Castle in the Air - A rare book review

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Castle in the Air - A rare book review

Post by takenoko » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:38 pm

By British author Diana Wynne Jones, this is often promoted as the sequel to her novel "Howl's Moving Castle". Yup, the famous Miyazaki movie was based on the book. A followup sequel, "House of Many Ways" is another sequel in this series.

"Castle of Air" is an Arabian fantasy that very much draws on the story of Aladdin. You have the hero, the silver-tongued Abdullah who is a shabby carpert seller. He gets a magic carpet and meets a princess and then gets into all sorts of trouble with the Sultan and whatnot.

I think the funniest part of the book is the over-the-top dialogue. Abdullah uses this overly flowery way of speaking to flatter people (a skill he acquires as a carpet salesman) which is pretty hilarious because of just how downright silly it is.

Then on the opposite spectrum, he and the princess get these smart lines. Like when the princess first meets Abdullah, she assumes he's a woman since she's never seen a man besides her father before. So then it's put on Abdullah to convince her that he's a man (nothing vulgar, remember this is a children's book) and then he makes it his quest to show the princess as many pictures of men possible. He consults an artist who makes a couple of wise cracks, who then tells the marketpeople "Abdullah's gone mad and is buying up portraits of men" causing a bunch of people to show up at his stall to sell them their pictures.

Another scene that was really funny is when the Sultan catches Abdullah and goes "You're a fool, I've found 100 of the hiding spots where the portratis were hidden" to which Abdullah replies, "Your daughter clearly is more clever than you, because I brought her 300 portraits". I'm probably telling it wrong, but the dialogue is good.

If you liked the kind of silly adventure that you saw in Howl's, you probably would enjoy this story. Really, when was the last time you read a book for fun?

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Re: Castle in the Air - A rare book review

Post by shadowneko003 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:26 pm

An actual book and not manga? A few months ago. I brought this book and Howl's Moving Castle. My favorite scene was
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the end with Howl and the Din


I didn't know that there was another book to the series. Thanks Take! *goes in search of House of Many Ways*
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Re: Castle in the Air - A rare book review

Post by takenoko » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:48 pm

Yeah, I just started reading it today because I was... out of manga.

Reading the wiki about Howl's Moving Castle for both the book and movie is interesting. There's just so much I don't remember, apparently. I'll probably go back and reread Howl's after this

I have to say I like the classical comedy ending to Castle in the Air.
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Re: Castle in the Air - A rare book review

Post by Arigomi » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:10 pm

Talk about a blast from the past. I only vaguely remember the events this book since it was during a time in my life where I was reading several novels a week.

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Re: Castle in the Air - A rare book review

Post by Lunagel » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:13 pm

Got a copy of this and Howl on my shelf already. Fantastic books, can't leave home without 'em.

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Re: Castle in the Air - A rare book review

Post by IijumiSoukai » Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:15 pm

Thanks to Densha Otoko, I've been reading printed word again. :shock:

Based your review, I'll look for/buy this.
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Re: Castle in the Air - A rare book review

Post by Lunagel » Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:07 pm

Try looking in used book stores first - I had a bit of a hard time finding a copy since it's an older book and rushing off the presses anymore.

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Re: Castle in the Air - A rare book review

Post by IijumiSoukai » Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:59 pm

If I buy this, "Howl's Moving Castle", and "House of Many Ways" in a bundle from Amazon, I could save some money. Problem is...I'm running low on money. :x :x :x :x

I WANT THEM!!! :cry:
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