am 9. Juli 2000
This fourth book in the Harry Potter series of seven is billed as "pivotal" by the cover, and is certainly delivers on that promise. It is Rowling's longest work yet, but the plot stays strong for all 735 pages. I especially enjoyed that she broke away from the standard practice of reexplaining the characters, locations, and plot points from previous novels at the very beginning of the book. Instead, she has them unfold over the course of the novel, which recaptures that sense of discovery that readers will recall from the first few books. Rowling writes the story in such a way that those who have not read the first three books will be able to follow the plot, yet HP veterans will not be bored by a "recap" chapter. The length of the novel demands new characters be added, but is also allows the development of some of the more minor character from previous books, such as Arthur Weasley and the teaching staff, to take on a more prominent role. The book provides a deeper glimpse into the power structure of the Wizarding world, and Rowling focuses on the trails of being an adolescent trying to deal with friendship, jealousy, and adult expectations. Another benefit of the longer book is that the subplots of this book are more thoroughly developed. Hermione, Ron, and Neville are explored at greater length, and the students' are faced with some challenges to their preconceived notions of what makes a life valuable. There is a lot going on in the book: new locations and names, fascinating spells and charms, and unexpected plot developments. The bottom line is that HP fans will be delighted with the developments, shocked by the revelations, and intrigued to read what happens as he enters his fifth year. Let's hope Rowling doesn't make us wait too long.
am 12. Juli 2000
This, the fourth and longest Harry Potter, is a watershed book in many ways. Harry is no longer a lost little 11-year-old orphan cringing away from his bullying uncle. He is now a rapidly maturing, self-assured 14-year-old young man. He has come face-to-face with horrors most people only experience in their nightmares. He has faced them and survived. This has matured him. He bristles at being called "little boy". And yet he still is frighteningly aware of his limitations.
Harry and Ron are starting to notice those strangest and most frightful of all creatures -- girls! Their friend, Hermione, is on the same voyage of discovery, though from the opposite direction. This sailing in uncharted waters provides some of the most enjoyable sections of the whole novel.
The book is a watershed in atmosphere, too. Lord Voldemort returns to power, leaving in shambles the nice tidy magical world we all know from the previous novels. The process by which he returns provides the darkest and most intense scenes yet from Rowling's pen. Parents of young Potter fans may wish to read the first chapter to determine if their individual child is up to it.
Joanne Rowling is a master at subtle detail. Her characters leap from the page fully formed. The mental images of the scenery are crisp and clean. It is only when the book inexplicably loses that touch in spots that it begins to fail. Sizable chunks seem devoid of it. This leaves the reader with a feeling of incompleteness. Perhaps 700+ pages were a little too much for even Rowling's story-telling genius.
But these are mere quibbles. This is a worthy book to be read and re-read for many years to come.
am 26. Januar 2006
Ich bin kritisch gegenueber modernen Hypes und Runs auf Buecher. Meist haben mich die Ziele solcher Massenhysterien enttaeuscht. Harry Potter finde ich aber wirklich sehr nett. Das Buch ist spannend geschrieben, voller netter fantasievoller Kleinigkeiten. J.K. Rowling hat sich eine ganze riesige Welt erfunden, in der wir armen unmagischen Muggles gar nichts wissen von der Anwesenheit ganzer Ministerien der Magie und von Schulen und Magiertreffen.
In diesem Band erzaehlt Rowling, wie es im vierten Jahr auf Hogwards zugeht. Der Band beginnt mit der grossen Quidditch Weltmeisterschaft, bei der wir sehen, dass Voldemorts Einfluss zunimmt. Auch in der Schule ist Harry nicht mehr ganz sicher vor seinen Feinden. In diesem Jahr soll ein grosses Trimagisches Turnier stattfinden, bei dem drei Schulen mit jeweils einem Kandidaten in drei grossen magischen Turnierrunden geigeneinander antreten. Ungewollt wird auch Harry einer der trimagischen Champions und muss sich in grosse Gefahren begeben. In der letzten Turnierrunde wird Harry durch einen Zauberspruch der dunkeln Seite direkt in Voldemorts Arme gelockt...
Im Gegensatz zum vierten Harry Potter Film gibt es im Buch viel mehr Hintergruende, Andeutungen, Erklaerungen, die den Inhalt verstaerken und plausibel machen. Unsere Helden werden erwachsen, sie entdecken neue Empfindungen, wie Liebe, Neid, Verlegenheiten. Mir persoenlich hat dieser Band viel Spass gemacht. Es ist Harrys letztes kindliches Schuljahr. Mit der Gegenueberstellung von Harry und Voldemort am Ende dieses Bandes endet Harrys Kindheit. Im Band fuenf werden wir ihn dann dunkler erleben.
In diesem Band geht es ihm noch um Hagrids Wohl, um Dobby, um seine Freunde, um Raetsel, Schulpflichten, um Freundschaft und Zwischenmenschliches, eine erste Liebe. Im naechsten Band dann wird Harry in eine Welt gezogen werden, die in den Krieg verstrickt ist, dieser Band hat noch einmal Hogwards doch noch relativ heile Welt gefeiert.
am 23. September 2003
Strangely enough the story starts in Little Hangleton. 50 years ago a murder happened in the Riddle House, deserted since these days. The Riddle House? 50 years ago?? Do you still remember Tom Riddle, the malicious diary writer, waiting for Harry in the Chamber of Secrets ? Right. . .
When old Frank Bryce, who was wrongly accused of the assassination of the Riddle family years ago - he's the gardener. . . - detects some flickering light in the unoccupied house one night in August, he heads for the building to have a look. Not for his own good. . .
In the same night Harry awakes from a strange dream. His scar hurts. Is it a sign? A bad one?
After the Quidditch World Cup - Bulgaria vs. Ireland - with some weird occurences and after some pleasant days with the Weasleys, Harry, Ron and Hermione take the well-known express at platform 9 ¾ - their 4th year at Hogwarts starts. And there are news! Professor Dumbledore announces that the Triwizard Tournament will take place, a competition between Europe's three largest Schools for Wizardry : Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. According to the rules, there will be 3 champions, who have to be at least 17 years old this time. Who will be the champion for Hogwarts ? Is there a chance for Fred and George Weasley, taking an Ageing Potion ? Who will be the winner in the end ?
There are some newly introduced persons - and some of them aren't what they seem to be. You'll never guess till the show-down ! And this is more violent and cruel than ever before - the Dark Lord rises again . . .! Flesh, blood, and bone. . . Really not the right thing for Harry's youngest fans. The end is just a beginning, and a parting of the ways.
There's a bit more psychology in the world of the now 14-year-old adolescent protagonists; there's a quarrel between Ron and Harry, both of them try quite bashfully to get a partner for the Yule ball - with little luck, but „animal magnetism".
I liked Rowlings wordplays best (the famous „can I have a look at Uranus, too, Lavender?" by Ron). She could do that more often !
Well, tomorrow it's Volume V - I hope that Professor Snape will have some nice scenes like he did before. . .
am 31. Juli 2000
As a 15 year old reader, this book seems to me just the type of book our society would embrace. It resembles an above average action movie- just sit down, relax, and put your brain on autopilot, and pretty soon, you're done, and you've achieved a superficial satisfaction with predictable plots, boring, uncomplicated characters, and enough gizmos and special effects, however predictable, to make you feel that the book achieved some kind of inventiveness. Endearing characters! How? To be endearing, characters must have flaws- something to sympathize with! Do these characters have flaws, or can they even be described using more than 2 different adjectives each? The good characters are good, kind, and selfless. Any mistake is either not their fault or easily forgiven- few consequences. The bad characters are "bad to the bone"- be it the family- (believable? Or just another bland twist on the evil stepsisters/stepmother/Roald Dahl-esque family in 'Matilda' premise?) - or the bully, Malfroy. Can't he possess any endearing traits? Most bullies possess some redeeming qualities, or at least are a victim in some way themselves. The types of magic used in these stories are also unremarkable. Spells, enchanted objects, incantations...how mundane. And used to excess. Cheep thrills and the long = better mentality add up to the Harry Potter mania. I wouldn't be so scathingly negative if it weren't for the Harry Potter series' popularity. They are *somewhat* entertaining, but meanwhile, people are raving that these are THE greatest books ever, or at least close. People think that no other children's fantasy comes close. That is a monsterous misconseption! When a younger reader, I read tons of children's fantasy. True, proven, innovative classics do exist. Just look at Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit', Peter Beagle's 'The Lost Unicorn', 'The Phantom Tollbooth', C. S. Lewis' 'The Chronicals of Narnia', wonderfully funny Roald Dahl, Susan Cooper's 'The Dark is Rising' sequence, Lloyd Alexander's 'The Prydan Chronicles', John Bellairs' fun, darkish fantasy/mysteries, Phillip Pullman's still unfolding, greatly promising 'His Dark Materials' series, Diana Wynne Jones' marvelously twisted, ingenious, funny books, Madeline L'Engle's fabulous 'A Wrinkle in Time' (and sequels)- among thousands of other titles. All of the above are wonderful, innovative, deceptively simple (in some cases), and unforgettably unique books all worthy of multiple re-readings. To Harry Potter, like a mediocre action movie, I will only give one screening. The question is not whether the above books have a plethora of merits, but whether you will read some and wade into deeper waters than lightly enjoyable Harry Potter books.
am 12. Juli 2000
Harry Potter. These two words can mean so much to the people that read the books. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was everything expected of it: action, adventure, and heart-stopping suspense. And yes it's true; a friend of Harry's does die.
What happens is someone slips Harry's name into the Goblet of Fire to enter him in the Triwizard Tournament, a highly dangerous competition where there is a possibility of death. No doubt is there that someone is working for Voldemort to see that Harry dies in the tournament. Two other students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, other wizarding schools, and Cedric Diggory are chosen to compete. There are 3 tasks they most complete to become winners.
Strange things are happening: Death Eaters (Voldemort's supporters) appear at the Quidditch World Cup, Harry's name is entered in the Goblet, some people go missing, and Harry's scar starts hurting.
Then, at the very end of the last task, Harry finds himself, as well as a friend, in a situation of considerable danger...
(I won't give away the ending)
There are some things I can guarantee: Sirius Black will be apart of the book. Harry won't have a girlfriend (Cho). Hagrid's life story will be revealed. Harry will show such strong bravery unlike any before. And here's an interesting fact: sworn enemies Severus Snape and Sirius black will have a truce. Another important tidbit: Voldemort will have risen, and Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, will not believe he has, so he and Dumbledore go their separate ways.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the thickest yet, will definitely enchant readers everywhere.
am 12. Juli 2000
Although usually the word "sequel" prepares you to lower your expectations, this fourth installment in the Harry Potter series packs even more excitement, quirky characters, and tightly plotted events than the previous three books. Much attention has been paid to its length (734 pages and four pounds), but it is a supremely satisfying read. You will want to savor every page. Although most of the major plot elements of this volume are resolved by the end, the author hints at some of the challenges which lie ahead for our hero, paving the way for more excitement in volume five. Film critic Roger Ebert writes that the reason the "Star Wars" series is so successful is that its creator George Lucas pays careful attention to even the minutest detail, populating even the corners of the frame with interesting characters. In much the same way, J. K. Rowling packs the Harry Potter books with so much detail that the world of witches and wizards comes alive. In "Goblet of Fire", this enchanting world is revealed in greater scope, with more of the action taking place in the wider world outside the Hogwarts School. We learn for the first time of the existence of other schools of wizardry, and we meet characters from other cultures. Although so many things about the wizarding world are different, at the same time we can really identify with the thoughts and feelings of these characters: the awkwardness of adolescence, the loneliness of an orphaned boy and the excitement of first love. Rowling has written a book to delight Harry Potter fans everywhere. My question is, how long until she produces volume 5?
am 9. Juli 2000
Thinking that Harry Potter couldn't possibly get any better than the previous three books, I started reading and finished "Goblet of Fire" seven hours later, beyond satisfied and dying to get my hands on the next installment (Beware: cliff-hanger ending). This is easily the best book I've read all summer. Not to be missed, even if you lost your childhood years ago. Here's your chance to find it again.
For returning Harry Potter fans, not only is the plot as engaging as ever, Rowling also manages to develop Harry's personality further, without losing her deft touch in combining previous action with new adventures. For new readers, the seamless inclusion of Harry's previous adventures makes it easy to understand the plot.
"Goblet of Fire" is more similar to "Prisoner of Azkaban" than the first two books, and far more ambitious. Not only is it a much longer read (not that I mind!), Rowling also further blurs the line between the muggle and wizarding world, especially with the introduction of the Quidditch Cup. Old characters pop up and exit the novel with more depth than when they entered the narrative, quietly exhibiting their ability to hold their own against Harry's flamboyant presence. From Ron and Hermione to Sirius and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, prepare to meet these characters who have grown since the previous books. And just when I thought I'd hate Snape forever...
If you haven't already gotten this book, GO OUT AND BUY IT! And if you already own it, I hope your adventure is as much fun as mine!
am 10. Juli 2000
J. K Rowling has accomplished a task every bit as difficult as apparating or summoning a Patronus: she has written a book which exceeds the hype surrounding its release. I couldn't put it down, and read it in one sitting before turning it over to my eleven-year-old daughter.
Rowling's careful plotting of her seven-tome series is nowhere more evident than in this fourth installment. She ties together events from the earlier books with tantalizing hints about what is to come. Her characters stay true to themselves, while continuing to grow and mature. Many authors struggle keeping this kind of consistency in a series, but Rowling succeeds beautifully. Fans of the series will particularly enjoy how Rowling starts to flesh out secondary characters, now that Harry and his friends are well established.
A few warnings: although Rowling recaps some elements from previous books, a reader beginning the series in the middle will no doubt be confused. This is one series that really must be read sequentially. Also, the evil elements become even darker and scarier in this installment. Some events might be too gruesome for younger children to hear. Any child mature enough to read a 742 page book, though, should be able to handle the darker material.
As the pivotal book of the series, The Goblet of Fire really leaves the reader in suspense at the end--much like the end of The Empire Strikes Back in the Star Wars Trilogy--meaning that there will be even more hype surrounding the release of volume five, which can't happen too soon to suit me!
am 11. Juli 2000
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" has been a phenomenon well before its release in July 8. Writing this personal review after finishing the book on July 10, I believe that the people that spoke about "commercial hype" must be realizing their mistake when confronted with the reality of Ms. Rowling work. Harry Potter books sell not by virtue of advertising or marketing, but because they are simply excellent and the author does her job without concessions to fame or to expectations. The result is a powerful work that can be read at multiple levels.
In "The Goblet of Fire", we not only see Harry Potter, involved in old activities and new teenage interests, described with plenty of imagination and humor. We are also made aware that his call and destiny only started the day that he and his mother defeated Voldemort. There is still a long way to go for Harry, more dangerous and complex as time goes by, a way in which he will likely grow in wisdom and comprehension. And he will not be alone in that path; in this book, the figures of Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Hagrid and so many others become more fundamental and close. Harry is not a solitary hero, he is in fact the center of a community full of ethical values, frienship and heart-warming solidarity. A world confronted with evils that are somehow the mirror image of some troubles on our day to day world.
The reader of all ages will find material for fun and though on this book, a classic on its own, beyond any literary critic.