NESFA Members' Reviews

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

by J. K. Rowling

Bloomsbury, 1999, 317 pp, £10.99.

A book review by Mark L. Olson

The Harry Potter books are all much the same -- they start with Harry suffering through the summer under his very, very mundane Aunt and Uncle, escaping to Hogwart's and having an adventure during which he is picked on by the school bullies, does fun things with some friends, is succored by a friendly teacher, wins an important Quidditch game, and ultimately does something very important.

They're all the same and all a great deal of fun.

A lot of the fun comes from the wonderfully absurd background: his ultra-is-too-weak-a-word-mundane guardians and their ridiculous concerns. The silly, secret world of wizards and witches and Hogwart's itself - a magnificent creation!

The stories are fast-paced enough that the discordant details amuse without ever being really jarring. There are plenty of things which, if you stop to think about them for even a moment, don't even have a pretense of making sense, but fortunately, Rowling doesn't really encourage that. She just drags you along.

Highly recommended if you like unpretentious fun..

See also my other reviews of J. K. Rowlings' novels: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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