Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (#2) by JK Rowling

Published: 2nd July 1998Goodreads badge
Bloomsbury Publishing
Pages: 251
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fantasy
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone, or something, starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects: Harry Potter himself?

What I think is good about Harry Potter, is that Rowling manages to add new details and information that lead you in to the next book without you realising. It isn’t until a second or third reading you notice how new bits of information help the story in the following book. The writing is very easy to manage, the books do get longer but the language and writing style is simple but detailed and filled with meaning and substance which just adds to the greatness. This was not one of my favourites initially, there are others that trump it, but it has an immense amount of charm on its own merit. I think certain things like characters swayed my dislike initially, but I think given it’s been so many years since my first reading that they have all grown on me with odd appeal, but it’s still my least favourite overall.

One great thing about it is we get to see more of Hogwarts in this second book, we learn more about character histories, where they began and how they ended up as they are. Everything is being released slowly in trickles which keeps you engaged and give rise to a multitude of additional questions where only a few have been answered. Having knowledge of future books is interesting as you go, but I do remember being very curious as I struggled to try and piece everything together and guess where book three would lead me.

You certainly cannot read these out of order I don’t think, though there is enough basic recap in the first few chapters to warrant a basic understanding if you don’t. By book three I imagine it would be almost impossible to follow, but also I think going in order just adds to the complete world and story Rowling is trying to convey.

Reviewing these after becoming so familiar with them over the years is an odd experience. I know I probably am not doing it as I normally would, but these are only mini reviews and I feel like I am preaching to the choir, though I know people out there haven’t read the series. I think if you enjoyed the movies, the books are a must, there is such a depth and fascination of story and character that Rowling conveys, even in these shorter books, that are just a marvel to experience.

Fun Facts

It is the second shortest book at 85,141 words, but it’s the longest of the films.

First published 2nd July 1998.

Cover art is by Cliff Wright.

The Ford Anglia is actually the same color and model car that Rowling and her best friend from school used to ride around in when they were younger. She used the car for the book out of her fond memories driving in it.

Upon publication it immediately took first place in UK best-seller lists, displacing popular authors such as John Grisham, Tom Clancy, and Terry Pratchett, making Rowling the first author to win the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year for two years in succession

Listed among the 2000 Notable Children’s Books by the American Library Association

In 1999, Booklist named Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as one of its Editors’ Choices and put it in its Top Ten Fantasy Novels for Youth.

Shortlisted for the 1998 Guardian Children’s Award and the 1998 Carnegie Award.

Was the inaugural winner of the Children’s Book Award by the Scottish Arts Council in 1999.

An illustrated version was released in October 2016, with illustrations by Jim Kay.

This book has a strong connection with book six, with many crucial items first appearing in it. In fact, Half Blood Prince was the working title of Chamber of Secrets.

The novel implies that the story takes place in 1992/1993

Riddle’s name changes in translations so that an appropriate anagram could be formed, which results in Voldemort being called wonderful names like Martin and Trevor:
In French, his name is Tom Elvis Jedusor, which becomes Je suis Voldemort
In Spanish, his name became Tom Sorvolo Ryddle, which transforms into Soy Lord Voldemort
In Dutch, his name is Marten Asmodom Vilijn, which is an anagram for Mijn naam is Voldemort
In Turkish the name is Tom Marvoldo Riddle, which makes up Adim Lord Voldemort
In Brazilian Portuguese the name is Tom Servolo Riddle, which makes up Eis Lord Voldemort
In Danish, his name is Romeo G. Detlev Jr., which makes up Jeg er Voldemort
In Italian his name is Tom Orvoloson Riddle, which makes up Son io Lord Voldemort
In German his name is Tom Vorlost Riddle, which makes up Ist Lord Voldemort
In Icelandic his name is Trevor Délgome, which makes up Ég er Voldemort
In Swedish his name is Tom Gus Mervolo Dolder, which makes up Ego sum Lord Voldemort (which is actually in Latin)

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Megan (@Book_Birds)
    Jun 17, 2017 @ 07:38:37

    This is one of my favourite Harry Potter books – it’s so good! Great review!
    Megan @ http://wanderingsofabookbird.blogspot.co.uk/



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