TITLE: HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE
AUTHOR: J.K. ROWLING
Details: no. 4 Harry Potter
Audio Book / 18CD’s / 20 hours, 55 mins / Narrated by Stephen Fry
After his usual miserable summer with the Dursleys Harry is delighted when he’s invited to spend the final days before going back to school with the Weasleys. While time spent with Ron and his family is always a treat, this year it is even more special since the family have tickets to the final of the quidditch world cup between Ireland and Bulgaria.
The match itself is a spectacle to make Harry marvel, especially the stunts the Bulgarian Seeker, Krum, manages to pull off. The night after the match turns into a nightmare though, when someone puts the Dark Mark, Voldemort’s sign, up in the sky leading to panic among the assembled wizards.
After the excitement, fear and confusion resulting from this attack Harry, Ron and Hermione are glad to get back to Hogwarts and normality. They soon discover however, that this year it won't quite be business as usual in their school. After a gap of several years it has been decided that a Triwizard tournament will take place. A tournament which is a contest between students from three different schools for wizards; Hogwarts, Beauxbatons in France and Durmstrang in Bulgaria.
Because the tournament is only open to students in their final years it shouldn’t affect Harry and his friends too much, until that is, to everybody’s surprise, Harry’s name is the fourth one to emerge from the Goblet of Fire. Since Harry didn’t enter himself for the competition and nobody owns up to having put his name forward, it is a mystery how he ended up a contestant, but now that he has been named he has no choice but to compete.
Harry manages to get through the first two tasks with relative ease. The third task however puts him into the enchanted Triwizard maze, and takes him from there to a place and a situation he couldn’t have imagined in his worst nightmares. Harry will need all his strength and magic to get himself out of this deadly situation and safely back to Hogwarts.
This was a wonderful story. I enjoyed catching up with Harry, Ron, Hermione and all the other familiar characters once again.
The adventures in these books are heart-stopping and highly imaginative and ensure that these stories are pure page-turners and/or compulsive listening. What I really like about Rowling’s’ books though is that she also takes the time to tell the story of everyday life in Hogwarts’ school. We witness our three heroes growing up; we are part of their friendship, feel their pain when they fall out, and smile as they discover infatuation for the first time.
J.K. Rowling manages to combine the magical, with the normal then throws in some mysteries and danger for good measure and delivers her readers something which comes very close to the ultimate reading experience.
Finally a word about the narration on this audio book. I can’t praise Stephen Fry enough. He does an absolutely wonderful job telling this story. Apparently without trying, he manages to give every character their separate voice. His voice is capable of evoking every emotion. Between Rowling’s’ writing and Fry’s narration I could almost see what I was listening to before me. Listening to this book was utter joy and I can’t wait until the fifth instalment will be available.