As you guys know, I have been feeling in a bit of a reading slump - which is weird when you look at the blog posts that have been going over the past few weeks. Still talking and reviewing stories in book/ebook/audiobook form. But it has been a weird few weeks as I have been feeling a tad ... it's hard to explain. I have wrote a blog post (which will never see the light of day - not yet, maybe never), where I tried to figure it out and while I'm still in that blogger/reader mindset, real life has thrown a huge "life-changing" thing at me (not bad, FYI. Is good. Very good. But not gonna say anything for another few weeks), so my reading and blogging is going to be a bit erratic for a while. I might even do a small blog break randomly till things calm down.
Now with that public announcement out there (if anything changes, I will let you know via Twitter), let's reread Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Ok, back story. Because of reading slump, I decided I wanted to do a few rereads. A bit overwhelmed where to start, I did a poll of twitter, asking what series to go towards: Harry Potter, Twilight Saga, The Old Kingdom, or Hunger Games/Artemis Fowl (I wanted 4 opinions here the merging of these two series). Just the series, not the book. And, of course, you chose Potter. So, decided to do another flash poll of Twitter on which Potter book to read: Chamber, Prisoner, Goblet or Order (no to Philosopher as this is my usual fail-safe for reading slumps. Plus, I thought you would say Goblet or Chamber for some reason). But, of course, you chose Prisoner. Which I am grateful for as I have this on several forms (book and audiobook - Chamber would have been a tad tricky as I don't have this on audiobook - I had on CD but not audible...), so I could jump back and forth between the two styles of storytelling while at work and home.
I have actually gone back to my previous #re3 of Prisoner of Azkaban back in my Harry Potter #re3 Challenge (if you want to check out my rereading of Harry Potter in 2015, ta-dah!) to see if I agreed of disagree with myself and, for the most part, I do. I still think Snape is a bad person - a bully, hypocrite, bitter, an abuser ever (I am willing to go that far). And yet, the fandom sees him as flawed.... I need to sit down and do a blogpost about Snape in the future as OH, I have thoughts and opinions on this and I really, REALLY want to vent.
What does surprise me is my thoughts of Lupin? Now, I love Lupin. He's a flawed human who is kind and a decent human, but makes mistakes and suffers terribly. He says and does things that, when other characters say them seem underhanded and a tad cruel, he says it in a way where Harry and us go "He's right". Though, on this reread, he doesn't seem as fleshed out as I remember him behind. Same with Sirius and Pettigrew, but these two have very little screen time compared to Lupin. I still love Lupin, but, as this is a children's book and Lupin is a teacher, we don't see him as a human being. We see him as a teacher. Harry (and us) see a more fleshed-out, rounded character at the end of the book and in the upcoming books, which now I might have to read.
What's so interesting to read this time round is the tiny little clues with the future and how this mirrors Order of the Phoenix. Most fans believe in the "Ring Theory" - where each book reflects a later book (Philosopher's reflect Deathly Hallows, Chamber reflects Prince, Prisoner reflects Order and Goblet stands alone because it's the turning point in the series). Harry "officially" mets the Minister of Magic in Prisoner and it's on friendly terms whereas in Order, the terms have become dangerous frosty. We met Sirius in Prisoner and we say goodbye to him in Order. We're told Trelawney has made a second correct prophecy in Prisoner and in Order, we find out her first and we have to deal with prophecies as a whole. We talk about Harry's dad (Harry hero-worships, up to a point) and Snape's hatred for him in Prisoner and in Order, we see why Snape disliked James so much and the rose-tainted glasses come off Harry when he thinks about his father. He's just a human who made mistakes and is hugely flawed. Yes, Prisoner and Order are very much Harry's books about his father...
I adore Hermione in this and am still hissy over Ron and Harry's treatment of her in the book. I get why, but still...
Also, what surprised me was there were one or two occasions, I paused the audiobook and didn't return to it for a while due to a knot in stomach over what was about to happen next. This happened a lot in the chapters Talons and Tea Leaves but it happened once or twice with other chapters - I believe it was Grim Defeat - and there were times I had to stop audiobook as I wanted to read the next section (in some cases, this was great idea. In one, not so sure as I sped-read!).
But I really enjoyed returning to rereading Harry Potter and I should reread this series (and other books) in general. So, this might be something I do more often in the coming few months. You have been warned.
PS - I now own the illustrated version of Prisoner of Azkaban (the only illustrated I own... I plan to get Goblet and, possibly, Order as well) and i jumped a few times to see what Jim Kay drew in where I was reading. Some I went "YES!" and others I went "...what?". But it's a beautiful edition and I plan to pour over my copy soon... ish...