Tuesday, July 10, 2007

While waiting for Harry, part 3

As you might expect, with only 10 days and a few hours to go until the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, our household is immersed in Harry. Last week, my husband reviewed two Harry Potter-related books as a guest blogger, and I reviewed another one. Today, I have a review of another:

Muggles and Magic: An Unofficial Guide to J.k. Rowling and the Harry Potter Phenomenon
by George W. Beahm

Whereas many of the other books look at the content of the Harry Potter books, with analysis and speculation, Muggles and Magic takes the external view and looks at the Harry Potter phenomenon itself. Muggles and Magic is a collection of short essays on all things Harry, from a biography of J.K. Rowling to a look at the making of the movies. The final section is a thorough coverage of the Harry, Carrie, and Garp event last August at Radio City Music Hall, where J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, and John Irving did readings and answered questions to raise money for charity.

If you enjoy Behind the Music or those "Making of" specials, you'll probably enjoy Muggles and Magic. It's packed with all kinds of interesting information about the history and social impact of the Harry Potter phenomenon, as well as about its amazing creator, J.K. Rowling. Because everything is presented in short, independent essays, this is a book that you can dip into or flip around and read the parts that interest you. It's a great bathroom book or book to carry with you for waiting in lines or at doctor's offices. It's also a book that will annoy your family, as you repeatedly read excerpts to them: "Hey, did you know..." or "It says here that..."

Some of the essays are outdated; "The J.K. Rowling Story," for example, was obviously written just before the publication of Order of the Phoenix. Other essays have been updated and contain fairly recent information. The outdated essays are a little disconcerting, but are still worth reading for the interesting information they contain. In general, this is a book that will be interesting to read even after the release of Deathly Hallows, because most of its information doesn't depend on the content of the last book.
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