Sunday, May 7, 2017

Review - The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Original Title: The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Series: Hogwarts Library
Author: Joan K. Rowling
Published: 2007

Publisher: Salamandra (Spanish edition)

J. K. Rowling wrote this, what is not to like about it? She proves, once more, what a genius and great writer she is, letting us be a part of this amazing Wizarding World, taking us not only to know the classic fairytales that are usually told to kids, but also meet Albus Dumbledore again, and read his personal notes on some of the tales, always funny and with his own personal style. Of course, do not forget, that we are able to read them because of Hermione Granger’s translation of the runes in which the original versions of the tales were written. And there’s also little mentions, here and there, of characters from the original saga, like Lucius Malfoy (and apparently, their hate and contempt towards muggle-borns can be tracked back for generations, to a man named Brutus Malfoy, who had no qualms about speaking his mind, honoring his name and his future descendants with his cruelty and terrible ideas about what, in his opinions, muggles deserved).

The book includes just five, short stories, and one of the best parts is that they do not feature mild, foolish heroines who wait to be rescued, nor all-powerful heroes in shining armors, but true, deep considerations and metaphors of human nature, which reminds me a quote from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:

We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.” (Sirius Black)

Stories like The Wizard and the Hopping Pot and The Warlock's Hairy Heart are those in which that can be seen very clearly, just like in The Tale of the Three Brothers, probably the most famous of Beedle’s tales, thanks to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The stories have those simple, even funny titles, but do not let them fool you. All them go deeper than they suggest, and the whole book, including Dumbledore’s notes, are full of Rowling’s clever, unique phrases she normally uses to tease us, and makes us laugh out loud, like with Beatrix Bloxam’s sweetened versions of the stories, I cracked up, and couldn’t stop! Rowling is a master for that kind of things! She has a subtle way to write humor as no author I’ve ever read, and I love her for that (and for many other things too).

Here, once again, our most beloved Joan does what she does best, and opens the door to this secret world to let us be a part of it in one of its most classic, everyday aspects, as it is bedtime stories. She’s my overall favorite author, and what her stories did in my life is not something I can easily explain. She’s a must-read. I don’t care how old you are, you MUST read J. K. Rowling’s work, or you will miss one of the best, most complex, magical, and wonderful worlds that were ever created!

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