Saturday, January 10, 2009

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling


I originally purchased Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in a bookstore in London when I was in medical school. My medical school here in Philadelphia offered a month-long rotation at London's St. Christopher's Hospice working as a nurses' aide, doing all the things nurses' aides typically do.

And so, the first time I read the second Harry Potter book, I was on an overnight ferry travelling from London to Dublin, Ireland for Easter weekend.

I thought I had read CoS once or twice since then, but still, most of the details of the story were unfamiliar on this reading. Suffice it to say that I did remember where the chamber was located, who opened it, and with what instrument, but I won't spoil the details here. I didn't remember the specific events leading up to that or how it played out. I did remember that Harry speaks snake, but that has been a theme throughout the other HP books. Otherwise, much of the details of the book felt unfamiliar to me.

I guess the story somehow paled in comparison to my first trip to Europe in which my friend and I spent a month in London at the hospice helping care for dying patients and another month travelling around the continent to Portugal, Spain, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France, and Switzerland. I read the third Harry Potter book on the way back to London from Dublin, so I'm sure that will feel unfamiliar as I read it again as well.

12 comments:

Amanda said...

"Harry speaks snake."

I love it!!!!!

Trish said...

I definitely think that if I re-read this one it would be like reading it for the first time as well (except for all of the "introductory" details). Hope you continue to enjoy the rest of the series!

Trixie said...

Amanda - I couldn't remember what snake language was actually called because I don't have the book in front of me.
Trish - I don't know why I'm so surprised at how unfamiliar the details are. I tend to read pretty quickly to get to the meat of the plot. I need to read more intelligent fiction to learn how to read slower and savor the words and characters. But I have trouble sticking to it if the plot doesn't pull me along. Oh well.

Amanda said...

I think I like "Harry speaks snake" better than using the actual term. It just sounds so cool!

(yes, I'm a complete dork. I'm reading Harry, a History right now, and that just (further) proves I'm a dork)

hamilcar barca said...

i've only read one Harry Potter book (the first one), but I read it in French. does that make me un grand dorque?

Amanda said...

Perhaps not grande, but a dork, yes. Wait until you get my next review, where you'll see just how absolutely dorky I am when it comes to Harry Potter...if you haven't already guessed.

Harry Potter Train said...

WHOA! What is all of this talk about being a dork?!? I prefer to think of us as a group with a highly refined appreciation for all things Harry Potter.

(Does this make me a dork?)

Padfoot and Prongs - Good Books Inc. said...

Every time I pick up a Harry Potter book it is like reading it for the first time. Because the plot is so detailed and complex...I never remember what I've read haha. I've read the whole series at least 8 times (besides the last 2 I've only read a few times) and it just gets better and better every time :). Great blog site btw.

Amanda said...

Even though I've read the series a gazillion times and am never surprised by the plot, I do still at times come across things I hadn't realized before. Last year, I realized something about book 3 and the time turner that had never occurred to me before, and it blew me away.

I'm glad you like our blog!!

Trixie said...

What did you realize about the time turner? I just finished book 3 yesterday - have to post my review soon - and started book 4.

Amanda said...

Page 394 of the paperback edition, right after Hermione's taken them back a couple hours:

"'In here!' Hermione seized Harry's arm and dragged him across the hall to the door of a broom closet..."

Page 327, when they are hiding in an empty chamber off the entrance hall waiting to put on the invisibility cloak to sneak down to Hagrid's:

"They heard a last pair of people hurrying across the hall and a door slamming."

After 20-some-odd readings, I finally noticed that line on page 327, that referred to the actions on page 394. It's so simple - one little line - that it just escaped my notice every time. It blew me away.

Trixie said...

I was blown away this time through with the perfect stag that Harry magics to throw off the Dementors when they are outside waiting to take Buckbeak up to the tower to get Sirius. I had forgotten how good his magic is this quickly. Ah, have to write my review soon.