Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (audiobook) by JK Rowling (narrated by Jim Dale)

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

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Synopsis from GoodreadsThe Triwizard Tournament is to be held at Hogwarts. Only wizards who are over seventeen are allowed to enter – but that doesn’t stop Harry dreaming that he will win the competition. Then at Hallowe’en, when the Goblet of Fire makes its selection, Harry is amazed to find his name is one of those that the magical cup picks out. He will face death-defying tasks, dragons and Dark wizards, but with the help of his best friends, Ron and Hermione, he might just make it through – alive!

Feelings: I’d forgotten how different this book is from the movie! It’s a good 5 chapters into the book before we get to where the movie starts. I need more Bill and Charlie! More Pig! I would have loved to see the scene where the Weasleys arrive at No. 4 Privet Drive.

If you’re new to the audiobook world, I highly recommend listening to Jim Dale narrate the Harry Potter series. He’s the best of the best. He’s somehow able to give each character their own unique flair and persona, while managing to keep in time and step with the story. He doesn’t miss a beat. I could listen to him read something as droll as an instruction manual. All day.

I was in the car for a couple of hours with my mom and was itching to continue with this book. I asked her if she’d mind if we listened to it and we both giggled and commented on it as we listened. I forced her to sit through a Harry Potter movie marathon this summer (1 movie a night…it was great), so she was commenting left and right about what was to come. We had a blast! That’s one thing I love about the Harry Potter world – the love, the nostalgia, and all of the smiles.

It’s hard to think critically about this book because of how many years that I’ve straight up loved it. This has been one of my favorite books of the series for a long time. By book 4, Rowling had exploded the wizarding world. We get so much history in this story, as well as international know-how. Every aspect of this building story gets expanded in Goblet of Fire. We see more into how Voldemort and his followers were originally brought down. The inner-workings of Hogwarts itself is revealed. We start to see how the Ministry of Magic works and who the key players are. More charms and hexes. More character development (including some conflict between friends)…and more! In my opinion, this book is like the fulcrum of this series. It’s not that it’s in the middle or bigger than the previous 3 books…it’s crucial to where the series is going in a lot of ways.

Issues: If I were to nitpick, I’d say that there could be a small chance that there was too much happening in this one book. Major world Quidditch match where the Death Eaters strike, major international tournament among 3 wizarding schools, someone clearly trying to see Potter die, a revolution in the name of house elves, the Yule Ball (hormones, beware), Crouch family drama, and more. I think Rowling balances it ok and I couldn’t even begin to make suggestions about what could have been cut. It all matters…but it is a lot.

The only other tiny issue I have is that in the last 4 of 5 chapters of the book, there’s a giant information dump. We have a couple of characters that just monologue mysteries away. There’s been so much build up and things we don’t understand…then someone talks about it and reveals everything in one go. I don’t love when that happens and it made for a long-winded ending.

Comparisons: This book is better than the movie! There was a lot of stuff that happened that I’d forgotten about. If any of the movies should have been split into 2 films, it should have been this one. We could have used the explanation of how Barty Crouch, Jr. ended up out of Azkaban in the movie!

Final thoughts: I’m so glad that I’m re”reading” this series. If you’re one of those people that never bothered to read the books because the movies were out…I’d highly recommend that you give the books a chance. The movies have nothing on the original stories. They’re just so much more.fully rounded out than the films are. Rowling is a master storyteller, always and forever.

 

Goodreads rating: 4.51/5

Audible.com rating: 4.9/5

My rating: 5/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

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