I really wanted to read this just to see what was said. People just have no sense sometimes. Look Harry Potter for what it is, the timeless battle of good vs. evil.
I agree with the other reviewers. The author sees the devil behind every bush.
Stupid. People are ridiculous.
Fun reading ... only because I didn't agree with anything he said! Sometimes you gotta read the 'nuts' out there to appreciate our freedom to read books like Harry Potter.
Absolutely ridiculous (RIDIKULUS! :D).
Someone gave me this book, which I found quite funny. I've never read the Harry Potter series, and I'm not a religious person. Why the giver thought I would have any interest is beyond me. I read the first chapter and put it down.
Maybe if you're an HP person and have a basis in religion, this would be interesting.
Outstanding critique for any parent, August 13, 2005
By way of disclosure, I read only the first four Potter novels, and found them entertaining. One of my three children has also read them.
Abanes has crafted an excellent review of the first four Potter novels. At the beginning of the section for each book, he presents a synopsis of the plot. A number of other reviewers have taken issue with these synopses for their inability to capture the details of a full length novel, but that comes with the territory in a synopsis. The synopses are very straightforward and non-evaluative reports of the major plot elements and themes.
After summarizing the plot of each book, Abanes examines in detail the moral relativism that can only be derived from the worldview of Rowling herself. In example after detailed example Abanes shows how Harry lies like a rug, steals, breaks school rules, wizarding laws, cheats in competition... and gets away with it. There are at least one or two incidents in which Harry gets in trouble ostensibly because he couldn't think up a convincing lie quickly enough. Harry violates a school rule against unsupervised wizardry, for which the specified punishment is expulsion, but gets off with detention. In another passage, Harry violates a wizarding law, and Harry is expecting to perhaps be sent off to wizard prison, but the official from the ministry of magic essentially tells Harry that the matter is of no consequence because he is, after all, THE Harry Potter. The general message conveyed by Harry's conduct is that rules and laws are to be followed only as long as it is convenient to do so, but once they are inconvenient, they are there to be broken. Harry is a very poor role model.
After reviewing the ethics involved in Harry and his friends' various escapades, Abanes scrutinizes the descriptions of the practice of magick within the Potter novels. What he shows is that, contrary to her protestations that she has very little knowledge of the occult, Rowling's descriptions of the practice of high magick conform time and again, with excellent accuracy, to professionally published descriptions of occult practice. It strains credulity that Rowling could weave accurate portrayals of occult practice that many times into her plots without background knowledge of occultism.
If you are a parent trying to figure out whether to allow your child to read these books, Abanes is an excellent resource. One of my daughters has read these, but I made a point of showing her how Harry is not a good kid, and how the occult pervades the stories. I enjoyed them and so did my daughter, but I would never turn a child loose on these books without supervision.
If you have read this far, you have waded past a large number of very shrill, hyperventilatory condemnations of Abanes by those whose beloved fictional character is exposed for what he is: a chronic liar, cheat, thief, and scofflaw who basically is willing to do whatever it takes to win. In fact, take your clue from the intensity of emotion many of the other reviewers experience over the criticism of a mere fictional character as to how objective [NOT!] they can possibly be.