Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J K Rowling, 1999

I had the huge pleasure of reading Prisoner to my sons a few years back, and it was that experience which finally persuaded me to take J K Rowling seriously as an author. Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets had been fun, with dark moments but plenty of silliness as well, and it seemed theContinue reading “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J K Rowling, 1999”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J K Rowling, 1998

Again, not a review, which would be redundant, but some observations: The comfort of familiarity. Re-reading Chamber of Secrets I was struck by how similar the story is to Philosopher’s Stone. I am not going to list all the points of comparison here, but (to mention a few) both stories involve: a search for somethingContinue reading “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J K Rowling, 1998”

Book review: How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig, 2017

Time travel is an obvious source of plot material for authors, but it is also inherently problematic – making it plausible is always the challenge. Over the years authors have adopted a range of different approaches to making it believable. None have ever really cracked the central practical problems associated with the idea, but MattContinue reading “Book review: How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig, 2017”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J K Rowlng, 1997

I normally flag these posts as book reviews, but this won’t really be a review as such – every word Rowling wrote has been analysed in such microscopic detail that any attempts at a summary would be redundant. But ‘I read it so I write about it’ is the rule here, so here are aContinue reading “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J K Rowlng, 1997”

Book review: Making Money (Discworld 36) by Sir Terry Pratchett, 2007

Making Money is the sequel to the transcendent Going Postal. It is the story of the further adventures of Moist von Lipwig as he takes on his next challenge – reforming the Ankh-Morpork banking system. For a choice of topic Pratchett couldn’t have been more prescient, coming as it did just a few months beforeContinue reading “Book review: Making Money (Discworld 36) by Sir Terry Pratchett, 2007”