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Muggles and Magic: An Unofficial Guide to J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter Phenomenon Paperback – May 1, 2004


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Muggles and Magic: An Unofficial Guide to J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter Phenomenon + The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory--More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing Company (May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571744126
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571744128
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #697,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gushing with enthusiasm and admiration, Beahm's compendium of Harry Potter trivia and essays should help tide over fans impatiently waiting for book six to come out. Chapters like "The Real World of J.K. Rowling" (by contributor Stephen McGinty) and "The Magic of Words: A Storyteller's World" vividly recount the history behind the Harry Potter novels and their renowned author. "Although in later years Rowling would have cause to regret her portrayal as 'poverty-stricken single mum makes good,' those stories gave her a profile most first-time authors could only dream about," McGinty wisely observes, but the rest of the book is less even-handed. Beahm is clearly an unalloyed fan, and his chapters on the books and their screen interpretations contain little by way of a critique. This may be just as well for Potter fans, who will appreciate Beahm's cataloging of Potter Web sites and merchandise. The book also includes a 72-page glossary of Potter terms and characters, like "Acid Pops" and "Mortlake," as well as an unofficial guide to Potter-related locations in Britain, such as Rowling's childhood home in Winterbourne and the reptile house at the London Zoo, "where Harry speaks Parseltongue to a snake." Throughout, Beahm pitches the prose right; it's both sophisticated enough to interest adults and lively enough to keep younger fans engaged.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up - Beahm offers a plethora of information, opinions, and facts that revolve around "Harry Potter" and the life of J. K. Rowling. This general-interest guidebook includes sections on two movie adaptations, five books, merchandise and collectibles, and "Harry Potter" Web sites. It also includes more than 200 trivia questions about the series and its creator, and a collection of reviews, essays, and prominent quotes. The alphabetical listing of important people, places, and things introduced in the titles will more than likely be the most sought-after material. Sidebars of related tidbits and facts are scattered throughout. Though interesting, they are distracting and interrupt the narrative flow. A 16-page centerfold of full-color photos as well as black-and-white photographs and illustrations throughout enliven the well-written, interesting text. - Christine McGinty, Newark Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

George Beahm is a full-time non-fiction writer who specializes in business books and popular culture. He is a NEW YORK TIMES, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, L.A. TIMES, and USA TODAY bestselling writer, and his books have been published in over 20 countries worldwide and in every major language. His website is at: www.GeorgeBeahm.com.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By fellicity on December 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
As an adult fan of the Harry Potter series, I am fascinated by Ms. Rowling and her talent as a writer which brought this magical world to life. When I purchased 'Muggles and Magic,' I looked forward to reading more about the author and the pop culture surrounding this phenomenon.

After reading Beahm's publication, I have to say that I'm disappointed. Essentially, this book is a collection of articles highlighting Harry Potter/J.K. Rowling facts that have been featured elsewhere. (I.e. newspapers, magazines, online, etc.) While some of the articles have good information about Rowling, there were times where reading them made me feel uncomfortable. I wondered how Ms. Rowling, a famously private person who is not afraid to speak up to defend her character, would feel about the clippings that delve into her painful past. She makes a point to dissuade such stories on her personal Web page, and reading them in this "fan" book seemed more like reading gossip than fact.

Other articles in the book simply have fraudulent and outdated information that Beahm hasn't bothered to research and update, such as that Dan Radcliffe has bowed out of all of the films after 'Goblet of Fire' (he hasn't, and is telling the press he's signed on for 'Order of the Phoenix'), and that J.K. Rowling's Web site doesn't feature a F.A.Q. (it does, here: [...]

Another problem I had with this book was the higgledy-piggledy way it seems to have been put together. There's no real rhyme or reason to the selections, and the collection doesn't flow but rather jerks, such as from an article about owning owls as pets to another about Joanne's involvement in a cancer charity.

Beahm is clearly a fan and I can tell he had fun putting this little book of Potter/Rowling odds and ends together. Had a little more research been done and a bit more time spent on fashioning the information together, this would be a fleshed-out companion worthy of the world of Harry Potter.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Harry-isawiz on July 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be a bit outdated, but nonetheless helpful. Written in 2004, the book does not touch upon any of the new concepts such as HBP Book 6, but this guide is a nice review to the first books in the series.

I personally consider Breahm and author Daniel Lawrence of the new ULTIMATE UNOFFICIAL HALF-BLOOD PRINCE BOOK 6 TRIVIA BOOK to be the top sources of HP info for fans. I would suggest reading this guide and then immediately reading the best-selling ULTIMATE BOOK 6 TRIVIA BOOK by Daniel Lawrence to gain even more insights and knowledge on the series and Movie 4 GOF.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Farrell on January 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
While the author does a decent job summarizing someone else's work, the look and content of this title is a clear attempt to cash in on the popularity of the books and films. Within its pages, you'll find reproductions of "Teen Beat" style magazine covers featuring the movies' stars, and quickly see that the material covered is far from comprehensive. A much better choice for a book of this nature is Fionna Boyle's "A Muggle's Guide to the Wizarding World," also available through amazon.com.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jynx980 on October 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
It's not a bad book but nothing really stands out about it either. It has a lot of information on J.K with quotes, background, and a bit of a biography. I did learn some new information about her but most of it is already known; single mother, thought of Harry Potter on a train, wrote in a café.

Books 1-5 and the first three movies are covered with reviews and general information. A detailed cast and credits are listed for the movies. This book has a lot of reviews and quotes from editors and publishers, it gets overwhelming at times.

The book also contains 70 or so black and white drawings from artist Tim Kirk. I didn't care much for them but they added to the book with the theme of wizards, creatures, and magic. They adorn each new section not unlike the Potter books illustration at a new chapter.

One useful thing is the "concordance" (list) of people places and things in the Potter universe. It's about 80 pages long and was what I bought the book for initially. Although the info is good, there is information available on the web for free and is much more detailed and easy to navigate. The sites (The Leaky Cauldron, Mugglenet, and the Harry Potter Lexicon) are even mentioned in the web sites section of the book.

There are also some omissions and errors. When he first starts to go over the books all the the entries have an "about the book" section except for Prisoner of Azkaban. Some of the entries for this section are a page or more long, it seems odd to leave this one out.

Other errors have to do with names like the Dursley's in Egypt when it should be Weasley's, Uncle Dudley, things of that nature. Not terrible errors but still annoying.

There are 27 color glossy pictures in the middle of the book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading this book. It had lots of useful information about J.K. Rowling in the large biography, and I finally found out what the J.K. stood for. But my favorite part by far was the Muggle's guide to Harry Potter. It had a lot of stuff I didn't remember, and new stuff I didn't know about. The Guide was interesting and full of information that I was looking for, such as how many knuts equal a sickle, and how much it costs to ride the Knight Bus. So basically it was a very original book.
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