I watched the movie first. I picked up the book immediately afterward, because I got to the end of the movie and said "huh?" and hoped the book wouldI watched the movie first. I picked up the book immediately afterward, because I got to the end of the movie and said "huh?" and hoped the book would clear some things up. The book had the same kind of whirlwind pace that the movie did, but it did deliver a more complete story with more satisfactory conclusions.
The funny thing about this story is that I found both Sophie and Howl rather infuriating the whole way through the story. Sophie is cranky and vindictive almost without letting up, until all the sudden at the end we are simply TOLD it's because (view spoiler)[she's fallen in love with Howl (hide spoiler)] (just in case that was a spoiler). And why in the world should that be? Howl acts like a bad-tempered teenage boy all the way through. He is everything he claims to be - cowardly, vain, selfish and kind of irrational. So why would anyone fall for him?
This really bothered me until I read the interview with the author at the end. One of the comments from her addressed the fact that apparently every teenage girl in the world is in love with Howl. One girl stood up at a Q&A session and asked if she could marry Howl, to which Jones replied that she'd have to get to the back of a line stretching all the way around the world.
Why?! Why is a guy who is cowardly, vain, selfish and irrational SO appealing to teenage girls?
And then it suddenly clicked. ALL teenage boys are this way. It is what teenage girls know. What Howl has going for him that real teenage boys don't is that underneath all his horrible personality traits, he is secretly noble, large-hearted, and very very clever. In order to get around his cowardliness, he has to hide these traits even from himself, but they are definitely there. And every teenage girl in the world wants to believe that the boys they have crushes on anyway - the dopey, ill-mannered, vain and irrational teenage boys - are secretly as noble and good as Howl.
Ha! While I prefer my men a little less secretive about their redeeming qualities, at least the story's device makes more sense to me with this perspective.
Right. Anyway. It was a fun story. I really enjoyed it, and I'll go look for the next two soon. I want to know more about wizards wandering between worlds.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is one of the very very rare books that draws me in completely and makes me feel heart-achy (in the good kind of way) once I finish. It is the waThis is one of the very very rare books that draws me in completely and makes me feel heart-achy (in the good kind of way) once I finish. It is the way I wish my own life could have been at that age - the discovery that I was really special, that there was something about me that set my apart and above. (Other books that fit the bill are some of the early Pern books by Anne McCaffrey, and Stephenie Meyers' Twilight series. Mmm.)...more
This was pure guilty pleasure. Guilty because I couldn't think of any reason I should be enjoying it so much, but I did. It was like watching a trainThis was pure guilty pleasure. Guilty because I couldn't think of any reason I should be enjoying it so much, but I did. It was like watching a train wreck and an undercover expose' all at once, with some references to very tasty food thrown in for good measure.
I do not particularly look up to Mr. Bourdain. He is not my idea of a role model. But he is entertaining, no doubt about it. And his writing style is delightful. Having seen No Reservations on many occasions, I could practically hear him reading to me, which I enjoyed.
I think I enjoyed watching all the train-wrecking because I knew he was going to turn out to be successful in the end. For that reason, I was a little disappointed not to hear more about the turning point. One moment he's doing a suicidal stint with an Italian restaurant, the next he's fully in control of the uber-successful Les Halles. Where's the middle bit??
But the very best thing, of course, was the food. I greatly envy Bourdain's ability to enjoy every single thing he puts in his mouth, from oysters to gizzards to even grosser things. The description of the food orgy they had in Japan was absolutely terrifying, but I still envy that ability. How much nicer would life be if we could truly accept and enjoy any bizarre thing offered up to us? I know this is true based solely on my experience of learning to love mushrooms. Next stop: learning to love fish heads? Probably not, but maybe I'll give broccoli a better try......more