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J. K. Rowling A Biography Hardcover – December 31, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books; illustrated edition edition (December 31, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854798200
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854798206
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sean Smith has contacts with a number of J.K. Rowling's friends and former classmates, and much of the book will be based on exclusive interviews with these and others who knew her. A former national newspaper columnist and now a freelance writer, his books include the international bestseller Sophie's Kiss, a biography of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones.

More About the Author

Sean Smith is the UK's leading celebrity biographer and the author of five Sunday Times best sellers including Cheryl, the definitive biography of Cheryl Cole.

His books about the most famous people of our times have been translated throughout the world. His subjects include Robbie Williams, Kate Middleton, Tulisa, Kylie Minogue, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Alesha Dixon,Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Aniston and J. K. Rowling. The film Magic Beyond Words: The J. K. Rowling Story was based on his biography of the Harry Potter author.

Described by the Independent as a 'fearless chronicler', he specializes in meticulous research, going 'on the road' to find the real person behind the star image.

www.seansmithceleb.com

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Anne Jacobs on October 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I've read all the HP books and am a big fan so I was pleased to find a good biography of JK Rowling as Marc Shapiro's from last year was too thin and not very enlightening. This one is much more interesting and follows JK's life through from when she was little girl all through her education and the subsequent creation of Harry Potter on a train up to the present day. It's a pleasure to read a good rags to riches story - and in case you've read all those articles about her writing in cafes you can find out here that there is a lot more to JK Rowling than that! I recommend this book if you're a Harry Potter fan, especially if you like the game of spotting where all the inventive names in the books come from - you might not agree with Sean Smith but it's fun to play!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on October 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book for a book report, and found that it was extremely interesting. While a bit dry at times, it got very interesting around the time at which she was getting the book published. I highly recommend this book for Harry Potter fans, and for teenagers needing to read biographies for book reports.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dale L. Neuschwander on May 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Sean Smith's brilliant biography of J.K. Rowling was a must read for me. Joanne Rowling was a gifted and talented writer in one of the English classes I taught as a student teacher abroad at Wyedean School in the late seventies. Naturally, I wanted to learn as much as possible about what she had been doing in the intervening years. Smith's book did not disappoint. He tells the story of the development of this major talent much in the way J.K. Rowling hooks and holds the reader's attention. He combines a compelling subject with his clever and very readable prose to produce a book that is sure to satisfy Rowling's legion of fans at home and abroad. His tireless research and intelligent insights into connections between his subject's life and the mythology she creates in her fiction are highly credible. There are many surprises here, even for those already familiar with Rowling's amazing rise to the top of the publishing world. Smith's writing entertains without sensationalizing. He remains true to his subject just as she maintains fidelity to the workings of the adolescent imagination which informs her writing. Ultimately this literary jewel sparkles like J.K. Rowling eyes on the cover photograph. Smith describes her in the conclusion as a woman who looks rich. I would add that Smith's writing feels rich in its detail and insights into the formative experiences and major events of J.K. Rowling's inspiring life. Just as with a Harry Potter book, I was saddened to find the last page come all too soon. Fortunately, there is much more to come from J.K. Rowling, which should make for further updates to her biography. Smith will remain my biographer of choice.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Antonio Howell on February 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I always wondered why someone would use a name that started with initials. This and other interesting facts are explained in this book by Sean Smith about the life of JK Rowling. If you are a fan of the Harry Potter series this book would be an enjoyable read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I found this book very entertaining. JK Rowling's life has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride but the downs like her messy marriage and her mother's long term illness made me want to turn the pages all the more to see how it all turned out for her. It's an unpretentious read packed with facts about the author that I had no idea about. You can't always believe what you read in the newspapers! It's fun joining the author in trying to find Harry Potter references in her own life story and this book doesn't take itself too seriously. JK Rowling is a good writer but her own story is a great one. Thoroughly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bwday on August 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
There are many so-called biographies of J.K. Rowling in the marketplace that are a waste of money and time for the reader. Smith does his original research and actually informs the reader about Rowling herself and her life before the folklore. He does not discuss her books themselves, but sticks to her unfolding chronological life and its context. I continue to pull Smith's book off the shelf for quick reference to contrast it with all of the defamation and sappy folklore that continues to be written about Rowling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eva Dillner on October 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've always enjoyed biographies and autobiographies. This book is in parts dry, but it was fascinating to read about the person behind the wonderful Harry Potter books. I'm heartened by her perseverance, and found it amusing how many publishers turned her down. Goes to show they haven't a clue what will take off or not. For every would be author the message is believe in your dreams, and have the courage to do something with them.
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