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Snape: A Definitive Reading

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4.38  ·  Rating details ·  499 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
From the Introduction: "The Harry Potter series may be named after the Boy Who Lived, but if you want to know the story, keep your eyes fixed on Snape. This hook-nosed, greasy-haired, grumpy character is one of J.K. Rowling’s enduring gifts to English literature. He’s the archetypal ill-tempered teacher: acerbic, yet horribly, deliciously funny. Every time he opens his mou ...more
Paperback, 305 pages
Published July 2016 by Story Spring Publishing
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Michele
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy of this and devoured it :) The author does a truly excellent job not only analyzing in detail how Severus Snape evolves throughout the series, but also demonstrating how his interactions with the other characters -- Harry, of course, and Dumbledore, but also Hermione, Neville, his Hogwarts colleagues, Narcissa and Bellatrix, and others -- hint at something much deeper and different than appears on the surface. Reading this book gave me a much ...more
Sarah Jamison
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book I never knew I was longing for. It's the first time I've ever read a companion book to the Harry Potter series and not thought NEEDS MORE SNAPE. Because every page of this is Severus Snape, Potions Master, Head of Slytherin, Headmaster, Spy.

Kim sets out to deliver a critical reading of the body of the HP text with the thesis: Keep your eye on Snape. Snape is where the story is. And she delivers. Working book by book, asking four questions about Snape and his relationships to the
...more
Rebecca McNutt
Snape, a weird, creepy teacher in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, is definitely one of the books' most complex characters. This book in particular explains why it was important to make him so complicated, and how he became an antihero of sorts rather than just a comic relief figure in the series.
Katelijne Sommen
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I'm no stranger to Lorrie's well-written, eye-opening analyses - reading some of her Potter essays has opened my eyes to patterns and themes in the books that I would never have been able to put into words myself. She's a veritable genius in exposing the unsaid. And the unsaid is exactly where Severus Snape lives: as the book posits, Snape is always the story, but he is the undercover story, the submerged story. He is the hidden story, multi-interpretable, deeply confusing at times, completely o ...more
Liz
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
First of all, I still hate Snape and this book was definitely written by a Snape apologist. He's not redeemable because he was fine with letting people die as long as it wasn't the woman he was obsessed with and even after she died and he supposedly felt remorse he blatantly harrassed his teen and preteen students daily. (That's something that you can't explain away in my opinion because there's no excuse but this book TRIES at some points and I hated that. He could have easily kept his cover wi ...more
Tom
A goldmine for HP fans. I've enjoyed long debates about the "goodness" of Snape, taking his defense even following the conclusion of Book 6. This careful reading of the series from Snape's POV is revealing, moving, and simultaneously strengthens both the ambiguity of his character and the depth of his devotion and sacrifice for the cause. A remarkable analysis.

"Snape is the story." It is through his eyes we learn best about the deepest magic of protective love. For several books, Snape hates Ha
...more
Grace Gordon
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The mystery that is Severus Snape has been the cause for controversy and toxic fighting in fandom for years. If you are a Snape fan, this book is for you. If you are anti-Snape.. this book is still for you.

Snape: A Definitive Reading goes far beyond the motivations of Severus Snape: it explores themes in the Harry Potter series like trauma, genius, bullying, and how old prejudices can damage childhoods and schools. The author understands Snape's perspective, and how perspective and trauma inform
...more
Shannon Sauro
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Severus Snape has long been my favorite character in the Harry Potter books. At the time the 6th book was released, I remember the great divide that split fans and readers of the books regarding whether Snape was good or evil. Even after the release of the final book when Snape's backstory was revealed, many remained divided on how to read Snape. Yes, he had indeed been working for Dumbledore to save Harry, but for many his treatment of Neville, Hermione and many other students in his classes wa ...more
Karyl Carlson
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitive indeed

This book is absolutely amazing . It bores so deeply into the life, mind, heart and motivations of a hateful character that in the end you understand him better than all the Harry Potter characters you have always loved. Its a keeper.
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
This book is a thorough dissection of the Harry Potter books with a focus on Severus Snape, one of the all-time best, most complicated and polarizing characters of modern literature.

Each chapter focuses on one of the seven books in the series. They begin with a detailed account of the book's plot and includes long quotes of the original text. As someone who has read the series four times, I felt that the rehash of each book went into too much depth and I ended up skimming much of it. As a Potte
...more
Ruth Dahl
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A sentence for sentence word for word analysis of every time Severus Snape was present or even mentioned in the Harry Potter books.

This is exactly the kind of analysis I crave from my English Lit. books. 👌🏻 #talknerdytome

Of course, I didn't agree with every conclusion or interpretation the author had, but that's okay! It sparked a discussion, and that's what books like this are for, anyways. Discussions.

If this book isn't used as a textbook in literature electives somewhere I WILL throw tables
...more
Jordan Brown
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, own-tbr
Severus Snape is my favorite character in the whole of literature. He's a character of complex morality who gives his entire life as an adult to atone for mistakes made in his youth and he does so with a sour, unsavory personality and a flair for the dramatic and sarcastic arts. He's honestly the love of my life. So I was truly excited to read this. Lorrie Kim brings up many points I had never thought about, but early on she makes some mistakes that hurt her credibility a bit (leaps of logic and ...more
Marlene
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you're a fan of, or even just intrigued by, the brilliant literary character that is Severus Snape, this book is a must-read.
Dawn Hoffman
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Snape Shaped Holes

Severus Snape is by far the most complex character JK Rowling has created. His role of antihero well disguised in the earlier Harry Potter books, delights the champions of underdogs. Once Snape’s true intentions are known the reader thinks back and recalls evidence of Snape as the protector. For example when he places himself in front of Harry, Ron & Hermione shielding them with his body from a rampaging Professor Lupin in the heat of the werwolf. There are many such exampl
...more
Nicole
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-releases
Lorrie Kim's insightful take on retelling Harry Potter through Severus Snape's perspective is refreshing. Kim includes excerpts from the series and interprets every word and every action for the reader to fully understand Snape. Her detailed analysis describes Snape perfectly. Because Snape is such a complex character, Kim breaks down Snape's personality, reasoning and motives. The reader learns to perceive Snape with a new mindset.

She delves into what it means to be a double agent. Many people
...more
hpboy13
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
SNAPE: A Definitive Reading is a model of what post-Deathly Hallows Potter academia should be. It’s accessible to most fans of HP familiar with the series, but meticulously researched and referenced throughout. In an era of “7 Times Harry Acted Like a Gryffindor” articles on major fansites, this kind of writing is exactly what we need.

Do I agree with Lorrie Kim’s points? Hell no. This book presents a far too charitable portrait of Snape, where every vindictive deed and awful trait is smothered i
...more
Melo
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This gave me not only a deeper appreciation for Snape - and for Alan Rickman's acting ability - but also made me realize how much I missed reading HP only once. Armed with these new insights into the characters, it makes me want to go back and read them all again to see what new gems I pick up.
Linds
Very thorough and frankly higher quality than I expected a self published eBook to be.
Tim Prilucik
Mar 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Way too introspective. Seeing things that I'm sure were never intended. Rolled my eyes more than I could count and only made it 1/3 through.
Atiqah
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, gem, reviewed
What Snape: A Definitive Reading will overwhelmingly achieve is instil and nurture empathy in readers.

This is a must-read before you reread Harry Potter this year. If you haven’t read/finished HP series, then this book should be right after HP & The Deathly Hallows on your TBR! A lovely rerun through HP series from a different point of view because as the author puts it “Snape is always in the story”. It made me see even more how talented J.K. Rowling actually is. HP Series was meant for you
...more
Charlie Larson
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I went into this book already a huge Snape fan, but I wasn't expecting this book to be so good and increase that even more. I loved this book so much. The author goes into I detail about Snape in each of the Harry Potter books, examining him as a character, his true motives, and where that comes from. It offers a look into his mind and his life with evidence to support. A great read for anyone who is a Snape fan or just loves the Harry Potter series in general.
Jessica Weinreich
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably more like a 3.5, but I'm being pretty stingy.

Have you seen the blog about JarJar was meant to be a Sith Lord? With all the video clip evidence? This book is like that but better.

Although the writing can get tedious, and the author is so desperate to be taken seriously that she often over explains, it's worth the read. At some points she explains around her idea and never directly states it, which can be frustrating.

It's about 50% things I've thought of, 30% things I SHOULD have thought
...more
Megan
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Look at me.
With these three words, Rowling completes the incantation for the stupendous magic she has cast over seven books with her creation of Severus Snape. Everything about Snape is contained those three words. The spy who longed for nothing more than to be seen." (245)

Lorrie Kim has created an utterly spellbinding and thorough analysis of the complex and fascinating character of Severus Snape. Her calculated journey through all seven books brings her reader to a greater understanding of th
...more
Jenn
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent analysis of a most complex character. I have read, listened to (audible books) and watched the movies of the Harry Potter series on many occasions. Snape is one of my favorite characters. Reading this book was a great way to take a more in depth view of the story, specifically from Snape's point of view by taking into account everything J.K. Rowling has written about him within the books and via commentary after the release of the novels.

While I don't agree with everything this auth
...more
Julie
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent thesis on Severus Snape!

I really enjoyed revisiting the different parts of the series with the focus on Snape. My daughters and I had discussed many of the points prior to this publication and come to the same conclusions, but this was much more thorough.
Stephanie
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like him or hate him Severus Snape is one complicated character and I highly recommend every Harry Potter fan to read this book. No this is not an unofficial biography or fan fiction so be warned.

This book is a powerhouse of analysis. Lorrie Kim sheds light on threads that I didn't see on my first read of the series. There were many concepts I found interesting but three themes particularly caught my attention.

1. Snape's clear PTSD in book 3 and how Lupin is not as nice of a character as I orig
...more
Laura
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was dubious about the author's extrapolations from HP books #1 and #2; they seemed to go beyond the text by quite a bit. Also, the way in which she summarizes each book before starting the analytic portions is quite confusing- who does she think will be reading this that is not familiar with the series? It's one thing to quote/cite relevant passages to make her point, but the lengthy summaries really turned me off.

However, her analysis of Book 3 was extremely insightful, as were the chapters
...more
Sharon
After a recent re-read of the entire Harry Potter series, I found myself looking for something else that would allow me to stay in J.K. Rowling's universe. Somehow, I found this book.

I've spent every spare minute over the last few days reading and though my HP re-read was recent, I'm now dying to go back and read it all again - keeping my eyes on Snape.

With my first reading of Harry Potter (throughout my 30s) I hated Snape, as most first readers likely will. With my second reading I had better
...more
Jordan Ross
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a well researched (among the 7 Harry Potter books, and I am assuming Pottermore) and well-written thesis on Snape being the most important character in the Harry Potter series. Having a history degree, I felt right at home with the format of the book looking and reading like a term paper (complete with footnotes).

However, it should be stated that in parts of the author's argument, she states certain facts that help build her argument but are used as assumed knowledge and not footnoted a
...more
Kayla
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Positive:
-Snape is a really interesting character, and is worth dissecting.
-The author goes through each HP book from Snape’s perspective, specifically pointing out ways he fulfilled his commitment to protect Harry (and later, Draco). For example, he made sure the students got a good DADA education, despite teachers like Quirrell, Lockhart, and Umbridge, and his teaching “expelliarmus” in the dueling club affected Harry and Draco greatly.
-There are a handful of ideas I hadn’t considered before
...more
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Lorrie Kim lives in Philadelphia, PA with her clever, grumpy, magical spouse and their Harry Potter-reading offspring, one born between Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince and one in gestation during the publication of Deathly Hallows.
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