Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5) Hardcover – 26 Apr 2003
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As his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry approaches in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 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?
Book five in JK 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. 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 teenager. Even Professor Dumbledore, headmaster of the school, has come under scrutiny from the Ministry of Magic, which refuses to officially acknowledge the terrifying truth: that Voldemort is back. Enter a particularly loathsome new character: the toad-like and simpering ("hem, hem") Dolores Umbridge, senior undersecretary to the minister of Magic, who takes over the vacant position of defence against dark arts teacher--and in no time manages to become the high inquisitor of Hogwarts. Life isn't getting any easier for Harry Potter. With an overwhelming course load as the fifth years prepare for their examinations, devastating changes in the Gryffindor Quidditch team line-up, 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 Harry Potter and the Philosopher'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 energised as they enter yet again the long waiting period for the next title in the marvellous magical series. --Emilie Coulter
I've yet to meet a ten-year-old who hasn't been entranced by its witty, complex plot and the character of the eponymous Harry (Independent)
Spellbinding, enchanting, bewitching stuff (Mirror)
Teachers say a chapter can silence the most rowdy of classes (Guardian)
One of the greatest literary adventures of modern times (Sunday Telegraph)
The Harry Potter stories will join that small group of children's books which are read and reread into adulthood (TLS) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Stephen Fry captures Harry’s moods brilliantly. The scene in Dumbledore’s office is powerful as much for Stephen Fry’s incredibly moving performance as for JK Rowling’s beautiful and sensitive prose. I really was moved to tears, and my heart ached for Harry.
Other characters were also developed in this book. Neville and Ginny really came in to their own. In fact, the theme of friendship was very strong throughout this book. We also learned much more about Snape, who I’ve always felt was Rowling’s most interesting character. I really felt for him in this book. I do think Order of The Phoenix is one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Book 5, The Order of the Phoenix is the next stage of Harry's journey from uncertain and unhappy childhood to fully-blown adult hero. But his journey is not an easy one, for as this installment opens he is unpopular and mistrusted by almost the entire wizarding fraternity, victim of an all-too familiar press-campaign to besmirch his previous good name.
If you're already a Harry Potter fan, chances are you've already bought this. If you're not then it would be unwise to read The Order of the Phoenix without having read books 1-4 first. JK Rowling litters the text with references back to her previous novels, and the impact of certain key moments would be greatly reduced if you aren't familiar with her characters and world (and that most definitely means the BOOKS, not the film versions, to which she makes few concessions).
As with the fourth book The Goblet of Fire, Rowling presents us with an extended sequence before Harry and his fellow-pupils reach Hogwarts. Unlike the overlong and frankly rather tedious Quidditch World Cup chapters in the previous novel, however, the episodes building up to and containing Harry's trial are quite engaging, and serve to introduce a significant number of new characters.
Unfortunately the extended page count does not mean an increase of action in The Order of the Phoenix, and to be brutally honest this book is the slowest paced yet of the series. While the third novel The Prisoner of Azkaban is the most wholly satisfying, this is just good in places, there being three or four stand-out chapters.Read more ›
The book starts with a bang and grows dark in the middle as injustice, indignities and failures are heaped upon Harry without any apparent redress, (I had to break here for a while, and found it hard to start reading again) but events lighten up as he responds and adapts to his circumstances and finds new inner strength and new resources among his friends and allies.
A familiar message from Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings - the important of acknowledging and conquering your inner rage and hatred - is becoming a central theme. The themes of courage and tolerance are, as always, absolutely core, but the theme of resistance and even rebellion against authority, albeit corrupt, unfair and cowardly, sounds a new and more adult note.
A number of new characters include one of the most unpleasant and least redeemable personages ever to grace the pages of a children's book. No spoilers, but perhaps this character is a little too close to home and a little too unpleasant. The button of the reader's righteous indignation is pushed just once or twice too often, I think.
The book does have flaws, the greatest of which is that there is just too much going on. Some characters are underused and some subplots could just as easily have been left out.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love Harry Potter and my cousin does too so I had to complete her set.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
As part of the '3 books for £10 offer' from Amazon (free delivery included) this really was a complete bargain - thank you! Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Second time round reading all of the Harry Potters since they have become available on Kindle. Loved it just as much as the first time!Published 10 days ago by RKH
Enjoying the read. Overcame my prejudice that these were books for children after a family visit to the Harry Potter Experience. Read morePublished 18 days ago by J. Nicholson