Monday, August 11, 2014

Harry Potter and the Art of Spying by Lynn Boughey and Peter Earnest

I have to admit that I have never read any of the books of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. My only exposure to Harry Potter was in the movie theater, as I watched the first 15 min of the movie before I was kicked out during the flock of owls scene when my one year old started to cry and make noise. I was thankful that at least I got my money refunded for the ticket purchase, but annoyed I had to wait two hours in the lobby while the rest of the family watched the movie.  It is interesting to note that this fantasy series, originally intended for elementary school readers, now has a  growing number of adults who are finding a renewed interest in childhood magic and fantasy through the Harry Potter books.  Ironically  much of my adult family who are in their late 30s and late 40s have read the Harry Potter books.   Even more ironic is the fact that my teenager who loves to read, has not yet read the books of the series either.  When I heard of the new book, published by Wise Ink, Harry Potter and the Art of Spying by Lynn Boughey and Peter Earnest, I was very interested in learning about the connection of Spying and the Harry Potter series.  Countless associations have been made with magic and even the occult in reference to Rowlings' series, yet I had not read any commentary about the incorporation of intelligence.

My attention was captured from the very first page of the very first chapter.  Despite never having read a single Harry Potter book, I was not lost at all, and was able to follow along  without any issues.The pertinent scenes in Harry Potter, used for discussion were described in sufficient detail enabling any reader to follow along .

The writing style of the book was very readable, reminiscent of the narrative style of the USA Television series, Burn Notice which I was subjected to on a nightly basis as my husband watched TV.  The authors who themselves have real life experience in the field,  inserted interesting spy and intelligence related facts throughout the text- in sidebar blocks of information distinct from the main text.  These chunks of informative, fact based information about the spy world reminded me of the narration of Burn Notice's main character when he would speak in the first person to give the audience some general background information about spying and intelligence.  The book is so authoritative concerning intelligence that it serves as an informal textbook for anyone who wishes to learn about spying and intelligence.  In fact the Harry Potter setting, serves as a case study by which the authors pull facts and scenarios from the actual Harry Potter books and relate them to actual spy strategies employed by the CIA or other intelligence agencies.  This gives the reader the impression of having access to top secret information which increases the appeal of this book even more.  This book is not only for Harry Potter fans but also for anyone who has any interest in intelligence agencies and operations.

The authors did their research when compiling this book.  This extensive 618 page work includes a glossary of spy terms as well as an appendix- like a handbook or manual about spying and intelligence. I could imagine that the authors could have also written this book in the context of the Lord of the Rings series or even the Narnia series as it is more about Harry Potter as a case study for intelligence.  AFter reading this book, the reader will see the Harry Potter series in a whole new light.  And, not only that, but the information provided about spying operations will be an eye opener for anyone who reads this book in general.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

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