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Mapping the World of the Sorcerer's Apprentice: An Unauthorized Exploration of the Harry Potter Series Paperback – December 11, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
As with any compilation of work by several different authors, the quality of the essays is uneven at best. The contributors stretch to come up with original ways to look at the series and, inevitably, they sometimes fail. The ones that fell the flattest, in my view, were "The Proper Wizard's Guide to Good Manners" (Roxanne Longstreet Conrad) and "Harry Potter and the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Counselor" (Mercedes Lackey).
At least, however, those two essays were near the end of the book. Throughout my reading, I never changed my view that the first essay, "Harry Potter and the Young Man's Mistake" (Daniel P. Moloney), was the one with the profoundest insight and most thoughtful probing of the pitfalls that Harry faces in his final struggle against Voldemort. Honorable mention also goes to "Harry Potter and the End of Religion" (Marguerite Krause) and "It's All About God" (Elisabeth DeVos), which should be mutually exclusive but, surprisingly, don't seem to be; "Hermione Granger and the Charge of Sexism" (Sarah Zettel), which should (but won't) dispose of that one once and for all; and "Why Killing Harry is the Worst Outcome for Voldemort" (Richard Garfinkle). All in all, a very enjoyable and satisfying read.
Mapping the World of Harry Potter, however, is quickly becoming one of my favorite books. The essays are smart, funny, and well-written and have prompted me to look at my Harry Potter books in a new light. The essay on fanfiction Snape alone is worth the price of the book! (Though I wouldn't recommend reading it while drinking anything, particularly if you aren't familiar with fanfic!Snape. I may never recover from that.)
I highly encourage any "grown up" HP fans to read this book.
Besides the predictions, it's also great to read analysis of a literary series to see what was done right and wrong. I learned that the Dursleys have a purpose beyond comic relief, why Snape has so many creepy fan girls, the series's roots in "English boarding school" books, and not only why Dumbledore died, but that he had to die, because he's the mentor on the hero's journey. My favorite is the last essay that details a "what would happen" scenario if Voldemort does win. Basically, Hermione goes medieval. I wouldn't have minded seeing that ending either.
Complete through book six, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," this collection of essays takes a look at why and how the Harry Potter series appeals or angers people. There are essays on religion, education, politics, feminism, and more.
"Mapping the World of Harry Potter" mostly added to my enjoyment of J. K. Rowling's series; some of the essays gave me a lot to think about for the next time I reread the series.
Here is a list of the essays:
-Harry Potter and the Young Man's Mistake, by Daniel P. Moloney
-The Dursleys as Social Commentary, by Roberta Gellis
-To Sir, With Love, by Joyce Millman
-Harry Potter and the End of Religion, by Marguerite Krause
-It's All About God, by Elisabeth DeVos
-Hermione Granger and the Charge of Sexism, by Sarah Zettel
-Neville Longbottom: The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Martha Wells
-Why Dumbledore Had to Die, by Lawrence Watt-Evans
-From Azkaban to Abu Ghraib, by Adam-Troy Castro
-Ich Bin Ein Hufflepuff, by Susan R. Matthews
-Harry Potter as Schooldays Novel, by James Gunn
-Harry Potter and the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Counselor, by Mercedes Lackey
-The Proper Wizard's Guide to Good Manners, by Roxanne Longstreet Conrad
-Why Killing Harry Is the Worst Outcome for Voldemort, by Richard Garfinkle
While "Mapping Harry Potter" was written before the publication of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the essays are still worthwhile reading. All are authored by writers of science fiction and fantasy novels, and I plan to check out the work of several of the contributors.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was much different that I thought it would be. The authors really made me think about things in a way I had not before.Published 3 months ago by I love to read
My son is a huge Harry Potter fan and is always looking for more information on the series. I thought this book would provide additional insite and it would be something he would... Read morePublished on January 8, 2012 by John F.
I received my book today, and I already read the introduction and the first essay in the book. At first, I had mixed feelings about reading these essays, worrying that they might... Read morePublished on June 4, 2011 by Ray K
This is the worst book I have ever read. Since there is not one map in the book, these people who wrote a collection of essays actually believe that a simple children's book... Read morePublished on April 2, 2011 by Aquila
I got this book for myself, but when I started reading it, I knew it had to go to my dad, who really likes Harry Potter. Great addition to a Harry Potter collection.Published on November 24, 2010 by S. Leader
This book both kept my interest but some of the lectures bored me.I didn't know what to expect and for the most part it is entertaining. Read morePublished on May 28, 2010 by Bay Area Bookshop
This is a very solid collection of short (and very sweet) essays that cover a fair amount of territory on the first 6 books of JK Rowling's masterpiece. Read morePublished on September 20, 2009 by Muzzlehatch