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Repotting Harry Potter: A Professor's Book-by-Book Guide for the Serious Re-Reader (2009)

de James W. Thomas

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A professor of literature for over 30 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. 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 technique, 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. (back cover)… (més)
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Does what it says on the tin. Thomas divides each book into sections (three or four chapters) and discusses things that strike him as worth noting on a reread. Given the nature of the book, the discussions abound with spoilers for the whole series throughout, which allows Thomas to discuss the series as a whole if need be at any given point. He returns to a number of different topics, including punning/word play, use of humor, fore- and aft-shadowing (events, dialogue, or references that both foreshadow something to come and look back to something that already happened), writing style, Christian symbolism, and the ways the books "grow up." For someone who has already reread the series something like five times, a number of Thomas's points are things I've already noticed, but there was still a fair bit of stuff I hadn't (and it's fun to read about those things I already knew). I read the section about HP4 immediately after finishing reading it then read the rest of the book straight through. Having done that, I think the best way to read this if you really want the most out of it, would be to read each of Thomas's sections on each book then read that part of the book (so, read what he has to say about the first chapters of HP1 then read those chapters). This book absolutely passes my ultimate test for this sort of thing: it makes me want to read the books again. ( )
  lycomayflower | May 31, 2016 |
I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having read all the Harry Potter books it's nice to know what subtleties I may have missed first time around, and what I should look out for during the inevitable rereads.

James W. Thomas' tone throughout is light and conversational. I never felt bogged down by descriptions or bored by his discussions, as can quite often be the case when people go about dissecting books.

Simply put, if you're planning on picking up your Potter books again, read this book first. It will enhance the experience. ( )
  K.Llewellin | Jul 7, 2013 |
I'll give it a three, but I really didn't care for the constant focus on puns... Considering that of the academic Harry Potter books I've read, this is the first one by a professor, I expected this to be the most academic, and in reality I thought it was the least... Most of the stuff mentioned could have been brought up in any online readthrough of the books by non-academics. ( )
  YoungGeekyLibrarian | Dec 30, 2010 |
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This book is dedicated to my seven:
to Jane—my favorite and only sister
to Kanet—my first and last wife
to Nathan, Blair, and Alexi—our oxymoronic grown children
to Jennifer and Matt—our older kids' spouses whom we have gained as another daughter and son
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This book is a guide to the rereading of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. I assume you will find, as I have and still do, plenty of rewards and surprises by going back through the series.
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A professor of literature for over 30 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. 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 technique, 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. (back cover)

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