Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
by JK Rowling
Audiobook from Public Library
[#28 in my 75 Book Challenge]
First off, let me make it clear that this review IS FULL OF SPOILERS! I’m assuming at this point that everyone has already read the books, seen the movies, or has no interest in doing either (and if that’s the case, why are you reading this?). If you don’t want spoilers, don’t read beyond this point.
Seriously. I’m warning you.
Rereading Harry Potter after all the books and movies are done, over, and available on DVD/in paperback is an interesting experience. I’m not tearing through the novels like I did the first time, so it’s going a little slowly. Let it be known that I LOVE HARRY POTTER and I love how Rowling sets up the series. I love the depth and details in every book. I love the characters and the themes.
That being said, some things annoy the crap out of me. And other things I just don’t understand.
Ten Things I Didn’t Like/Don’t Understand About Harry Potter IV
1.) The length. I feel like we could have chopped out about 50-100 pages and still gotten along just fine. I love the fact that Rowling weaves an epic tale, but this novel in particular feels unnecessarily long.
2.) Dobby. And Winky. And all the house elves. I feel like this whole story line was an afterthought.
3.) The length of the tournament. I don’t quite understand why the tournament has to last all year and why there are months between each task. It seems a little over-the-top to have those Dumstrang and Beauxbatons kids hanging around Hogwarts ALL YEAR for three days of actual tournament. Hold it over a week and be done with it. Geeze.
4.) The logistics of the tournament. Did those Durmstrang and Beauxbatons kids spent an entire year having class on their boat and in their carriage? That seems like a waste. How did they go to class? And is that really necessary? Did the whole school come? It doesn’t make much sense.
5.) Voldemort always shows his mean little face in late spring. Just in time for him and Harry to have a showdown at the end of the school year as a climax to the story. If I were Voldy, I’d show up in October and really scare the shit out of everyone. If I were Harry, I’d catch on to Voldy’s little pattern REAL QUICK.
6.) The portkey. If we are using an object as a portkey to take Harry to Voldemort, why do so much work to make that happen (ahem, Barty Crouch Jr, I’m talkin’ to you)? It seems to me that luring Harry into a portkey trap could be accomplished with far less hooplah.
7.) Voldemort’s LOOOONG graveyard speech. Oh, Voldemort. Voldemort, Voldemort, Voldemort. Is the super-long speech in the Graveyard really necessary? I know you think you are awesome and clever for resurrecting yourself and all, but you go in to a very intense amount of detail for a kid you’re about to kill. I understand the need for narrating the full story here, but no villain (no matter how self-centered) would go into all those random details.
8.) Speaking of Voldemort and random details — why did he expect his followers to come find him in the woods in Albania? Come on! That’s like the world’s hardest game of hide ‘n seek. Needle in a haystack, anyone?
9.) Barty Crouch Jr. I felt like I needed a degree in rocket science to understand the Barty Crouch Jr. situation. I mean, I’ve read the book before and all, but I’d forgotten the details. I almost needed to draw a diagram.
10.) The end. The ending wouldn’t end! I read this as an audio book, and there was a whole disc after the Mad Eye Moody = Barty Crouch Jr. plot is revealed. Rita Skeeter, Fred and George’s joke shop, Hermione and Krum all needed to be wrapped up. But after 700+ pages I was tired and didn’t really need all of that falling action. It’s a series, for goodness sake. I’ve still got three to go!
So there you have it. Ten things that annoyed me about this book. Most of all, though, I did love it. I pick up on different things every time I read the series, and I love the complexities Rowling includes…just not the unnecessary stuff. This time around I definitely noticed how dark the writing is in the scenes of Voldemort’s return, and how scary it all really is. Voldemort is a truly creepy bad guy.
FINAL GRADE: B+ It’s Harry Potter, for goodness sake. The series gets an A+, but I can’t say that this book gets an A on its own. But it’s Harry Potter. You should read (or re-read) it. Everyone. Everywhere. Always.
Have you read Harry Potter? Re-read Harry Potter? How did it hold up on the re-read?