Susan's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
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Sep 04, 07

bookshelves: yomr
Read in August, 2007

Now THAT'S a book! The groove that J.K. Rowling starts to find in HP 3 is fully realized in 4. Partly it's that the kids (and therefore the readers) are getting older so she can delve into more adult, complex themes and situations, and partly it's that I think she's really finding her voice. We finally got our very own HP's, I am happy to report, and it's so funny to look at them all side by side b/c of the HUGE leap in size between 3 and 4. Then they get a little tricky b/c while 4 and 5 look to be about the same length, the font in Order of the Phoenix is much smaller, hence a longer book. I just started that one and it honestly feels longer already. More of a book book and less of a fun afternoon's diversion. But I like these books as they get both darker and longer.

But to focus on Goblet of Fire specifically for a moment...again, not that I think I can bring anything new to the table in discussing these books. Nevertheless, I'll throw a few ideas out there just for your reading pleasure. One thing that struck me, as I mentioned before, was the increasing maturity and complexity of situations and themes. Clearly having someone die is a huge deal and I found that whole series of events really moving this time around. I may have last time as well, but I don't remember. In a way, though, some of the more complex issues feel jarring next to the goofy concepts she originally created. Calling non-magical people "Muggles," for instance. It's just a stupid word and yes, it sounds funny and makes kids laugh, but sometimes it's hard to take all these people seriously. "Mud-bloods" on the other hand is vicious and definitely drives the point home. I just wonder if she was to do it over again if some of those terms or ideas would change a bit. Yes, we'd all like to revisit what we did/wrote when we were less sure of ourselves and our voices and ideas, but of course we can't and neither can she. And what do I know? She claims she always knew what would happen to Harry, so maybe for her "Muggle" is the ideal word.

Since, as usual, I find it impossible to discuss the books without referencing the films, let me just say that although I hated Dobby in the movie (2?) and was glad to see him mostly cut from subsequent screen incarnations, I really loved him in this one. The dialogue is actually quite funny and Hermione's whole S.P.E.W. thing just cracks me up. Yes, I know a lot of people hate it and find it annoying and whatever, but I love it. Of course she would have a cause like that. That's who she is! And poor Winky. They're weird creatures (and OH how I love Kreacher in the next one!) and I can't decide whether I am with Hermione or everyone else on their "plight." Either way, I like that they exist; they provide a bit of moral ambiguity in a world that is mostly cleanly divided between good and evil. You might wonder about people, but for the most part they end up squarely one or the other. Other than Snape - another great piece of moral ambiguity whose complexity grows from book to book.

I also continue to marvel at Rowling's ability to write about the teenage mind. Ron and Harry's fight is spot on, as are Hermione's various reactions to it. And oh these poor boys having to ask the girls to the feast. I wish I had known when I was in middle school how truly hard it was for boys to talk to girls like that. Although I probably wouldn't have cared, being the good self-involved teenger that I was.

I still want to go to Hogwarts.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Sage Great reveiw totally agree


Melanie You were spot on! The changes between 1 and 2 are really significant, thats why the fourth book is my favorite. You are funny as well! Beautifully done review!


message 3: by A.D. (new)

A.D. Erving Amazing review for a wonderful bokk
1 as Sage wrote -@totally agree.


Julia Faith I completely agree!


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