Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
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- Amazon Sales Rank: #1278 in Books
- Brand: Arthur A. Levine Books
- Published on: 2004-09-01
- Released on: 2004-08-10
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 1.85" h x 5.34" w x 7.60" l, 1.30 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 896 pages
- Special front design
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
From School Library Journal
Grade 4 Up-Harry has just returned to Hogwarts after a lonely summer. Dumbledore is uncommunicative and most of the students seem to think Harry is either conceited or crazy for insisting that Voldemort is back and as evil as ever. Angry, scared, and unable to confide in his godfather, Sirius, the teen wizard lashes out at his friends and enemies alike. The head of the Ministry of Magic is determined to discredit Dumbledore and undermine his leadership of Hogwarts, and he appoints nasty, pink-cardigan-clad Professor Umbridge as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and High Inquisitor of the school, bringing misery upon staff and students alike. This bureaucratic nightmare, added to Harry's certain knowledge that Voldemort is becoming more powerful, creates a desperate, Kafkaesque feeling during Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts. The adults all seem evil, misguided, or simply powerless, so the students must take matters into their own hands. Harry's confusion about his godfather and father, and his apparent rejection by Dumbledore make him question his own motives and the condition of his soul. Also, Harry is now 15, and the hormones are beginning to kick in. There are a lot of secret doings, a little romance, and very little Quidditch or Hagrid (more reasons for Harry's gloom), but the power of this book comes from the young magician's struggles with his emotions and identity. Particularly moving is the unveiling, after a final devastating tragedy, of Dumbledore's very strong feelings of attachment and responsibility toward Harry. Children will enjoy the magic and the Hogwarts mystique, and young adult readers will find a rich and compelling coming-of-age story as well.
Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
*Starred Review* No, you can't put it down, but believe me, you'll wish you could. This is not an easy book to lug around. Its worldwide hype aside, the fifth installment in Harry Potter's saga should be judged on the usual factors: plot, characters, and the quality of the writing. So how does it fare? One thing emerges quickly: Rowling has not lost her flair as a storyteller or her ability to keep coming up with new gimcracks to astound her readers. But her true skills lie in the way she ages Harry, successfully evolving him from the once downtrodden yet hopeful young boy to this new, gangly teenager showing all the symptoms of adolescence--he is sullen, rude, and contemptuous of adult behavior, especially hypocrisy. This last symptom of the maturing Harry fits especially well into the plot, which finds almost all of the grown-ups in the young wizard's life saying one thing and doing another, especially those at the Ministry of Magic, who discredit Harry in the media to convince the citizenry that Voldemort is not alive. Rowling effectively uses this plot strand as a way of introducing a kind of subtext in which she takes on such issues as governmental lying and the politics of personal destruction, but she makes her points in ways that will be clearly understood by young readers. To fight for truth and justice--and to protect Harry--the Order of the Phoenix has been reconstituted, but young Potter finds squabbling and hypocrisy among even this august group. And in a stunning and bold move, Rowling also allows Harry (and readers) to view an incident from the life of a teenage James Potter that shows him to be an insensitive bully, smashing the iconic view Harry has always had of his father. Are there problems with the book? Sure. Even though children, especially, won't protest, it could be shorter, particularly since Rowling is repetitious with descriptions (Harry is always "angry"; ultimate bureaucrat Doris Umbridge always looks like a toad). But these are quibbles about a rich, worthy effort that meets the very high expectations of a world of readers. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Most helpful customer reviews
229 of 241 people found the following review helpful.
Easily the most complex, and in some ways most satisfying, of all the Potter novels
By Mike London
ORDER OF THE PHOENIX could well be my favorite book of them all, if Azkaban and Deathly Hallows weren't as good as they were. For all the talk about GOBLET being the one where Rowling really hikes up the intensity and the complexity in the series, it is here, in PHOENIX, she gives us Potter's darkest, and most complex, adventure of all.
The second most complex novel in the entire Potter sequence (the first being Book 7), this book is probably the second best one, though I still like Azkaban better. This novel introduces the Order of the Phoenix, a whole litany of new characters and a more indepth look at the Ministry For Magic.
Potter has been having bad dreams about a locked door. So he must find out what to do about that. While at home with the Dursleys, he and Dudley are attacked by dementors, and so he stands trial before the Ministry for the inappropriate use of underage magic. He ultimately must appear before the Ministry, and it is only by Dumbledore's appearance he is saved.
But the Ministry is not finished yet. Still under staunch denial that Voldemort is back, Cornelius Fudge sends a new teacher, Dolores Umbridge, to bring Hogwarts under the Ministry's control. Much of the storyline revolves around Umbridge as she takes over Hogwarts, eventually ousting Dumbledore, who goes on the run. Her end is very well justified.
I remember when I read the book back in 2003 when it initially came out being rather disappointed. I wasn't a big fan of GOBLET, and I couldn't way to spend more time in Harry's universe, being back at Hogwarts with characters I know and love. But when I read PHOENIX, though, I felt even more lost and rather alienated. Hogwarts was being taken over. Hagrid was missing for half the book. Dumbledore is extremely distant (for reasons explained at the end of the novel). The Ministry is taken over, and it's run by a man who doesn't know what the hell is going on. There was a lot going on in this novel, and it was all rather depressing. Harry became angry and had severe mood swings, and was always snapping at the people around him. On the positive note he did get some romance,but ultimately even that frizzled out. Harry even had to take "Defense Against the Dark Arts" underground, as Umbridge refuses to even acknowledge Voldemort at all, as per Ministry order.
When I reread it in 2007 in prepration for DEATHLY HALLOWS, my stocks in this book absolutely soared. This is a dark, dark book, and while I still felt rather alienated and cut off from Rowling's magical world and the Ministry Interference, this time around I realised how masterfully crafted this novel truly is.
ORDER, as far as I'm concerned, is where Rowling truly stopped writing children's fiction, but crafting a dark, bitter book about dark, bitter times in her character's lives. Reading ORDER, and especially about Umbridge, keeps reminding one of Orwell and his horrific visions in 1984 and ANIMAL FARM.
Umbridge is easily one of her best characters she ever wrote, and one of the most despicable characters in all of fiction. It is people like Umbridge that brought Hitler to power in the early 1930s, and who would enable him to commit the many atrocities that he did during WWII (and I thought that for a long time before HALLOWS came out, in which Umbridge has turned into a type of Nazi who fully subscribes to Voldemort's racial genocide).
It is here, with ORDER, in which Rowling shows us the evil of bureaucracy, of how Voldemort isn't the only person in which massive evil lurks.
I also love how Rowling greatly expands her environment from the previous novels. We see for the first time St. Mungo's (and have a rather morose encounter with Gilderoy Lockheart from Book 2). We get to go inside the Ministry For Magic, and a very impressive place it is. Grimmauld Place, along with Sirius, is also very entertaining.
And we get some great new characters. Thestrals. The beautifully bizaare Luna Lovegood. Gwarp. Kingsley Shacklebolt. And a personal favorite, Nymphadora Tonks.
The series also has one of my favorite scenes in all of literature: when Dumbledore brings Firenze on during the rainstorm as the new divination teacher (a scene I was so disappointed they cut on the movie. The seeds were they but they cut it damn it.).
The climax of the book is great, with Dumbledore's Army truly coming into their own as they fight against the Death Eaters, who are trying to take the Prophecy from the Hall of Prophecy in the Ministry For Magic. I love that whole end sequence. And the death Rowling includes is just brutal, not really how she kills off the character but the fact she killed him off at all. Interestingly enough, Arthur Weasly, who survives an attack in this novel, was originally slated to die, but Rowling could not bear to kill him off. He was also supposed to die in Book 7, but she couldn't kill him then either, and he was the only real normal fatherfigure in the series, and a good father at that.
And naturally, we get to learn some vastly important information about Neville Longbottom. Following the trend of other installments in the series in regards to introducing apparently non-essential characters and information,, he turns out to much more important than you would suppose. We also begin to learn Dumbledore isn't as flawless as you would like to think.
Another thing I really like about the book is you really do feel like the stakes are really high, which you should as we're only two books away from the end. In fact, HALF-BLOOD PRINCE seemed almost a step back in terms of complexity and highs takes atmosphere from this one.
One thing that should be noted is this is a real doorstop of a book. At a quarter of a million worlds (half as long as Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS), this is easily one of the longest children's books ever published. Rowling has even said she wish she could go back and edit this book down, as she feels it is too long. But what would she cut? Great stuff, but very long for kids. Speaks to the amazing appeal these books have that children have read something as long as this.
Overall, one of my favorite Potter books. I think it's even better than AZKABAN on a literary level, but I still prefer Azkaban to this as a personal preference. Still, this is one of Potter's best. Don't go in thinking you'll have as much fun at Hogwarts. These are dark times, and the war really is beginning.
We can only hope Potter and his friends will pull through.
280 of 310 people found the following review helpful.
Still has the Potter magic
By Big Daniel McFoot
I can only imagine the kind of pressure J.K. Rowling faces when she sits down to write a Harry Potter book.
Though she's said she worked out the whole seven-book series on a fateful train ride she took in the late '90s, she couldn't possibly have imagined that the series would turn into this: midnight bookstore parties, record print runs, and a generation of children (and adults) hanging on to her every written word.
"This" has now reached a new apogee with its fifth entry, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the longest (870 pages) and most dense (more characters, more complexity) book of the series.
And Rowling once again pulls it off.
Harry's adolescent funk
"Phoenix" begins in the usual place, the Dursleys' house at number four, Privet Drive, in Little Whinging, England. The Dursleys, Harry's guardians, have become more frightened of Harry's magical abilities -- and the now 15-year-old Harry, having sunk into an adolescent funk of bitterness, anger and self-pity, is more than happy to keep them guessing.
But Harry soon has bigger problems. Once he's back at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he's treated as a pariah by most students for his insistence that the evil Lord Voldemort is back -- and, indeed, played a role in the death of a student at the end of "Goblet of Fire."
Only a handful of professors and Harry's close friends -- among them Hermione and Ron -- support him.
Harry also struggles with the series' latest villain, Dolores Umbridge, a condescending representative from the Ministry of Magic who assumes a leadership role at Hogwarts. The students' psychological battles with the odious Umbridge are the best parts of "Phoenix," and Rowling writes them with a wicked zest.
"Phoenix" does have its problems. The book starts running out of steam before the climactic battle, and that battle itself -- full of noise, flashing spells and wand-handling straight out of a grade-B Western as produced by Jerry Bruckheimer -- is the most poorly constructed scene in the book.
Rowling also engages in a stylistic tic, the paragraph-ending ellipsis, that seems to have become more popular with thriller writers. (It's all over Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," too.) Is something wrong with the humble period?
But those are minor issues in the face of Rowling's rich imagination and robust writing. The scope of Potter's world seems boundless; Rowling has added new characters and new locations, and added layers to those already existing. Potter's world, though fantastic, seems utterly believable.
That's doubly true of Harry himself. Rowling doesn't make Potter into an unblemished hero. Instead, he's a classic conflicted boy-man, struggling with issues both large (the death of both parents, fighting an evil power) and small (love, relationships and his own wildly changing hormones). He may not be as much fun as he was in Book One, but he's become more realistic and sympathetic.
Well, when he wants to be. After all, he's a teenager.
Recently, a friend asked me if Potter was worth the hype. I'm not sure if anything is worth the hype that the modern entertainment industry produces: overblown publicity machines for works that will vanish in a weekend.
But if anything is worth the hype, it's Harry Potter. The books enrapture children, entangle adults, and are full of wit, wisdom and wonder. Who could ask for a more magical experience?
461 of 541 people found the following review helpful.
Third Time's the Charm
By Jadyn Penn
As I've been reading many of the reviews here, I see that the opinion of the readers is split down the middle; either they hated it or loved it, no middle ground to tread. It irrtated me thoroughly when readers complained about the length and cookie cutter plot. First off, I would like to remind readers that, while each book does have its own plot, IT IS A SERIES. The books must stay related in plot so there can be a combined OVER ALL PLOT. It would be incredibly confusing if each book whirl-winded off into unknown, very new plot lines. Second, the length is not too much, while the sheer volume of the book is enough to ward many people off, it is not overdone. Nothing's truly 'repeated' (as one reviewer has mentioned), in fact, we (as readers) get to visit two new places that we've never been before; that Harry's never been before--therefore, a long explanation of these places is needed. Lastly, I would like to note that people need to read it again and again and again, just as Harry Potter fans read the first four books over and over while waiting for this one, certainly they should and can read this one again. I was unsatisfied at first with the book when I finished reading it, but out of my love for Harry Potter, I picked it up again, and loved it. JK likes to hide subtle hints in the text that unfold throughout the book, and when you start it for the second or third time, you know what's going to happen, therefore you can concentrate on your present spot in the book. That's actually what happened to me: I was so excited that it was finally published, I read it in seventeen hours straight, just so I could have the whole fifth book story line in my head, to know what happened. I didn't concentrate on the diction or comedy or any of it; I was just reading for the plot. When I read it again, I realized what an awesome book it is: You can read more and more and love it more and more. So take my advice: If you hate it at first, read it again. If you still hate it...well, your loss.