Thursday, April 2, 2015

Move, Book, or Both: Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

So there's an occasional thing we like to do on Our Thoughts Precisely. We'll see a movie and then read the book after to see if there are any differences, if it's more detailed, and whatnot. All to see if we like the Movie, the Book, or Both.

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)Title: Howl's Moving Castle 
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Source/Format: Purchased, Paperback
More Details: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Publisher/Publication Date: Greenwillow Books, April 22, 2008 (First published 1986)

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Summary from Goodreads...

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...
I first learned about Howl’s Moving Castle when I saw the movie, and since then I’ve been curious about the book. So, recently I went out and purchased it. I can see the story and how it was adapted to the movie, but I also clearly saw the differences between the two. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the book. In fact, I have to say that I loved it. It was the kind of book that literally kept me up until three in the morning because I just had to finished it.

Going into this book I knew that there were going to be some differences, but I have to say that it didn’t bother me at all. The basic concept is about the same. The story follows Sophie Hatter after her unfortunate meeting with the Witch of the Waste and what happens after that. She runs into Calcifer, Howl, and Michael when she enters the castle uninvited. The novel certainly delved more into Howl's past, and what his family was like.  The extra details were certainly a nice addition.  Characters like Howl's apprentice, Michael, and Sophie's sisters—Lettie and Martha—played other roles in the book. I felt like they were more involved with parts of the story dedicated to exploring their personalities a little more.  Some of the events were different and you really have to pay attention to what’s going on otherwise you might overlook it—I almost overlooked it, but thankfully I caught the details.

The setting was pretty similar to the movie, give or take a few details.  The plot did have some major differences and I really enjoyed seeing how the story played out in the novel.  Another aspect that I liked was the fact that a few details were given further explanationss, giving some clarity to their meaning. So while there were clear differences between the book and the movie, I loved both of them. Would I recommend the novel? Totally. And the Movie? Yep. This is the first in the trilogy and I have to say that I would definitely like to get the other two at some point in time, because I'm curious to see what happens to Sophie, Howl, and Calcifer after the end of Howl's Moving Castle.


  1. So intriguing, especially names like 'Witch of the Waste' and 'heartless Howl'! I just might check it out. Thanks for sharing. Great post!

    1. Definitely check it out if it seems like something you might like, I loved the book as much as the movie, and I recommend both. Thanks for stopping by!


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