Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 19, 2000

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

The discussion of J. K. Rowling’s second novel drew twelve participants. Unlike our discussion of the first book in the series, no one under fifteen was in attendance. This book follows the adventures of Harry and his friends during their second year at wizard school, in which they encounter a ghost who haunts a girls’ restroom.

We liked seeing Harry again and learning more about his supporting cast and the world they inhabit. It was impressive how Rowling told a story that works on multiple levels for readers of different ages. The book is filled with several striking images, including a house elf and a feral car. (Yes, I did mean C-A-R.) We were amused by the new teacher who is such a blowhard. We delighted in all the wizardly slang terms: squib, mudblood, etc.

This book’s main drawback is that it has much the same structure as the other books in the series, and it tells a similar story. Many people in the group who’d read all the books in the series had trouble keeping the events of any particular volume straight.

This delightfully enjoyable book was the perfect way to end the year and head into the Christmas season.

— A. T. Campbell, III