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.
Introduction: The Harry Potter Phenomenon
1 Platform 9¾: Magic, Power, and the Fantastic
2 The Order of the Phoenix: Community, Diversity, and Formation
3 Doing What Is Right: Heroism, Good, and Evil
4 All Was Well: Faith, Hope, and the World to Come
Greg Garrett is Professor of English at Baylor University. He is author of the critically acclaimed novel Free Bird, selected as one of the best first novels in 2002 by Publisher's Weekly and the Denver Rocky Mountain News, as well as The Gospel According to Hollywood and Holy Superheroes. He lives in Austin, Texas.
The mark of a great book discussing the Harry Potter books, especially if, like me, you have kept abreast of the current Potter scholarship, is that you learn something knew or see the Potter books in a new light. Greg Garrett's book is exactly this sort of book, and I might even say it is [the] best introduction for the reader new to the theology of Harry Potter yet written. Garrett gave me new eyes to see in many places, or approached the books from a fresh angle.
~A. T. Ross, atrossbooks.com
Pushing past the early naysayers who failed to see the deep, abiding Christian faith animating the epic Harry Potter series, Garrett connects the dots between J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and the heir to their mythic power, J. K. Rowling. Prepare to be spellbound!
~Craig Detwiler, Director, Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture, Pepperdine University