J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Novels: A Reader's Guide (Continuum Contemporaries Series)

Overview

Continuum Contemporaries will be a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration for members of book clubs and readings groups, as well as for literature students.The aim of the series is to give readers accessible and informative introductions to 30 of the most popular, most acclaimed, and most influential novels of recent years. A team of contemporary fiction scholars from both sides of the Atlantic has been assembled to provide a thorough and readable analysis of each of the novels in question. The books in the ...

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Overview

Continuum Contemporaries will be a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration for members of book clubs and readings groups, as well as for literature students.The aim of the series is to give readers accessible and informative introductions to 30 of the most popular, most acclaimed, and most influential novels of recent years. A team of contemporary fiction scholars from both sides of the Atlantic has been assembled to provide a thorough and readable analysis of each of the novels in question. The books in the series will all follow the same structure:a biography of the novelist, including other works, influences, and, in some cases, an interview; a full-length study of the novel, drawing out the most important themes and ideas; a summary of how the novel was received upon publication; a summary of how the novel has performed since publication, including film or TV adaptations, literary prizes, etc.; a wide range of suggestions for further reading, including websites and discussion forums; and a list of questions for reading groups to discuss.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Nel's unauthorized guide to the Harry Potter novels includes a concise study of the novels, a biography of J. K. Rowling, and an account of the "Pottermania" phenomena. Nel writes a literary biography of Rowling by detailing the titles and authors of books she read in her youth and showing their influence on her work. Simultaneously, he describes Rowling's school days and young adult life leading to the birth of Harry Potter. Listing the predominate themes in the novels, he discusses in detail their impact upon the characters' identities and choices. He explores Rowling's mixture of fantasy, realism, and mystery, including a section devoted to the novels' young adult characteristics. A succinct review of published commentary about the books, information about publishing and best-seller list controversies, questions for discussion, suggestions for further reading about Rowling, her novels, novels like Harry Potter, and a lengthy reference list complete the study. Focusing more on the literary merits of the novels and their relationship to classical children's literature, Nel gives the Harry Potter novels credibility as more than just a current fad. This study will be a useful defense to challenges of the novels because it explores the darker themes that are so often objects of complaint. It is not bogged down by literary jargon or contexts, making it an accessible introduction to literary criticism and to the novels for students, parents, educators, and opponents of the novels. Timely and relevant, this guide is a helpful addition to any YA nonfiction collection. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading. 2001, Continuum, 96p, $9.95 pb. Ages 11 to Adult. Reviewer: Jessica Mize SOURCE:VOYA, February 2002 (Vol. 24, No.6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826452320
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 9/26/2001
  • Series: Continuum Contemporaries
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 7.44 (h) x 0.27 (d)

Meet the Author


Philip Nel is Assistant Professor of English at Kansas State University. He is the author of JK Rowling's Harry Potter Novels: A Reader's Guide (2001) - and The Avant-Garde and American Postmodernity (2002). He is currently writing a biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2001

    Slim volume chock full of information

    This small book is a lively companion to the Harry Potter books I have read and enjoyed. It was interesting to find out about the books that J.K.Rowling read when she was a chiled and how they influenced her writing. This book made me appreciate Rowling's clever invention of names for characters like Albus Dumbledore, the complex rules for the game of Quidditch and the deeper political ideas she introduces. Now I want to re-read the Harry Potter books and notice things I missed the first time through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2001

    Small but perfectly formed!

    This small book is less than a hundred pages long, but the author has managed to cram more interesting information into it that you could imagine. You get the impression that he really loves the Harry Potter books, and he spends a lot of time showing why they are so good and talking about all of the other writers that JK Rowling must have read to become such a great writer herself. The part I found most fascinating was when he wrote about the original reviews of the books, in newspapers and magazines, it's just really interesting to find out, and remember, how people reacted to these amazing books when they came out. I see that all of the other books in this series are about 'grown-up' novels, so I'm glad the publishers realised that JK Rowling is just a good a writer as any of those writers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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