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The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter (revised edition) Paperback – May 6, 2008
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From alchemy to hippogriffs to veela, Colbert explores the fascinating meanings between the lines and buried within the names of characters and places in all the Harry Potter books. Chapter headings include such intriguing questions as "Have Witches Always Flown on Broomsticks?" "Why Would Chocolate Help After Escaping a Dementor?" and "Are Any of the Famous Witches and Wizards Real?" A small purple tab in the margin of the first page of each chapter guides readers looking for specific subjects: Divination, Goblins, McGonogall, Owls, Voldemort, Wands, etc. Curious readers will learn the link between Hagrid's pet dog, Fluffy, and the mythological Greek sentry to Hades, Cerberus. And they'll get a taste of scholar Joseph Campbell's theories on heroism, with Harry as the hero, of course. The true magic of this book is that it will surely inspire Harry Potter fans to delve deeper into the various areas it explores. Readers will soon be clamoring for collections of Greek, Japanese, Indian, and Egyptian mythology, as well as copies of The Sword in the Stone, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Canterbury Tales, and Treasure Island, to discover the sources of their favorite Harry Potter books. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Mary Lankford, Library Consultant, Austin, TX
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Now that I've read "The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter" I have an incredibly greater appreciation for the richness and depth of the Harry Potter epic. Whether you are simply a curious Muggle or a die-hard Harry Potter fan, this book is a MUST READ. It's as good a read as the stories themselves!
Before reading Colbert's book, I was in awe of Rowling's mastery of storytelling and truly impressed by her craftsmanship. Now, after reading Colbert, I am... well, I don't even think there's a word to describe how magnificently astonished I am.
It boils down to this: I thought I was clever. I saw a lot of references to mythology, Latin, etc. I DIDN'T EVEN CATCH A TENTH OF THE REFERENCES. The fact that they are so seamlessly hidden is striking proof of great writing.
Colbert is one of those people who reads too much and is much too smart for his own good. In other words, I envy him terribly! Here he has compiled a fascinating collection of historical & mythological tidbits into a very easy-to-read, easy-to-comprehend book. Interesting to adults, understandable for kids.
On the downside, this means he only teases the reader with enough knowledge to make them want to go out and research some more. Some may find this annoying, but I think that was the point--to inspire young and old alike to do a bit of research. I think Rowling would probably prefer it this way.
(Although I'm still wondering about what kind of spray will work on that nasty Peeves the Poltergeist...)
1. Firstly, I'll touch on a less important mistake; the table of contents on the back of the paperback edition is faulty - it says there is a section on snakes; there is not! But that could merely be dismissed as an accident. It also states, "AND MORE!", when there is just one more (true, but rude). He also names each of his chapters with a question (i.e., "Why are mirrors magical?"), but often times does not answer the question!
2. Secondly, his information is faulty. He did not do he research he should have; for example, he says the grindylow and the jenny greenteeth are the same thing, when they most certainly are not! The grindylow, or grundylow, is a Yorkshire water goblin. Jenny Greenteeth, for one, is individual. She is an old hag that supposedly lives in Lancashire who LIVES IN A TREE hanging over a river. When travelors come by, she reaches out her spidery arm to catch her victim, which she devours with her green teeth.
3. He gives several bogus etymologies (historical roots of words). But the one that really gets my dander up is HIPPOCAMPUS (a horse of the sea). He states, "This sea horse gets its name from the Greek word for horse (hippos) and the latin word for ground (campus)." For those of you not educated in etymology, I would like to point out the first fatal flaw - Latin and Greek NEVER go directly together to make a word. Sometimes, a Greek word is Latinized and THEN is put together, but never without the Latinization.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this as a gift for my sister who's a huge Harry Potter fan, she loved it and it made an excellent addition to her collection!Published 26 days ago by Nick W.
This book was just amazing because it tells you all the facts you can think of. Im a great fan of Harry Potter I read all the books and this one and it made my life even better. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lana
A good way to enrich one's knowledge about the world of Harry Potter.Published 5 months ago by Lucero Colunga
Got as a gift for older child. Very excited about it. Followed up later and the young man was very pleased reading the book.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer