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Mapping the World of the Sorcerer's Apprentice: An Unauthorized Exploration of the Harry Potter Series [Paperback]

Mercedes Lackey
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Dec 11 2005 Smart Pop series
From the Dursleys as social commentary to a look at Snape's role in less than child-friendly fanfiction . . . from the parallels between Azkaban and Abu Ghraib to the role of religion at Hogwarts . . . from why Dumbledore had to die to why killing Harry never should have been part of Voldemort's plan to begin with . . . Mapping the World of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice offers a comprehensive look at the Harry Potter series through the eyes of leading science fiction and fantasy writers and religion, psychology, and science experts.

This book has not been authorized by J. K. Rowling, Warner Bros. or anyone associated with the Harry Potter books or films.

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About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the author of more than 60 books, including the Diana Tregarde, Elvenbane, and Valdemar series. She lives in Claremore, Oklahoma.

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First Sentence
I'VE JUST FINISHED Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and I'm worried about Harry. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and thought-provoking read Oct. 8 2009
Format:Paperback
Note: This book has been re-titled. I purchased it from Amazon.ca and it arrived as "Mapping the World of the Sorcerer's Apprentice (Originally Titled Mapping the World of Harry Potter)." The book still comes up on Amazon.ca under its original title.

This book is a collection of 14 essays written by sci-fi and fantasy authors. Editor Mercedes Lackey contributes one of the essays herself, "Harry Potter and the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Counsellor," an amusing and only somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at why Harry could benefit from PTSD counselling.

Other essays in the book are equally as compelling: "The Dursleys as Social Commentary," a look at how Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and cousin Dudley embody the worst of human nature; "Hermione Granger and the Charge of Sexism," an examination of the way males and females are portrayed in the Harry Potter series; and one of my personal favourites, "The Proper Wizard's Guide to Good Manners," in which a Muggle examines a famous wizard book about how wizards should conduct themselves while in the Muggle world, and finds it wanting.

This book is a great addition to the thinking man's (and woman's!) Harry Potter library.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and satisfying on the whole Jan. 28 2006
By L. S. Jaszczak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is probably the most enjoyable of the several different books of essays on the Harry Potter books that I have read. Perhaps it's because the contributors are, themselves, fantasy and sci-fi authors, which may give them a unique insight. Another possibility is that this is also the first collection to cover all of the books through Half-Blood Prince.

As with any compilation of work by several different authors, the quality of the essays is uneven at best. The contributors stretch to come up with original ways to look at the series and, inevitably, they sometimes fail. The ones that fell the flattest, in my view, were "The Proper Wizard's Guide to Good Manners" (Roxanne Longstreet Conrad) and "Harry Potter and the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Counselor" (Mercedes Lackey).

At least, however, those two essays were near the end of the book. Throughout my reading, I never changed my view that the first essay, "Harry Potter and the Young Man's Mistake" (Daniel P. Moloney), was the one with the profoundest insight and most thoughtful probing of the pitfalls that Harry faces in his final struggle against Voldemort. Honorable mention also goes to "Harry Potter and the End of Religion" (Marguerite Krause) and "It's All About God" (Elisabeth DeVos), which should be mutually exclusive but, surprisingly, don't seem to be; "Hermione Granger and the Charge of Sexism" (Sarah Zettel), which should (but won't) dispose of that one once and for all; and "Why Killing Harry is the Worst Outcome for Voldemort" (Richard Garfinkle). All in all, a very enjoyable and satisfying read.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent HP Companion Jan. 20 2006
By S. Whiteside - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have to admit, I'm generally not one to read companion books to my favorite series, be they literary or televised.

Mapping the World of Harry Potter, however, is quickly becoming one of my favorite books. The essays are smart, funny, and well-written and have prompted me to look at my Harry Potter books in a new light. The essay on fanfiction Snape alone is worth the price of the book! (Though I wouldn't recommend reading it while drinking anything, particularly if you aren't familiar with fanfic!Snape. I may never recover from that.)

I highly encourage any "grown up" HP fans to read this book.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Buffet of Food for Thought Nov. 3 2006
By D. Homan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Loved it! I am an old lady who got hooked on Harry Potter so I would have something to converse about with a new step-nephew, and I tell you this book sparked huge discussions amongst everyone I know who read it. Great variety of essays.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favor, DO NOT buy this book!!! Jan. 8 2012
By John F. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My son is a huge Harry Potter fan and is always looking for more information on the series. I thought this book would provide additional insite and it would be something he would enjoy reading. I read through the book and decided not to give it to him. This book is garbage. One of the chapters discusses the character Snapes similarities to the lead singer of a rock band which makes him appealing to females. I'm okay with that but when the discussion turns to how well endowed he probably is, I tossed it in the trash. This book is not for the typical Harry Potter fan.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for adults who think HP is not "just for kids" March 25 2007
By Jacey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am a college professor of english literature and composition, but I am also a huge Harry Potter fan. "Mapping the World of Harry Potter" appealed to both sides of my reading pleasure: it gave great insight into the HP books as well as providing really well-written and though-provoking literary analysis and criticism. I couldn't put the book down, and as I read each subsequent essay, I was more and more intrigued and it gave me so much to think about. Really fantastic!
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