Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Book Review: The Science of Harry Potter: How Magic Really Works by Roger Highfield

The Science Of Harry Potter: How Magic Really Works – Roger Highfield

*Warning – may contain spoilers*

Author: Roger Highfield
Publisher: Headline Book Publishing
First published: 2002
Edition: Hardback
Pages: 374

Blurb:    There are features of Harry Potter’s world that, though they are more understandable, still remain magical when ones takes a scientific view. Invisibility cloaks may use clever stealth technology that is only now being developed by Muggles. Broomsticks could switch off the tug of gravity, a feat that still seems incredible.
Giants, Lobalugs, Hinkypunks and the rest of the magical menagerie could be the result of genetic modification, a science in its infancy, while Bott’s beans could exploit new understanding of our sense of taste and smell.

History of my copy: I picked up this book at a rally for £3 about 8 years ago.

I started reading The Science of Harry Potter soon after I bought it, but soon gave up because I found the language and science too advanced. Over the past year or so, I have been reading it on and off. Thanks to taking biology, chemistry and physics for a-levels, it has become a lot more understandable to me and so I’ve been able to enjoy it more.
It’s definitely an interesting read if you are scientifically minded, as it tries to look at scientific explanations behind the magical phenomenon, e.g. invisibility cloaks. It’s probably rather out of date now, so you might be able to find a more recent book of a similar ilk.

To read or not to read: Don’t read. Unless you are very scientific, I don’t think it’s worth the effort. I quite enjoy science, and have a relatively good understanding of it, but even I found it dry. Stick with the magical theories behind it all!