Howl’s Moving Dalek

Howls Moving Dalek

This instalment of the Dalek Game is another Diana Wynne Jones Dalek! This time it is for the very splendid Howl’s Moving Castle, because a remote-controlled Dalek is the sort of thing Howl (book-Howl, not movie-Howl) would bring home, and this is how Sophie would react if not given time to adjust. 

Please note the distinction between book-Howl and movie-Howl. I adore the Studio Ghibli movie. It is gorgeous, rich, odd, unexpected, breathtaking, enchanting, hysterical – all the things the book is, but in very different ways. Characters change sides, ages and  genders, old ones disappear, new ones appear, the Castle grows legs and the fire demon becomes adorable (I’m okay with that).

The movie amps up the war themes and advances the technology but loses the John Donne riddles. It catches Sophie’s strength but not her power. And it perfectly renders the troubled, vain, flamboyant Howl, but leaves out the drunk, soccer-playing, fast-driving, computer-savvy side of his character.

I love this book very much, and it is almost time to watch a course of Welsh movies and find someone to read it to again.

11 thoughts on “Howl’s Moving Dalek

  1. And then there’s Sheri S Tepper’s awful awful Howl in The Visitor. Always the first one I think of. A nightmare.

    But, so, obviously I must read Howl’s Moving Castle to get some different stories (more uplifting?) to hang from the name.

    • Anything that starts “Tepper’s awful…” must be really, really awful! Still scarred by some of her (brilliant, terrible) work, although I have not read The Visitor.

      Howl is much more uplifting, even if there may sometimes be slime.

  2. I would have to say that this is my favourite of the Dalek game, simply because Sophie is one of my favourite all time characters. I love the movie too, but I agree I love it for very different reasons to why I love the book. I reread the book every year or so, just to make friends with Sophie again. Have you read the follow up books? I recommend them, even though Sophie is no longer the central character.

    • Isn’t she wonderful? Yes, I have read the others. I admire how DWJ’s sequels feature (if you’re lucky) a minor character from a previous novel, and are likely to be in another world entirely :)

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