Laura's Reviews > The Books of Magic

The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Dec 29, 08

bookshelves: graphic-novels

I once read a breathless and poorly written article about how this book totally ripped off Harry Potter. I mean, PLEASE: bespectacled English kid who can do magic? DUH. (That was the general gist of the article; it also pointed the plagiarism finger at Diana Wynne Jones for her Chrestomanci series. It's just a shame that online articles can't be physically ripped into tiny pieces and stomped upon.) Clearly, anything about bespectacled English kids who can do magic has to be stolen from Harry Potter, right? Too bad the article author -- and this was published in the online edition of a respectable newspaper, mind you -- didn't notice that The Books of Magic and the Chrestomanci books referenced (Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant) were all written before Harry Potter. And no one wears glasses in the Jones books. And the thousand other differences.
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Laura I believe you're right about Merlin, and I haven't seen the Gaiman or Rowling quotes about Worst Witch, but I suppose that makes sense. I don't have any problem with homages or inspirations, and clearly, the reading public enjoys books about young witches and wizards coming into their powers... I just wish more people would realize that the "young witches and wizards coming into their powers" subgenre of fantasy doesn't begin and end with Harry Potter.

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