an exciting prolog to the book and the tri school wizard contest carries us through the eventful school year. Lots of kinks and bumps in the tale which means it is, like its predecessors, very re-readable --- we even have a bit of "elfs lib" in the tale with the strident Herminone doing her suffragette bit for elves rights!
I am off to bed now to continue re reading book 3 and then on to The Goblet of Fire again. Come on Harry sock it to 'em!
on 22 June 2003
After reading such a masterpiece, you would think that Joanne Rowling had tired and wouldn't be able to bring out another good book for awhile. How wrong we all were. The Goblet of Fire stands as one of the greatest children books ever written (and one of the longest) and for this, I think that I have a lot to say about this superior novel.
When it came to reading this, I was very aware of Joanne Rowling's style and the way in which Harry's came about. When I picked up this book, Joanne Rowling seemed to be giving us something new. In this novel, we get a very detailed piece about the Quidditch World Cup, a sport that in the wizard world is very much like football in our world. It is at this match that the whole tail of events seem to come about and it is this part that shows Joanne Rowling has got a true dark side to her. Using the Goblet of Fire as a starting point, she uses this to bring to try and bring Voldermort back and because of this, she has written one of the darkest pieces of children's fiction ever created in a long time.
It is a big long adventure that just makes you want to stay for the whole ride. Joanne Rowling does not cut corners for us. She makes u go all the way and she takes the dangerous road where there seems like no way of escape.
After you have read this, you are so deep in shock that it is pretty hard to go through the day without thinking about everything you have just read. The story does not seem to finish. It is a major prologue for book 5 (which I had to wait 2 years to read - it was worth the wait). There is nothing better then this book and the climax that goes into Order of Pheonix. You'll never read another book like this in your life.
So be prepared for the ultimate in adventure, magic, danger and most of all Joanne Rowling's brilliant talent to crete a magnificent story.
on 12 January 2016
harry potter and the goblet of fire is the best book of all i think. with harry being selected for the tri wizard tornament, it's terrifying and exciting, perfect for all ages, you won't be able to put it down!
When I saw how long this book was compared to the previous three I was a bit doubtful. How could JK Rowling possibly fill all those pages with one school year at Hogwarts? But she did. We're thrown into Harry's life in the middle of the summer holidays when he goes to stay with the Weasleys to go to the Quidditch World Cup and then we're in for an extremely eventful year at Hogwarts.
It seemed to me (before reading the book) that this fourth one in the series is more "adult" than the previous ones. I based that opinion purely on the length of the book. Having read it I feel that this has been confirmed. Harry, Ron and Hermione are growing up. They're no longer kids, but proper teenagers, which might be why I enjoyed this book more than the previous ones. I don't think this will affect children's enjoyment of this book though as the main ingredients (learning magic, coping with school and schoolfriends, and the dark powers that seem to follow Harry wherever he goes) are still present.
I also enjoyed the fact that we're getting to know the other Weasleys better as they're gradually taking on more importance as Harry's substitute family. Getting closer acquainted with Dobby, the house-elf is thoroughly enjoyable since he adds a lot of the comedy value to this story.
I think it's important to read these books in the right order as there are a lot of references to Harry's past. If you have not enjoyed the first three as much as you thought you would I'd still stick with it as this book really does mark a bit of a change from children's book to book for all ages.
on 15 April 2001
Don't believe the Harry Potter books are just for kids - they are great stories for readers of all ages. The unabridged readings by Stephen Fry are wonderful. The characterisations, pace and suspense Stephen Fry conveys vividly bring the book leaping to life. Really good books can be read time and time again with the reader finding something fresh each time - and this series definitely belongs in this category. Likewise, Stephen Fry's readings of them never pall.