I’ve done it! I’ve read my 20th book. And damn was this was a long one. Rowling must have thought, “welp, they’ve already read 3 of my books, they are probably hooked. Might as well make the next one fat as hell.”
I have finally finished Harry Potter y el Cáliz de Fuego (Goblet of Fire) by J.K. Rowling. This book took me a while because of its sheer size. Besides that, I also found myself a bit out of touch with my normal reading schedule and habits. When I did get in the reading groove I made lots of progress because the book is a lot of fun to read. Well, at least most of it.
I found myself getting bogged down in the middle of the book. It felt like Rowling put a little too much fluff for me. But I think that’s also maybe why so many people love her books. The level of detail she goes to is incredible. The main plot always runs its course, however slowly. And apart from that, tangents and side adventures keep the reader entertained. Or if you’re like me, slow the reader from advancing to the exciting parts more quickly. I think in general though that her writing is incredibly holistic. The story was complex and included details that helped me imagine the whole world of Hogwarts and not just the adventures of Harry.
For example, the Christmas dance. I remember feeling like I wanted to rush through this section. I felt that it was boring and a little silly. But then again, I am a 25 year old adult reading a book written for kids and teenagers. In reality, this part of the book really captured how kids might think and act when it comes to a school dance. In fact, it brought up some of my own memories about going to dances as a kid and all the emotion they evoked.
The meat of this book is obviously the magicians tournament between Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. The three tests the representatives of each school have to compete in are really entertaining and exiting to read. But it’s obvious that these events cannot go back to back. Otherwise Rowling would have an incredibly short book. It makes sense that various characters and plot was developed between these capstone events. I guess maybe I just wanted the action.
My favorite part about the book was probably Mad Eye Moody. At Hogwarts, the Defense Against the Dark Arts professors are notorious. I remember thinking when Moody got introduced to the story that something would eventually come of his character. A twist of sorts. I had some vague memories from the movies but I couldn’t remember fully what was to happen. The way Rowling developed this character was textbook. He was complex and crucial to the plot line. Yet at the same time operated in a way that was insidious and not obvious. Rowling did a good job of leading the reader down other avenues as well in order to enhance the eventual plot twist.
Overall I enjoyed reading The Goblet of Fire. I hear the next books are as big, if not bigger. So that’s a bit intimidating. Nonetheless I will get them read. And I am sure I will enjoy them along the way.