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Reread: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

July 15, 2010

This summer, I’ve decided to finally reread the Harry Potter series. I’ve reread most of the books a few times, but this will be my first time reading the whole series, beginning to end, since the 7th book came out. After each book I’ll to do a quick post highlighting things that stood out to me in that reread. It’ll be my own little Harry Potter reading challenge :) Note: There will most definitely be series-wide spoilers in these posts.

When I first read the Harry Potter books, devouring the 5 that had been published at that time in one go, I declared The Goblet of Fire my favourite of the bunch. During the last 7+ years and several rereads, I’ve held on to that declaration. Until now. This book was one of the main reasons I’m rereading the entire series, but it just didn’t hold my attention the way it used to.

Whenever a book fails to meet my expectations, I can’t help but wonder why. With Goblet clocking in at over 600 pages, there was plenty of time for these questions to bounce around my head. Were my expectations too high? Did it have to do with watching the movie recently and all the plot elements were too fresh in my mind? Was it because my husband bet me $5 I wouldn’t finish a single book on our vacation and I was cursing myself for bringing a 600+ page book, which just would not end?

Or, was it because I had read so many amazing books in the last couple years that the flaws in Goblet became much more apparent this time around? During high school and college, I barely read anything other than mandatory text books, so when I inhaled the Harry Potter books during my third year of college, I didn’t have much else to compare them to. All I knew was they were full of some great storytelling.

I think what has surprise me most so far in the reread adventure, is how much more I enjoyed The Prizoner of Azkaban, which had never particularly stood out to be previously, than I did Goblet. The story in Azkaban seemed much more complete and enthralling than I remembered it to be, while Goblet felt loosely patched together with awkward explanatory/summary phrases thrown in here and there.

Whatever the reason, the spark I remembered just wasn’t there. It was still a great read, but I felt slightly let down. Onward to book #5.

How do you deal with books that don’t meet your expectations, especially ones that you loved the first time around?

Related:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban
Soundtrack Saturday

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. She permalink
    July 15, 2010 7:50 pm

    Oh no! I’m sorry it didn’t live up to what you remembered especially since it is my favorite! I hope all the other books are wonderful for you.

  2. July 15, 2010 8:39 pm

    i really wanted to get on board with your HP read-thru, but i have sooooo many good books on my nightstand that i can’t do it! i love the series, though and will have to read them back-to-back-to-back one day soon.

  3. July 16, 2010 5:49 pm

    I had the same response to Goblet of Fire the first time I reread it. Its plot isn’t very coherent really–one thing about rereads of books you adored is they can really show up the flaws you were too excited and entranced to notice the first time around. :/

  4. July 16, 2010 5:49 pm

    Well you know, this is the book that the author said she wrote herself into a corner with. Apparently, she didn’t review her outlines before starting it, and got into some trouble, which is why it ended up being so huge. I’ll have to re-read it now.

  5. stacybuckeye permalink
    July 20, 2010 10:57 am

    I would like to reread this series someday. Maybe before the last movie comes out.

  6. July 21, 2010 2:45 pm

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. Goblet of Fire has always been my second favourite Harry Potter, after Azkaban, which I absolutely loved. In a way, I’m kind-of happy that you’ve found a new appreciation for the third book of the series, but I have to say, so far, all my re-reads of Goblet of Fire haven’t really disappointed – specially the last couple of hundred pages.

  7. July 25, 2010 12:21 pm

    Not my favourite, i feel the Triwizard tournament is too disconnected with what the book is trying to accomplish, which is the return of Voldemort at the end.

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