Author J. K. Rowling shares her thoughts about her family and childhood, school days, and career. This book covers the period up to the fourth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
, which came out in 2000, the same year this biography was printed. It contains answers to about 40 interview questions in Rowling’s own words. The first few chapters share insight as to where she got some of her ideas. For example, did you know…
…Rowling’s Grandfather Ernie, who owned a supermarket, and Grandfather Stanley, who “had a problem telling fact from fiction”, were the inspiration for the driver (Ernie Prang) and conductor (Stan Shunpike) of the Knight Bus?
… Professor Snape was created from some of the mean teachers at her village school in Tutshill? (note: Tutshill is in Gloucestershire, right at the border between England and Wales)
…Sean Harris, her best friend in Upper Sixth School (which is like the 12th grade in the American system), owned a turquoise Ford Anglia, just like the car that rescued Harry and Ron Weasley?
…in her favorite book The Little White Horse, the author Elizabeth Goudge paid great attention to detail and even wrote what her characters were eating, prompting Rowling to list the food being eaten at Hogwarts School?
…she first came up with the idea for Harry Potter on a train ride from Manchester to London?
In the section My Career as a Writer, Rowling tells how she tried to find time to write the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
, while she moved around from London to Manchester to Edinburgh, Scotland. As her books grew in popularity, Rowling admits to her early discomfort with her new-found fame. The next part is an overview of the characters and plotlines. If you’ve read all four books, you can probably skip this section. And if you haven’t read them yet, then “spoiler alert” - this section reveals some details you may not want to know.
Another section contains extremely brief interviews with Newsweek magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, Larry King Live, and Entertainment Weekly. Lastly there is a Bibliography of the first four books. Overall, if you’ve read the Potter books, but have been looking for more background information about the author, then this book is a great starting point. If you’re a die-hard fan and not only know the Potter books inside and out, but have read plenty about the author as well, then this book may supply little that you didn’t know already. Now that Rowling has completed all seven of the books in the Harry Potter series, maybe she has time to give her many fans a more comprehensive autobiography of her life.
Want to know more about the actor who portrays Harry Potter in the movies? Click on the link below to read the book review on the Daniel Radcliffe