Tuesday, 12 July 2016

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Re-Reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter is lucky to reach the age of thirteen, since he has survived the murderous attacks of the feared Dark Lord on more than one occasion. His hopes for a quiet school term concentrating on Quidditch are dashed, though, when a maniacal mass-murderer escapes from Azkaban, pursued by the soul-sucking Dementors who guard the prison. It’s assumed that Hogwarts is the safest place for Harry to be. But is it his imagination that is making him feel eyes watching him in the dark, and should he be taking Professor Trelawney’s ghoulish predictions seriously?

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From Goodreads.

Of the first three Harry Potter books, Prisoner of Azkaban has always been my favourite; it's much darker and more exciting than the first two, in my opinion. I have always loved finding out about the truth about Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew, and then Harry and Hermione's adventures trying to save Sirius and Buckbeak with the Time-Turner.

I have always found the Dementors terrifying, and Harry hearing his parents die each time he's near one (or a Boggart shaped one) is just so upsetting. However, this time round, it was more of a case of my memories being more dark and exciting than the actual book. I don't know if it's my age or that I'm more widely read now, but Prisoner of Azkaban just didn't quite reach the levels of excitement I expected it to.

Don't get me wrong, it was still completely wonderful, but the anticipation for certain events was more exciting than reading those events. I think part of this is due to the movie; we see a whole lot more of Lupin as a werewolf in the movie, and I see very little of him in that state in the book. And when the Dementors attacked Sirius, Harry and Hermione, I remember that being absolutely horrifying, but it wasn't as nearly as scary this time round. And had me wondering if maybe I should have left the re-reading?

I will continue on this re-read, and I'm sure I'll re-read them again in the future, but maybe as I get older and change, my reading of the books and my experience of reading them will also change... and I'm now worried that maybe I won't love them as much with each re-read. There's a huge part of me that completely refuses to believe it - no way will I ever fall out of love for these books that have meant so much to me, and were an integral part of my teen years. But I still worry.

What do you think? Do you thinking getting older and experiencing more can affect how you read a book when re-reading? And do you think that affect, over time, could lead to losing the love you originally felt for that book?

Also, in my re-read post for Philosopher's Stone, I questioned what year Fred and George were in, but in Prisoner of Azkaban, this is all cleared up. It says they'll be starting their fifth year - while being the third book, Harry, Ron and Hermione are in their third, so Fred and George are two years older than them, and so would have started playing Quidditch in their second year. All sorted, I was mistaken, no plot hole here!

I'm still deciding whether I'll jump right on to Goblet of Fire or read something else, but either way, I am super excited for the Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament!

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  1. Interesting how you're finding the series less scary and intense than you did on your first read. I agree that sometimes you build things up in your mind so much that when you re-read you find it can't quite live up to that memory!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Exactly. But it's so odd, because I've had a completely different experience with the rest of the series; I've found it a whole lot more emotional. I don't know why this one didn't feel as *wow* as I was expecting.

  2. This completely makes sense to me--I feel that some childhood favorites are perhaps best left in our memories. However, I've been reading the HP books to my daughter, and seeing them through her eyes has been magical indeed. Of course, I was an adult when they came out, but I've had the same experience sharing books from my own childhood with my kids. So maybe you have that to look forward to!

    1. Ooh, that does sound absolutely wonderful, sharing books with your children, and seeing their sense of wonder at books you loved so much. That sounds amazing! I'm really looking forward to it!