Synopses & Reviews
This unofficial guide to the popular series by novelist J.K. Rowling is a 368 page companion work perfect for the curious reader who wants to know more about these remarkable books. Extensive new commentary, which does not appear on Vander Ark's Harry Potter Lexicon website (http: //www.hp-lexicon.org/) adds to the fun of reading Vander Ark's new reference work. The author has been frequently featured in over 100 publications including the New York Times, The London Times, The International Herald Tribune, the Associated Press and National Public Radio.
Steve Vander Ark's Harry Potter Lexicon website is visited by more than 25 million visitors annually. For years fans who have seen the author keynote major academic conferences on the Harry Potter novels, including Sectus in London, Patronus in Copenhagen, Lumos in Las Vegas and Prophecy in Toronto, have been asking him to write an original companion work on this wonderful series. This book offers fascinating analysis and new insights.
"If ever a book were to test the truism that there's no such thing as bad publicity, it may be this one: an A Z encyclopedic guide to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter universe, based on a popular Web site created by Vander Ark in 2000, and the center of high-profile litigation. That case settled, the question now becomes online Lexicon v. print. Vander Ark has taken pains not to use Rowling's 'unique expressions,' as the introduction calls that writer's words (for example, the book's readers learn that doxies 'have a poisonous bite'; users of the Lexicon Web site find that doxies 'have sharp venomous teeth,' plus a reference to Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). Commentary unique to the volume follows many entries (one complaint at trial was that the proposed Lexicon reorganized Rowling's material without adding much information); these range from etymologies to pedestrian analyses (of Harry's reliance on the 'Expelliarmus' spell versus Voldemort's on the Killing Curse: 'In the end, J.K. Rowling writes Harry as a person not of violence and murder, but of compassion and mercy of love'). The Lexicon Web site still exists as a comprehensive, updated and free resource; while the print edition does differ in its content, its advantages are hard to discern." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)