Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book Review: Repotting Harry Potter by James W. Thomas

ISBN: 0982238525
Published: January 8th, 2009
Publisher: Winged Lion Press
Read from November 12th to December 1st, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A professor of literature for over thirty years, Dr. James W. Thomas takes us on a tour through the Potter books in order to enjoy them in different ways upon subsequent readings. Re-readers will be pleasantly surprised at what they may have missed in the books and at what secrets Rowling has hidden for us to uncover as we revisit these stories. The professor's informal and often lighthearted discussions focus on puns, humor, foreshadowing, literary allusions, narrative techniques, and other aspects of the Potter books that are hard-to-see on the hurried first or fifth reading. Dr. Thomas's brilliant but light touch proves that a "serious" reading of literature can be fun.

This is one of several book I got about Harry Potter when The Casual Vacancy came out because Amazon was offering them for free on the Kindle.  I downloaded all of the ones offered, and this was the first one I read.  (There was another one by the same author that I'm reading right now.)

I really enjoyed this book.  It's meant to be read and you're re-reading the Harry Potter books, but I started reading it at school and only had Deathly Hallows with me.  I figured that I'd read the books enough times that I basically have them memorized anyway, and I'd be fine reading this without them on hand.  I was pretty much right.  There were a few parts where I wished that I had the Harry Potter book with me, but overall I was fine without them.  If you're not as obsessed as me though, you'd probably prefer having the Potter books with you while reading this.

The book points out a lot of very neat things in the books, and a lot of them were things I'd never even thought about (which is crazy considering how much I think about Harry Potter).  It is a kind of book that will definitely appeal to some people more than others.  I'm an English major and writer, so of course talking about different literary elements is going to be interesting for me.  I love Harry Potter, and I love Jo's writing. Reading books like these help me with my own writing I think by pointing out how certain literary techniques are used in Harry Potter.

This is a great book for Harry Potter fans, but only if you enjoy going through and exploring all the different details of the book.  It's not the kind of thing everyone would enjoy.  I should say, that while it's focused around exploring Harry Potter kind of how you would if you were reading the books in an English class, the book never has a textbook feel to it.  It's a very informal and fun writing style.  I highly recommend the book if you're interested in that sort of thing.

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