Review: ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard’ by J. K. Rowling

By oldenglishrose - Last updated: Friday, August 20, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

The Tales of Beedle the Bard contains five richly diverse fairy tales, each with its own magical character, that will variously bring delight, laughter and the thrill of mortal peril.  Additional notes for each story penned by Professor Albus Dumbledore will be enjoyed by Muggles and wizards alike, as the Professor muses on the morals illuminated by the tales, and reveals snippets of information about life at Hogwarts.  (Goodreads Summary)

This was an enjoyable little book, although it lacked some of the magic which made the Harry Potter books so readable. None of the five stories in this book are particularly original, but that’s because they’re written as though they’re part of a long tradition of gnomic tales which become part of our collective consciousness. They’re written in the simple, unembellished language of folk tale, which is perfectly appropriate but suffers a little from being read rather than heard told. Unfortunately, Rowling does such a good job of writing in this particular style that it’s impossible to tell that the book is written by her. Only in Dumbledore’s textual notes does the voice of the Harry Potter books come alive, and that’s really what was missing for me.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling.  Published by Bloomsbury, 2008, pp. 128.  Originally published in 2008.

N.B. This is an old review written in 2010 and posted on Goodreads and LibraryThing before I started keeping track of all the books I read here at Old English Rose Reads.  I’ve decided to keep copies here so that this remains a complete record of my reading since I started reviewing books for my own pleasure.

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