Saturday, 11 April 2009

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling

Read: August 2001

This is my favourite of the entire series. Reading The Goblet of Fire was an experience I can only describe as like being injected with so much pure adrenalin that I could barely sit still long enough to read the book. It was the summer holidays, and I had just read the first three books in about four days. But Goblet of Fire was only newly out in paperback and my brother hadn't yet read it and refused to let me read it first. Being a lazy type I couldn't even be bothered to go to the shops and buy my own copy. So instead, while he was out at work, I stole his copy and read it furiously throughout the day. After day 1 I had to return the book just as Harry's name was pulled out of the Goblet as the fourth entrant to the Triwizard Tournament. All evening I was on tenterhooks.

The next day I was up before 6, waiting anxiously for him to leave at 7. As soon as I heard the door shut I was plucking the book from his cupboard and devouring the remaining 400 pages. I was finished by lunchtime, and had nothing else to do for the rest of that summer. University was still a month away, and my A-Level results wouldn't be out for another couple of weeks! Yes, this all happened when I was 19!

This is the book that transforms everything. It is twice as long as its predecessors, and crammed with many new and exciting developments. The characters begin to grow up, and experience the first pangs of teenage romance. The Ron and Hermione double act continues along at its bickering best, and with the Quidditch World Cup and the arrival of other wizarding schools for the Triwizard Tournament, The Goblet of Fire bursts out of its structured Hogwarts confines. From the moment you pick up the book and read the first amazing chapter at the Riddle House, to the terrifying events in the darkened graveyard, this is a book in which all the expectations for what Harry Potter would be are thrown out of the window and the grand battle commences. It retains all of the exciting charm of the first books, yet combines it with the menacing and dark sense of approaching cataclysm which marks out the later books. Quite simply, after Goblet of Fire, nothing is ever the same again.

10 out of 10

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