Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Magical Realism, My Bibliothèque

{ Book Review } – Pottermore Presents Short Stories from Hogwarts by J K Rowling!

So, I stumbled across these by chance on Amazon and like an old faithful, I had to get it. About these eBooks, they are collections of articles from Pottermore peppered more than generously with insights from J. K Rowling about her thoughts and rationale on why she named and shaped certain characters the way she did. But even for a seasoned Pottermore lurker like me, some of the information was a revelation. I have made my peace with the fact that there is never going to be something as amazing as the 7 books again in the Potter Universe ( Sorry fans of Fantastic Beasts, but that is how it is for me! ). But each of these books had something interesting that adds to my appreciation of how beautifully the Magical World mirrors the Muggle World. Let me talk about my favourite parts of each of this books now.

Hogwarts – An incomplete and Unreliable Guide: Definitely my favourite of the three. Have you wondered why don’t the students just use Portkeys to reach Hogsmeade or MoM connect their fireplaces to Hogwarts’ fireplace for a day? If you have, you will love the chapter on Hogwarts Express! The remaining chapters acquaint you with the Sorting Ceremony, the Hatstalls, the Castle Grounds and the non-human residents of the Castle. Did you know that the Gryffindor’s sword is modelled roughly around the legends surrounding Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur? I didn’t, and it is the trivia like this that fascinates me.

Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists – I had so much fun reading about all the Ministers of Magic from 1707 to present. From Ulick Gamp to Kingsley Shacklebolt, each of the ministers were eccentric in their own ways. Although fictional, the short briefings on each of the Ministers tell you that MoM politics is just as crazy, if not more, as Muggle Politics. Slightly underwhelmed by the section on Peeves, I wanted more on the subject because I am a fan! 😬

Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies –  2 of the stories stand out for me I particular: The story of Remus Lupin and the one on Minerva McGonagall. Both of them are delighted insights of these beautifully written characters. Professor McGonagall’s tale is both picturesque and melancholic at the same time. I love J.K. Rowling’s explanation as to how she chose the name. And equally beautiful is Lupin’s tale. A small spoiler of sorts – I was so surprised and fascinated with the idea that Lupin’s condition of Lycanthropy ( being a werewolf ) was a metaphor for illnesses that often carry undeserved social stigma like HIV and AIDS?

Summarising it I would say that the books are more targeted towards incurable Potterheads like me and fans who would like to dig deeper. Not great if read without a background, and again, not something that I would call essential reading. So feel free to skip it, but I am not sure if people like me will be able to resist it. Written in the style of Quidditch through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, they are a fun read if you are deeply invested like I am!

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