Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Howl's Moving Castle (World of Howl) Mass Market Paperback – August 7, 2001
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From School Library Journal
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Wit and humor glint from the pages."-- "The Horn Book""A witty, rollicking fantasy."-- "ALA Booklist"
Top Customer Reviews
Sophie Hatter is the eldest of three daughters, which in this fantasyland means that she's the one who doesn't have an astounding "fortune" to seek. Instead she's stuck at the hat shop. One day a plump, very rude woman comes to see the hats, and Sophie uncharacteristically insults her. Unfortunately, this woman is the Witch of the Wastes, and responds by aging Sophie into a crone. Peeved out of being shy and retiring, she tramps off to the "Moving Castle" of the supposedly evil wizard Howl, who reportedly [steals] out the souls of young girls.
After arriving at the castle, she encounters Howl's pleasant apprentice and contracted fire demon Calcifer (who promises to disenchant Sophie if she breaks his contract). Though she annoys the rather self-absorbed Howl and drives Calcifer almost nuts at times, Sophie becomes the cleaning lady at the Moving Castle. She begins searching for the chewed-up hearts of the girls, only to find something a lot more bizarre -- including her own peculiar magic.
If you've ever read a fairy tale -- Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast -- you'll know that the youngest kids are always are the favored ones. They go on to marry princes or princesses, become wealthy and beloved. Jones mocks this and many other fairy-tale cliches, such as the hilarious scene where Sophie lurches around in seven-league boots. There's even a brief homage to J.R.R. Tolkien.
It's certainly an interesting twist to have a not-so-evil evil-wizard, a harried apprentice, and a heroine who appears to be in her nineties.Read more ›
Little did I know that the novel was so delightful! As much as I love Miyazaki films, I don't think he could have wrapped up all the delightful parts for his readers in 2 hours or so. For those who have not seen the movie, I think the two can remain separate (meaning you can partake in one and not the other and be equally satisfied) because from what I read of Miyazaki's interviews, the movie goes along very different focuses and themes.
What I found the most enchanting about the book were the rich characters. I don't think any movie could ever do it justice, Miyazaki or not. Howl seems to be the absolute opposite of what a hero should be, but he does grow on the reader and he's really not quite as clueless and self-absorbed as he leads others to believe. And Sophie is the spunky heroine that I thought she would be, although flawed and imperfect, she is very human and this makes her admirable.
It's an easy 300 some pages to read and I finished it in a day (laughter occupied some time, and I reread the ending 2x). It brings back familiar themes of fairytales from childhood and evokes some nostalgia on the reader's part. There's an evil witch, a hero and heroine, rich people and poor people, the working middle class and royalty. But the author is a riot in the way she says things so simplisticly, matter-of-factly and sarcastically. She's very witty throughout, which makes it such an entertaining read!
In this book there are surprises around the bend, and nothing is as it appears.Read more ›
That said, I don't think it is even in the same sphere of interest as J. R. R. Tolkien, or J. K. Rowling. The tone is different; DWJ maintains a witty tone, very emotional, but practical as well. She keeps you interested because of the ways her characters act. Sophie is a particularly complex character, and I enjoyed the ways in which she tried to deny her, um, feelings for Howl (especially the weed killer). I found Tolkien to be more detail-oriented, and less character-based. His books weren't as easy (or, in my opinion, interesting) to read. J. K. Rowling? A different story entirely. The three books don't compare, and not because one is better than the other. They're just completely different.
The book and the movie differ as well. At least two people I know, faced with me coaxing them into reading the book after seeing the movie, declined, with the excuse that they didn't think the book would be as good. This is definitely NOT TRUE. Miyazaki couldn't possibly summarize the character's personalities (Sophie's stubbornness and emotionalness; Howl's selfishness, and total escapism, and his courage, bravery, genius and hot! body, haha). He didn't even try. Come on. Even though I love Miyazaki, admire his films, and think he is truly skilled, I don't think this film was at all his best. The characters were saccharine. Sophie was a nice old woman without a lot of personality, and Howl was a seemingly selfish man who turned out to be a flying bird turned war hero turned 'ideal' male lead. And then there was the Witch. She WASN'T GOOD. SHE WAS EVIL. I know I sound pessimistic, and there were parts of the movie that made me love it... but as a movie. I loved this book first, and I was really disappointed with the movie.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was one of my favorite books as a young woman and that hasn't changed as I've gotten older. All of the characters are so complex and ridiculous. This is a great fun read. :)Published 5 days ago by Brooklyn Schlamp
Great for kids ages 9 and older (about). The world can come alive in one's mind and the book is a fast read. (loved the movie, the book clears a few things up hahaha)Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
If you are familiar with the movie that came out, I must say, this is COMPLETELY different. Yes...its mostly the same in the beginning but other than that, much of the plot is... Read morePublished 9 days ago by ~Butterfly214~
Many years ago, I found a copy of this book at a bus stop, and I wasn't interested in reading it at the time, so I gave it to my niece. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Heather J. Donnell
I love this book. I absolutely love Howl and Sophie,as well as Calsifer. I love the movie too. I can't wait to read the other 2 books! Read morePublished 12 days ago
Like many other reviewers, I read this book after watching the film. I loved the film but felt some plot points were left unexplained so I picked up this book to get the full... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Kelly
This is nothing like the Miyazaki movie. Please read without comparing the movie to the book.Published 17 days ago by audrey01
I didn't want to put the book down. All of the characters were wonderfully done. I especially liked Calcifer, with his stubborn and yet helpful ways. Read morePublished 18 days ago by sophieblue
I'm just sorry I didn't read the book before the Miyasaki movie. I also loved the movie, but it's never the same, reading or seeing first. Read morePublished 20 days ago by dmr