One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter  -     By: Greg Garrett
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One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter

Baylor University Press / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Description

One of the most beloved stories in history, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series topped the best-seller charts, inspired the highest-grossing film series of all time, and has now become a $250 million Universal Studio theme park. What is it about this story that has ignited such fandom and struck such a chord with people around the world? As English professor, culture critic, and Potter devotee Greg Garrett explains, these novels not only entertain but teach deeply held truths about ourselves, others, and the world around us. Unlocking the textual intricacies behind the Harry Potter narrative, Garrett reveals Rowling's magical formula-one that, he contends, earns her a place right next to the literary giants of old. Paperback.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Baylor University Press
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 1602581983
ISBN-13: 9781602581982
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

One of the most beloved stories in history, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series topped the best-seller charts, inspired the highest-grossing film series of all time, and has now become a $250 million Universal Studio theme park. What is it about this story that has ignited such fandom and struck such a chord with people around the world? As English professor, culture critic, and Potter devotee Greg Garrett explains, these novels not only entertain but teach deeply held truths about ourselves, others, and the world around us. Unlocking the textual intricacies behind the Harry Potter narrative, Garrett reveals Rowling's magical formula--one that, he contends, earns her a place right next to the literary giants of old.

Publisher's Weekly

Should evangelical Christians be alarmed by boy wizard Harry Potter? For Greg Garrett, novelist (Free Bird) and Baylor University professor of English , the answer is a resounding no. Rather, they should embrace the stories as affirming the central messages of Christianity. To show this, Garrett presents four readings of the Potter cosmos: a compelling argument about the role of magic, an explanation of the need for community, a discussion of true heroism, and an explicitly Christian exploration of Harry as savior and Dumbledore as Holy Spirit. Quotes from both the Potter novels and the Bible pepper the work, without proving intrusive. Christian elements are limited until the last section and their generic treatment will avoid alienating most readers. A few discussions (such as using the Potter novels to critique the Bush administration's position on torture) might be off-putting to those who disagree. The connection between Harry and Jesus is also introduced a bit glibly. Still, Garrett treats both the Christian and the Potter worlds with affection and passionate reverence. His work may not convert naysayers to Potter, but it will provide fans much to consider about the novels and their message of hope, joy, and love. (Oct.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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Author/Artist Review

Author: Greg Garrett
Located in: Austin, TX
Submitted: October 07, 2010

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I'm a writer, speaker, teacher, father, and preacher from Austin, Texas, and one of my specialties is discerning spiritual messages in the culture.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  My son and I had been strongly moved by the Potter stories, and as the series ended, I observed that it was retelling the Christian story more beautifully and more completely than just about any contemporary cultural version.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  I want readers to recognize that far from being a gateway to witchcraft, the Potter novels are a contemporary retelling by an person of faith of some of our most compelling Christian narratives.

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  I returned to the Potter novels and films over and over again, and was reminded of some spiritual lessons I need to learn and relearn, particularly the power of community and the necessity of remaining in communion even when we disagree.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  For the writing of this book, I found great insight in the critical writing of JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, and in the theology of Rowan Williams, Jurgen Moltmann, and Barbara Brown Taylor.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  The Potter story is the most successful fictional story in history, and this is so because of the compelling lessons author JK Rowling presents in her narrative. Understanding this story better will allow readers to enter into a dialogue even with people outside the Christian tradition on the Christian values Rowling expresses.

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