Monday, August 2, 2010

Harry Potter Should Have Died by Emerson Spartz and Ben Schoen Review

Title:'s Harry Potter Should Have Died: Controversial Views from the #1 Fan Site
Author: Emerson Spartz and Ben Schoen with Jeanne Kimsey
Genre:  Nonfiction
Page Count: 187
Book Type: Library Paperback
Publisher: Ulysses Press
ISBN: 978-1-56975-711-6
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From Goodreads: J. K. Rowling not only told a wonderful story of a boy wizard; she also created an endless, magical world filled with millions of what-ifs. Whether the reader is a ten-year-old in the school lunchroom or an adult posting on one of the countless Potter fansites, debating what ifs is the love of millions of Harry Potter fans. Now's Unofficial, Unauthorized and Unequaled Harry Potter Debates brings the original and entertaining views of the experts behind to 100 of the most interesting and contentious debate topics in the Potter world. Digging into every reference in all seven books, the authors apply the same unmatched insight that allowed them to be so incredibly accurate with their predictions in's What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7. Readers find plenty to ponder as they consider whether Snape or Dumbledore is a better wizard, whether it would be better to own Harry's invisibility cloak or his flying broomstick, and many more magical conundrums.

My Review: The cover for this book is kind of interesting. I like the shades of blue and the title is really an attention getter. The large lightning bolt makes me happy as a huge Harry Potter nerd; however, I do not like how the back cover is  full of clouds. I can't really put it into words why this is, but it just isn't very appealing to me. 

This book took me much longer to read than I really expected. Granted, I was out of town for the week so I didn't read as often. In the book, they debate topics, some of which are serious and some are light-hearted and fluffy. For example, they go from 'Is the Epilogue a letdown?' to 'Would you rather shave Hagrid's back or give Voldemort a foot massage?' and then back to 'Which character fails to live up to expectations?'. Some of the debates were super interesting and really made me think, while others were just middling.

All in all, I would suggest giving this book a go if you are a huge Harry Potter fan like I am. It is always fun to revisit the fabulous world. Have any of my followers read this one yet?


  1. The whole thing seems somewhat hostile. Were people this way about Scarlet O'Hara: Scarlet should have become a Prostitute?

    These books are YA fiction, not a philosophy of life, not a religion, not a real world. Fine if people want to fantasize about the characters, but imagine if they invented their own!

    Are people jealous of JKR's success? Of course! And that is where a title as hostile as this would come in.

    A less hostile title might have been "What if Harry Potter Had Died? Fan fiction, projections and essays." But the truth remains: these are very popular FICTIONAL characters and their creator can do whatever she wants to them. There is no "should."

  2. While I agree with you about the title, in actuality, if you read the book it isn't quite as hostile. Inside they phrased it as, "Should Harry Potter have died?" and then they argued both sides (Yes/No) and then gave their opinion. I'm pretty sure that they agreed that no, he should not have died. I'm sure the huge title and how it was phrased was to catch the attention of readers. Anywhere I went with this book, at least one person looked at me and said, "HARRY POTTER SHOULD HAVE DIED?!", so I guess it worked as a conversation starter. On Goodreads, I gave this one 3/5 stars.

    I also agree that JKR can do as she pleases with the characters. If she took every fan's thoughts and feelings into consideration, her writing would be absolutely schizo. I always give props to authors who write for themselves and don't give in just to please fans. Ultimately, it is their story.

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. never heard of this book either! really glad you started this blog chica.. you are opening up a whole new world to me (oh Pocahontas lol)

  4. Wow this books sounds really interesting! It looks like a big book of both sides though, since it's from the number one fan site. Thanks for posting this, definately hadn't heard of this book before!!!

  5. Er, I have not read Harry Potter. LOL I know I know. *bows head in shame*

  6. Shannon, you're so nice :)
    Hilary, you're welcome!
    Liz, I cannot believe you haven't read Harry Potter! It is my life haha

  7. Haven't read this one myself...but it sure does sound interesting! Might have to pick it up for a looksie...thanks for sharing!


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