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Who Killed Albus Dumbledore?: What Really Happened in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? Six Expert Harry Potter Detectives Examine the Evidence. Paperback – November 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zossima Press (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972322116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972322119
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,709,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

John Granger is an author, speaker, and professor. A graduate of the University of Chicago, where he studied classical languages and literature, he uses Harry Potter to teach English literature online at HogwartsProfessor.com. He is a frequent speaker at academic and fan conferences and has been interviewed as a "Harry Potter expert" in the "Wall Street Journal," the "New York Times," CNN, and the DVD of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." He and his wife, Mary, have seven children.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Harry Potter series might be the most intricate mystery/detective story of all time. "Who Killed Albus Dumbledore?" is an excellent compilation of several authors who have carefully read the Harry Potter series, and who offer well-informed analysis of what's really going on, along with thoughts about what we'll see in the final book. WKAD is an order of magnitude more sophisticated than John Granger's previous books on Harry Potter.

Here's just one example of the kind of high-end inquiry you'll find in WKAD: In the tower scene in book 6, Harry is petrified by Dumbledore. Harry sees Snape cast the AK spell at Dumbledore. Harry sees Dumbledore slowly fall off the tower. After Dumbledore hits the ground, Harry is now longer petrified. Harry figures that Dumbledore's death released the spell. But Harry must be wrong: AK kills instantly, so Harry should have been released _before_ Dumbledore started falling to the ground. Moreover, a third person can release the victim of a Petrificus spell; on the Hogwart's Express at the beginning of the school year, Draco petrified Harry, and Tonks released Harry from Draco's spell. On the tower, Harry was un-petrified just as Snape disappeared into the stairwell. And Snape, BTW, has previously shown that he can cast an area-wide spell that cancels all currently operative spells; he did this once in a class. All this suggests that what happened on the Tower may have been quite elaborately staged, and that the people who staged the event wanted to ensure that Harry saw everything.

Why? Well, that's still speculative, but now you'll be speculating much closer to the heart of the mystery.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Kling on December 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Edmund Wilson once expressed his contempt for detective fiction by asking about one of Agatha Christie's books, in a wrongheaded and curmudgeonly burst of annoyance, "Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?" And there are still no doubt those readers who find Harry Potter too juvenile, silly, trivial or marginal to care about Dumbledore or any other HP character. But people with any degree of interest at all will find this book a feast of information, speculation, and background.

Just don't make it your first critical exposure to the HP series. The editor, John Granger, has previously written a couple of outstanding books on the HP series; it's worth checking them out, too, since they're perfect for beginners, whereas "Who Killed Albus Dumbledore?" which gets into nuance and presupposes familiarity with detail, is for more seasoned HP readers. Better than any other writer I know, Granger has correlated HP to wider literary influences, patterns, and sources, and, in his "Looking for God in Harry Potter," he spiritedly defended the series as a profound spiritual enactment of heroic, self-sacrificing action when it was under attack. In arguing the presence of age-old redemptive story lines and placing them in a whole context of Western culture, especially the misunderstood practice of alchemy, Granger has persuaded me (and many other readers) that the HP series -- enthralling and wonderfully entertaining as it is -- holds serious value expressed by Rowling with profound spiritual insight and consummate artistic skill.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Steve on January 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Who Killed Albus Dumbledore" proports to be a cross-section of the online world of Harry Potter theorizing. It consists of essays written by six fan theorists who dominate the land of cyber-Potter websites, blogs, and discussion boards. The book is not an attempt to understand or analyze JK Rowling's novels in a cultural sense, nor is it a forum for out-and-out predictions about the remainder of the series. For any astute fan of the Potter series, it is clear that Ms. Rowling is constantly engaging in misdirection while telling her stories. The books may not be mysteries, per se, but with only one book to go, there is still very much of a puzzle to unravel. This book is basically a series of very well written pieces that illuminate dozens of examples of this "narrative misdirection." They try to interpret Rowling's novels (Half Blood Prince, in particular), and establish theories about what has been going on beneath the surface of the series. Some of the theories are a bit "out there," and frankly I disagreed with many of them, but the point of this book is not to convince the readers of the authors' opinions. It is, instead, to invite the reader to read the series critically, and create his or her own theories. This is a very fun read. John Granger's essay is brilliant if not a little quirky. Wendy Harte's piece is extremely intriguing, as well. The Livejournalist "Swythyv" contributes a hilarious exerpt from one of her posts. The gem of the series is Joyce Odel's "Welcome to my Murder," which may be the most intuitive, observant, and comprehensive bit of theorizing I have ever read. All of these writers have been engaged in online discussions of Harry Potter for years, and this book is only an snipit of their individual contributions to the online theorist community. This is a must-read for any serious fan of Harry Potter, and it certainly makes you wants to check out the writers' respective websites.
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