The Big Read

Books from Childhood – No.23 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling

Leading on from my last post you know all ready about my failed attempt to read The Chamber of Secrets the first time round and I have a confession to make. It is still my least favourite of all the series. I am guessing everyone must have one that they like less than the others and for me it is book 2. I have often re-read the series starting at the beginning and I get to The Chamber of Secrets and I am so tempted to just skip it and read Azkaban. I mean it’s not as if I don’t know what happens.  

*Again spoilers. Hurry up and join the rest of the world.*

Let me try and explain it. I think it is the atmosphere in Hogwarts. Everyone is so sad because of the people being petrified and that atmosphere of fear really gets me down. I know that almost the entire premiss of the series is based on fear but for some reason in this book it gets me down much more than say The Half-Blood Prince. 

I now have to try and explain a very embarrassing part of my personality. I cannot bear watching people do things that I know will get them in trouble. I have gotten much better at it but as a child I couldn’t watch Mr Bean, the Chuckle Brothers or anything else in that vain because I could see them about to get in trouble for doing something stupid and I was powerless to stop it. So in terms of The Chamber of Secrets when Harry and Ron steal the flying car I cannot cope. I could scream with frustration “WHY ON EARTH DID YOU THINK THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA”. Surely the sensible thing would’ve been to wait for Mr and Mrs Weasley, explain what happened and get the responsible adult to help you. But no, good old Harry and Ron have to go and break the Statute of Secrecy and nearly get themselves expelled. It’s like they are deliberately playing into Snape’s hand.  Grrr. You can tell how passionately I feel about this I really cannot bear it. Harry causes me a lot of undue anxiety over the course of the series by doing things that are clearly going to get him in trouble and sometimes I can barely find the strength to forgive him.

On another less crazy note I find that the absence of Hermione really effects the second half of the book. You never realise how much she effects the feel of the narrative until she isn’t there and I miss her so much. I think she is almost my envoy in the story and I often relate to the events through her just as much as I do through Harry. Maybe it is because every bookish little girl can relate to Hermione or maybe just because she is female, but when she is absent the story becomes far less personal to me.

Having said all that if I could only read The Chamber of Secrets out of all the books in the series for the rest of my life, I would still probably have read it 50 times by the time I died.

Rating: 4/5

Would recommend to: people who haven’t read Harry Potter come on what are you doing with your lives?

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