Okay, so, I’m going to start my new blog series on ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ today, and thanks to everybody who voted in the poll. Since it’s a fairly short book with a lot of small chapters, I’ll try to cover 2-3 chapters a week, and maybe finish in eight installments or so.
I’ll try to avoid going through the plot details in as much depth as I did with ‘A Wizard of Mars’, and try to spend a bit more time looking at plot structure, interesting use of language, and my own reactions. So, let’s get started!
Chapter 1: Harry starts off, as always, at the Dursley’s, completely miserable for the summer, and sneaking around doing Hogwarts homework under the covers in the middle of the night.
In the wee hours of the morning on Harry’s thirteenth birthday, he gets a bunch of deliveries and letters from wizardly owls, even though he didn’t send his own owl, Hedwig, out with any letters. The Weasley family won a bunch of gold in a Wizard’s lottery, and went off to visit Ron’s big brother Bill in Egypt. Ron sent Harry a pocket Sneakoscope which can tell him if someone around is untrustworthy. Hermione’s on holiday too, in France, and sent him a broomstick care kit for his Quidditch broom. Hagrid sent him a ‘Book of Monsters’ (which acts like a living monster itself,)
And there’s an official letter from Hogwarts about the train to catch for next year’s classes, the required reading – and a permission form to be signed by a parent or guardian for a third-year student to go off to the village on select weekends. Harry really wants to be able to go, of course, but he doesn’t kow how he’ll be able to convince his uncle or aunt to sign off.
But he feels glad that it’s his birthday for the first time in his life.
Chapter 2: There’s something on the Muggle news about a dangerous escaped convict, named Black. (Foreshadowing!)
Uncle Vernon’s sister, Aunt Marge, is coming, and though she hasn’t been to visit since the first book proper started, (leaving aside the prolog from when Harry was a baby,) she’s apparently as bad as all the other Dursleys put together when she does pop up in Harry’s life. Uncle Vernon has a big list of ways that Harry’s supposed to stick with his program and not let Marge know that he’s a wizard or other than the loser that Marge always thought he was, and Harry agrees, on the condition that Vernon sign the permission slip. Vernon isn’t happy, but agrees to sign if he thinks Harry’s behaved perfectly.
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