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The Tales of Beedle the Bard
by J.K. Rowling
111 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/YA

Such fun meta-fiction! Dumbledore's commentary is not entirely truthful, prompting me to go back and selectively reread book 7. This is a collection of five Wizarding bedtime stories, with sagely snarky comments following each. In fact, Dumbledore's comments are much more interesting than the stories themselves. It's not worth the outrageous price for a slim hardcover volume, however pretty; but your local library will have it, and for HP fans 'tis a speedy, amusing read.

In the first story, "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot," a Muggle-helping wizard passes away, leaving his lucky cooking pot cauldron to his cranky son. The pot, which has been carefully enchanted, begins to hop and clang incessantly until the young wizard continues his father's kind acts and is allowed to put a slipper on the pot's metal foot. Second, three witches ally together to quest for "The Fountain of Fair Fortune". By seeming coincidence, a bedraggled knight joins their party. On the way to the fountain, each has resolved his or her tragic misfortunes without any magic from the fountain at all. In "The Warlock's Hairy Heart," a young warlock cuts out his heart to protect himself from the infatuations of love. When he finally falls in love (of a sort) with a maiden, he shows her his hairy heart in its casket. The maiden pleads with him to put his heart back, but in its long absence the heart has gone mad and takes over the warlock's body, causing him to cut out the heart of his beloved maiden. And then, of course, he kills himself in tragic love. "Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump" is a funny tale about a foolish Muggle king decides to learn magic and hires a charlatan to help him. The charlatan enlists Babbitty the old witch (who delightfully reminds me of Pratchett's Granny Weatherwax) to help him, but the king attempts to resurrect a dead hound, the charlatan is unveiled and Babbitty pulls a trick of her own in revenge. Finally, "The Tale of the Three Brothers" discusses a certain set of three brothers and their encounter with Death. Readers, of course, know perfectly well that the three gifts from Death are utterly false and imaginary. Of course.
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keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)

January 2011


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