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Harry Potter And the Order of the Phoenix by…

Harry Potter And the Order of the Phoenix (original 2003; edition 2003)

by J. K. Rowling

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74,0146552 (4.27)10 / 876
Title:Harry Potter And the Order of the Phoenix
Authors:J. K. Rowling
Info:Bloomsbury (2003), Edition: Adult Ed, Hardcover, 766 pages
Collections:Your library

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (2003)


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This book proves that fame and fortune is bad for good writing. Rowling was trapped by her desire to stick to the formula of one book per school year. While sometimes artificial constraints enhance the creative process, in this case the effect is the opposite. Voldomort comes back at the end of book 4. Do we really need a whole and very fat volume till we get ready for the real confrontation? And speaking of a fat volume: Rowling's editors are way too deferential at this point, and let the author indulge herself with endless repetitions. Do we really need to stop at every floor in the ministry of magic? Do we have to be told what's on every floor of Saint Mungo's? When Hagrid leads Harry and Hermione through the forest, one gets the feeling 5 Quidditch matches could hvae been played during that interminable march. The climactic scene in the department of mysteries goes on and on and on, as the author tries to outdo herself with "interesting" rooms to visit. Instead of being thrilling it becomes tedious. The final confrontaion is anti-climactic.

In short the book is a big fat fail, and 50% could have been cut out without any loss. In fact, if it wasn't for the one year a class constraint, the whole of this book could have taken up just a few chapters and we should have moved right into what is now book 6. I already had started losing interest in the series in the previous volume and in fact never got around to reading this volume and the subsequent ones when they were published. But recently, being a huge fan of the man, I decided to listen to the series through the Stephen Fry audiobook readings. His interpretation alone would have me add one star to my ratings of all previous volumes. But for this book, he only managed to carry me through. Had I been reading the text I never would have managed to finish. I'm glad I did, as I have started book 6 and it is already much improved as Rowling finally ditches the trite formula of the opening of the previous 4 books and varies (albeit only slightly) the whole Harry suffering at the Dursleys, being saved by the Weaselys dynamic.

So while I can't recommend this book, you have to get through it to move on. So I strongly recommend everyone isten to the Fry audiobook version of the series. He truly brings the book to life, not to mention slyly making explicit the homoerotic undertones of various situations and characters (not least of which HP himself in his unrequited love of Ron). In any case, I would never have been able to finish the series without the help of the inimitable Mr. Fry.

****Spoiler Alert

In a related note, this book also underscores why the series as a whole is a failure despite Rowling being an extremely imaginative and talented writer. She never makes up her mind whether she wants the book to be fairy tale or myth. As the series progresses it gets darker and darker, with all the dead bodies piling up. But the classic myth of the hero has the main character learn about himself as he slays the dragons and demons he is forced to confront. He becomes a richer and more human character, as he discovers the world is not black and white but highly nuanced. Rowling can never seem to let Harry truly learn and mature because she herself seems to want to see the world in black and white. The climactic scene where Harry see's Snapes worst memory, for example, starts out as a potential moment for Harry to have a richer and more nuanced view of his father, Sirius and Snape. Instead, by the end of the book he is once again blaming Snape for Sirius' death! And his whole reaction to that (utterly unmoving) death is so over the top and childish. No real hero in the mythical sense, who has gone through what Harry did in the past 5 books would react in so unseemly and ridiculous a fashion. In general, the portrayal of Harry as some 15 year old teenager who is a victim of his hormones is an insult to all teenagers, most who are far more sophisticated than HP. In general, Harry, Ron and Hermione are unpleasant and one dimensional characters. They never seem to change, never learn from their mistakes, have no real compassion and in fact with their own prejudices and actions show themselves to be not much different than the death eaters they so despise.

Even Tolkien, who has been so criticized for his one-sided portrayal of Mordor, allows his characters to mature, become more nuanced and more real. Rowling seems to be afraid to frontally confront the ambiguity of human nature, and so shrinks back from following her story to its human conclusions. For example, she wants us to believe, along with Harry, that despite his flaws Sirius is really the wonderful godfather Harry desperately wants, instead of a haughty Black who (most likely to spite his family) hates Deatheaters instead of Mudbloods, and is not really much different than his mom. He and all the rest would be far more interesting and human characters, if Rowling didn't keep pulling back from the ambiguity of what it means to be human. ( )
  aront | Jul 25, 2017 |
After the worst summer holiday yet, Harry Potter may not even be able to return to Hogwart's as he faces potential expulsion. And, he keeps having terrifying dreams about Lord Voldemort and a mysterious corridor where he feels compelled to open the door if he can reach it.

Before I started this book, I heard a wide variety of reactions to it from other readers ranging from "my favorite book of them all!" to "I almost stopped reading the series because I hated that book so much." Well, I didn't exactly hate it, but this was my least favorite book so far. It was just so damn long and seemed unnecessarily so. In previous books, there was a great deal of buildup also but at least I felt like there was payoff at the end of those. In this book, I found the ending entirely anticlimactic. Other than the death of Sirius (which was not a turn of events I was behind), I don't feel like we gained anything from this book. The much built up prophecy about Harry and Voldemort didn't really seem to say much we didn't already know from book one. In addition, several of Dumbledore's explanations about why he did certain things (e.g., left Harry with the Dursleys) felt like weak tea.

Meanwhile, many, many parts seemed to go on for far too long -- flying away from Privet Drive was described in way too much detail, we spent more than enough time at Grimmauld Place, Umbridge was "on screen" far more than necessary. Although some of it is understandable, Harry's behavior in this book is also less than appealing -- he is very moody and often takes out his anger on those who are trying to help him (e.g., Hermione and Ron).

In addition to the length, this book gets a little more mature and might not be for all young readers. Romantic relationships and all their complications are examined more in depth, and there are references (some more oblique than others) to a number of more adult content.

Throughout the book, there were new characters introduced, some of whom it felt like we barely got to know (e.g., Kingsley). However, there was also some very compelling new persons, notably Luna Lovegood. Also, there were definitely interesting bits that tied in to earlier books or called back to the beginning of this book, but honestly I felt like I plodded through it waiting for something to happen that never did. Hopefully I'll enjoy the next two books more, but for now I need to take a few days' break from more Harry Potter.

On the plus side for the audiophile, Jim Dale once again turns in a stellar performance. He kept the book more interesting than I think I would have found it in text alone. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Jul 21, 2017 |
Confession: I like some Harry Potter books better than others. I have read Prisoner of Azkaban a couple dozen times. … I have read Order of the Phoenix three times. First, when it came out. Second, right before the movie came out. Third, this time. This time was by far the best, and for one glaring reason: CAPSLOCK!Harry is a lot more tolerable when you can’t see all the angry capital letters. There are aspects of OotP that are so cool, and the cast of characters is great, but this is still my least favorite in the series. That said? Still four stars.

Considering the fact that OotP introduces Luna Lovegood, who is one of my favorite characters in the series, you’d think that this would get a star. Considering how perfectly unlikable Umbridge is, and how well-written she is, you’d think this would get a star. Fact of the matter is, most of the characters in this book are really good… but Harry. Harry Potter is the most frustrating, angry, selfish kid. I get that he’s gone through a lot, and I have to give so many props to Ron and Hermione for putting up with him. I dislike Harry so much in this book that it took it down a star for me.

The world of Harry Potter continues to enchant. In as far as setting goes, OotP is one of my favorites, because we get to explore a new corner of the world in the Ministry of Magic. I love the Department of Mysteries and I feel like there are so many possibilities and stories within the objects the friends come across. You also really get the feeling that they’ve only begun to brush the surface. If there was a series that followed a Department of Mysteries employee, I would absolutely read it.

A bit of a mini-rant here – most of the Department of Mysteries was cut from the film version of this book and while I generally like the movie quite a lot, I think the loss of that magic does the story a disservice.

The breakdown of the wizarding government and Hogwarts staff is essential to transition the wizarding world into this new, darker shade. For what it is, it’s done very well, developing characters and showing the true colors of people. Rowling has a theme to her plots where the ultimate endgame in all of them is “stop Voldemort” (excepting Prisoner of Azkaban) and even though it’s been used, we look forward to it. Of particular interest this time is that Harry doesn’t go in alone and play the hero. SPOILERS! I really, really love that Neville is the last man standing with Harry in the showdown in the Department of Mysteries. Despite all odds, we finally get to see what this character is made of, and we see a sampling of what ultimately becomes book seven.

As much as CAPSLOCK!Harry bothers me, he actually makes perfect sense and the stylistic choices in this book were good ones to suit the characters. As a narrator, Jim Dale also continues to do an excellent job. I have a bit of a pet peeve with his female voices (I mentioned this in the SS/PS review with Hermione), and I’m not crazy about Luna’s and Bellatrix’s, but I have a suspicion that I will get used to them. I sympathize – there’s only so many female voices a male reader can do, and I can always tell who is talking… he doesn’t use them twice.

Actually, I’m going to give extra props to Jim Dale on his reading, because I am simultaneously listening to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which he also narrates. Between the two different books the voices still all feel different. He masterfully uses tone and accent to differentiate between people. Ten points to Gryffindor!

This books is a series of extremes for me. I really don’t like Harry. I really love Fred and George. I really find it frustrating that Harry forgot about that incredibly useful mirror the entire story that could have fixed everything but he doesn’t even realize that. I love that Umbridge is a pink-cardigan, kitty cat plate villain everyone loves to hate. The two merge together to make a pretty good book, but it comes up short compared to the rest of the series.

Fred and George’s war against Umbridge is one of my favorite parts of the entire series, so it gets props for that as well.
  Morteana | Jul 7, 2017 |
Quick review: when people say that Harry is too angry in this book... I kinda have to agree. It's weird, but even if I do understand where his anger comes from, it isn't until the last conversation with Dumbledore that the emotional beats of the story actually made me feel for him. The ending is the strong point of the book, but something was off in the emotional bits during most of it that wouldn't allow me to empathise with Harry and it did damped my enjoyment of it to some degree. Make no mistake, this is still a wonderful book. ( )
  anagabymtz08 | Jun 25, 2017 |
I can't say anything that hasn't already been said about this series.
I love it.
It's awesome.
Everyone should read it.
Over and Over.
Starting now.

DO IT!! ( )
  Shahnareads | Jun 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 623 (next | show all)
But tally the book’s strengths and weaknesses as you may, the fact remains that Rowling has once again created a fully-fledged world, and for the experience of being there with Harry, HP5 can’t be beat.
''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'' is rich and satisfying in almost every respect.
A considerably darker, more psychological book than its predecessors, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" occupies the same emotional and storytelling place in the Potter series as "The Empire Strikes Back" held in the first "Star Wars" trilogy. It provides a sort of fulcrum for the series, marking Harry's emergence from boyhood, and his newfound knowledge that an ancient prophecy holds the secret to Voldemort's obsession with him and his family.
Las tediosas vacaciones de verano en casa de sus tíos todavía no han acabado y Harry se encuentra más inquieto que nunca. Apenas ha tenido noticias de Ron y Hermione, y presiente que algo extraño está sucediendo en Hogwarts. En efecto, cuando por fin comienza otro curso en el famoso colegio de magia y hechicería, sus temores se vuelven realidad. El Ministerio de Magia niega que Voldemort haya regresado y ha iniciado una campaña de desprestigio contra Harry y Dumbledore, para lo cual ha asignado a la horrible profesora Dolores Umbridge la tarea de vigilar todos sus movimientos. Así pues, además de sentirse solo e incomprendido, Harry sospecha que Voldemort puede adivinar sus pensamientos, e intuye que el temible mago trata de apoderarse de un objeto secreto que le permitiría recuperar su poder destructivo.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rowling, J. K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buddingh', WiebeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cockroft, JasonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dale, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniele, ValentinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fry, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
GrandPré, MaryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapari, JaanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kibuishi, KazuCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masini, BeatriceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ragusa, AngelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Neil, Jessica, and David,
who make my world magical.
First words
The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive.
'You two have just apparated on my knees.' - Ron Weasley
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (5)

Book description
As his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry approaches, 15-year-old Harry Potter is in full-blown adolescence, complete with regular outbursts of rage, a nearly debilitating crush, and the blooming of a powerful sense of rebellion. Harry is feeling especially edgy at the lack of news from the magic world, wondering when the freshly revived evil Lord Voldemort will strike. Returning to Hogwarts will be a relief...or will it?

AR Level 7.2, 44 pts
Haiku summary
New teacher is a
psychopath. Don’t believe me?
Then talk to the hand!
Evil just got a
makeover. Pink has never
been so menacing.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0439358078, Paperback)

As his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry approaches, 15-year-old Harry Potter is in full-blown adolescence, complete with regular outbursts of rage, a nearly debilitating crush, and the blooming of a powerful sense of rebellion. It's been yet another infuriating and boring summer with the despicable Dursleys, this time with minimal contact from our hero's non-Muggle friends from school. Harry is feeling especially edgy at the lack of news from the magic world, wondering when the freshly revived evil Lord Voldemort will strike. Returning to Hogwarts will be a relief... or will it?

The fifth book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series follows the darkest year yet for our young wizard, who finds himself knocked down a peg or three after the events of last year. Somehow, over the summer, gossip (usually traced back to the magic world's newspaper, the Daily Prophet) has turned Harry's tragic and heroic encounter with Voldemort at the Triwizard Tournament into an excuse to ridicule and discount the teen. Even Professor Dumbledore, headmaster of the school, has come under scrutiny by the Ministry of Magic, which refuses to officially acknowledge the terrifying truth that Voldemort is back. Enter a particularly loathsome new character: the toadlike and simpering ("hem, hem") Dolores Umbridge, senior undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, who takes over the vacant position of Defense Against Dark Arts teacher--and in no time manages to become the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, as well. Life isn't getting any easier for Harry Potter. With an overwhelming course load as the fifth years prepare for their Ordinary Wizarding Levels examinations (O.W.Ls), devastating changes in the Gryffindor Quidditch team lineup, vivid dreams about long hallways and closed doors, and increasing pain in his lightning-shaped scar, Harry's resilience is sorely tested.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, more than any of the four previous novels in the series, is a coming-of-age story. Harry faces the thorny transition into adulthood, when adult heroes are revealed to be fallible, and matters that seemed black-and-white suddenly come out in shades of gray. Gone is the wide-eyed innocent, the whiz kid of Sorcerer's Stone. Here we have an adolescent who's sometimes sullen, often confused (especially about girls), and always self-questioning. Confronting death again, as well as a startling prophecy, Harry ends his year at Hogwarts exhausted and pensive. Readers, on the other hand, will be energized as they enter yet again the long waiting period for the next title in the marvelous, magical series. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:37 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Harry Potter, now a fifth-year student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, struggles with a threatening teacher, a problematic house elf, the dread of upcoming final exams, and haunting dreams that hint toward his mysterious past.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 21 descriptions

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