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The Big ReadHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

J K Rowling

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (3 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Bloomsbury

Published : 2000

Copyright : J. K. Rowling 2000

ISBN-10 : HB 0-7475-4624-X
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-7475-4624-5

Publisher's Write-Up

It is the summer holidays, and one night Harry Potter wakes up with his scar burning. He has had a strange dream, one that he can't help worrying about...until a timely invitation from Ron Weasley arrives: to nothing less than the Quidditch World Cup!

Soon Harry is reunited with Ron and Hermione and gasping at the thrills of an international Quidditch match. But then something horrible happens which casts a shadow over everybody, and Harry in particular...

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nadine (070207) Rating (9/10)
Review by Nigel (011101) Rating (8/10)
Review by Chrissi (310501) Rating (8/10)

Review by Nadine
Rating 9/10
The fourth book in the Harry Potter series is a surprisingly hefty volume for a children's book. However, anyone who has read the first three, no matter what their age, is unlikely to be put off by its doorstep proportions. In fact, I positively rubbed my hands with glee in anticipation of a long and absorbing read.

The story begins on an uplifting note. Harry is invited to attend the biggest sporting event in the magical world: The Quidditch World Cup. Everything is very jolly and exciting for a while, until events take a sinister turn. The evil elements of magical society are beginning to crawl out of the woodwork, setting the scene for the darkest plot yet in the series.

When Harry returns to school, it is to find that someone unknown has put his name forward for a series of dangerous trials known as the Triwizard Tournament. The tasks he has to face as a result are not intended for novices, but the selection process is a magically binding contract, so he can't back out. Clearly he is either the victim of a very nasty practical joke, or someone wants him dead.

The three tasks are arguably the most challenging experiences Harry has ever had to deal with, but his greatest trial is yet to come...

It's utterly action packed, with a multitude of new characters and possibly the most intriguing mystery in the series so far: Who entered Harry into the tournament? There are so many possible candidates that I don't think I could ever have guessed, even if I hadn't been too absorbed in the intricate plot to waste time thinking about it. Could it be Ludo Bagman of the Department of Magical Games and Sports - an ex-Quidditch player with a secret? Or was it Bartemius Crouch, a solidly upstanding official with a deep loathing for dark wizards and a tragic family history? Or is it someone we've already met in the earlier books? Good luck to anyone trying to figure it out.

The creeping sense of menace that gradually increased during the first three books is all pervading in this instalment. The opening scene shows us first hand what Harry's evil adversary - Lord Voldemort - is capable of, and it isn't pretty. Until now the enemy has been a hidden threat, waiting in the sidelines to plunge Harry and the rest of the magical community into peril. From the very beginning of Goblet of Fire it is apparent that this peril is not far off, and it makes for a doom-laden atmosphere.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to, but I really don't recommend reading this book without having read the first three. The cleverness of the outcome hinges on details that are introduced earlier in the series, and a knowledge of spells, potions and artefacts from the first three books is essential if the ending is to make any sense. It is clever, though. Frightening, too. I'd think twice about reading this one to a young child at bedtime.

It's every bit as exciting and entertaining as the first three books, but over twice as long and vastly more complex. Book four requires a more committed reader than its predecessors, but the ending is a more than sufficient reward. As a devoted fan of the series I was bound to like it anyway, and anyone who enjoyed the first three will need no encouragement from me to pick it up.

But since I'm here... if you have read and enjoyed books one to three, then read on. You won't be disappointed.
Nadine (7th February 2007)

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Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
Well, what can I say? It's 4.30am and I've just finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (and yes, I'm at my computer). Even if you haven't read this book you will know it's considerably larger that the first three since it's on every bookshelf, in every bookstore and at every super market, in the country.

It starts in much the same way as the others, Harry is staying with the Dursleys for the summer and isn't being treated very nicely. Dudley has got even bigger and is now on a diet, meaning everyone else is as well.

Ron, however, is his saviour as usual, getting tickets for the Quidditch World Cup, which is being held in England. Mr. Weasley arranges for the Dursleys Fire Place to be connected to the Floo network for a day, the only problem being it's sealed up... with hilarious consequences.

Once at the World Cup things start to go wrong and the main story develops with a Dark Mask, the symbol of Voldemort's followers, being projected into the night sky signifying his return.

Once back at Hogwarts things heat up and Harry is thrown into the Triwizard Tournament, where death is a distinct possibility. What ensues is a race against time as Harry and his friends piece together the various Triwizard Tournament riddles and tests while trying to find out what really is behind all the strange goings on.

This is another well written and gripping story from Ms Rowling. Again the characters seem to have grown up a little more with a new year at Hogwarts. With the longer book length there is also more 'time' spent developing the story, although at over 600 pages it may have been a little too long for the subject matter.

The other notable difference between this novel and the previous ones is the darker side to the later part of the book and with a fairly nasty development at the end it had more in common with a horror story than a children's novel. However, this goes hand in hand with the ageing of the characters and the story, as with life, pulls no punches.

I for one will be queuing for book five the day it's published.
Nigel (1st November 2001)

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Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
This is Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts and opens with Harry going with Ron to the Quidditch World Championships. The World Championships are being held in England and everyone is very excited, but someone releasing Lord Voldemorts sign in the air above the crowd spoils it.
Everyone is very worried, although no one knows whether it is real or a hoax.

Once back at school, a special announcement is made, that the three schools of magic are to compete for the Goblet of Fire, and each school is to have a champion. Sadly, only students of a certain age are eligible, and Harry is not old enough, so he cannot enter, but the mystery deepens when Harry is named in spite of not being old enough and when another Hogwarts champion has already been named!

The first thing I noticed on reading this is that it is really quite a large book to read, totalling over six hundred pages. It must be a testament to the enjoyment of reading the Harry Potter stories that a child would read this, or a testament to the long suffering endured by parents who are brave enough to read this to their children. It would take months to get through at bedtime.

Harry is growing up. As a champion, he has to attend a school dance, and he agonises over who to ask and how to ask them. It is nice that Harry has not been abandoned at thirteen years old, and that his author has been brave enough to let him grow up. Although will we all be quite so interested in Harry when he is thirty-eight years old, I do not think so. (Although time will tell, I am sure...)

Note about the Harry Potter books
I have been careful not to give away too much of the story, because even the cover jackets are very light on details. It would be a shame to spoil the story by doing this. They do it on the blurb for most adult books, and it annoys me, so I have not done it here.

Chrissi (31st May 2001)

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