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Home > Books & Reviews > Fiction > A Muggles Guide to the Wizarding World Search

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Book Review:
A Muggles Guide to the Wizarding World: Exploring The Harry Potter Universe

Author: Fionna Boyle
Trade Paperback, 466 pages
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication date: 2004
List: US$14.95, C$16.95
ISBN: 155022655X
Price & More Info: Click Here

First things first. This is NOT a serious magical book, so unless you are a fan of the Harry Potter series, or you are the significant other or parent of a Potter fan (and don't share their enthusiasm), you will probably want to give this book a pass. It is a compendium of all kinds of trivia regarding the Potter universe. Like The Sorcerer's Companion (which I have previously reviewed) it is unconnected with, nor is it authorized by, anyone connected with the Harry Potter books or movies. Unlike The Sorcerer's Companion this book is about the series, rather than the ideas behind it. You won't find any magical background here. This work is just for fun.

The author is careful not to give away significant plot details (through the use of puns, euphemisms and such) so as not to spoil things for those who haven't read the entire series to date. She also gives very plain warnings when sections contain details when sections contain detail which might be considered as "spoilers."

While by no means a replacement for reading the books themselves (nor is it intended to be), it is a wonderful resource to have handy if ".you've forgotten a potion ingredient, can't remember the effects of a particular spell, or are just having trouble keeping all the characters straight." The die-hard Potter fans probably won't need this book, but the casual enthusiast will enjoy having it handy.

This guide, like the books themselves, will appeal to all ages. The writing is clear and crisp. The author explains things with a sense of humor. It also includes an abbreviated index of wizarding terms and an equally valuable index of British terms, which can help untangle some confusion on the part of many Americans.

This book ends with suggestions for hosting your own Harry Potter party; a "tour" of the sites which figure in the books and movies; a listing of some of the more than 8 million websites featuring Harry Potter; as well as sources, endnotes and an index.

It makes a welcome addition to the library of Potter-related books available. I look forward to the updates as the last two books in the Harry Potter series appear.

Reviewed by Mike Gleason

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