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|Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets|
by J.K. Rowling
Bloomsbury Publishing, plc, 1998
Amazon.co.uk: hardcover, paperback, large print, audio CD, audio cassette
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Recommended by: Greg Slade
In my review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, I commented: "Probably the most glaring problem is that Harry and his friends seem to be developing a persistent tendency to regard rules as applying to everybody but themselves." Near the beginning of this book, I thought Rowling might be moving to address that problem. For example, at one point, she writes, "Harry pushed his porridge away. His insides were burning with guilt." (p. 70.) However, after a brief period of determination to live within the rules, Potter allows circumstances to push him outside the rules once again, and the adventures unroll pretty much as they did in the first book.
Still, the theme of the work is pretty much as before. Virtues such as loyalty, generosity, and tolerance are rewarded, and vices such as vanity, greed, and intolerance are punished. There also appears to be a warning that evil is addictive, and ultimately destroys the person who gets drawn into it.
This volume also begins what seems to be an enduring trend in this series: each succeeding volume is about half again as long as the previous one. At this rate, by the time the series reaches the seventh volume, it should be just about the size of a phone book.
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