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Snape: A Definitive Reading

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4.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,124 ratings  ·  185 reviews
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 Severus 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. When he’s in a scene, you can’t take your e ...more
Kindle Edition, 325 pages
Published July 4th 2016 by Story Spring Publishing
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Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,124 ratings  ·  185 reviews


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Michele
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Kimberly
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-reads, fall, rys
Well done Lorrie Kim! A five star book for me is one that moves me, and draws me to take some action. Because of this book, Snape has moved from lowest on my HP love totem pole to the near top (in case you are wondering — Hermione, Harry, Mrs. Weasley, McGonogal then Snape). Because of this book I will reread the series with a keen perspective on Snape, his feelings, words, and actions.
Fefyy Antela
"there was more to him than met the eye" -Alan Rickman

"No longer does the story show Snape as an ugly man. The usual gratuitous descriptors of his ugliness—the mentions of the hooked nose and the greasy hair during standard exposition—are now gone from the narrative. Rowling writes him with stark realism when he is being brave: when he pulls up his sleeve to show his Dark Mark, when he sings shut Draco’s wounds, when his eyes sweep the scene and he kills his mentor. He is heroic then, harshly be
...more
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
Liz
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Wee Lassie
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The perfect book for all those Slytherins out there.
Katelijne Sommen
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
Tom
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Johanna Lehto
Mar 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Severus Snape is and always have been my favorite character from the Harry Potter series. I also think he is one of the best written fictional characters ever. So, I was really happy when I discovered this book about him!

Lorrie Kim does a great job writing and putting out her opinions. You can clearly see that she has done a lot of research for her book. Snape: A Definitive Reading opens up really intresting discussions regarding Snape, but also other characters including James, Lily,
...more
Grace Gordon
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
Jordan Brown
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-tbr, books-i-own
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
Hannah
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was by far the most enjoyable reading experience I’ve had in a long time and have annotated the ever loving fuck out of this book. If only I’d paid this much attention at university, ey? It was a wonderful read and just solidified Snape as one of the most interesting (and my favourite) characters in literature.

Some observations felt a bit of a s t r e t c h but thus is the nature of critical reading. And although clearly written with some pro-snape bias, it does not try to excuse his retch
...more
Ruth Dahl
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Karyl Carlson
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kayla
Jun 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very eloquent and thoughtful character study on one of the most complex and divisive characters in literature. I’ve always had a soft spot to Snape and this book just further supports and explains why he’s my favorite character and so deeply misunderstood, and why he shouldn’t be characterized as one-dimensional.

He’s so gray; he’s done both awful things and selfless and heroic things. And I think that’s what make him not only the most human character but also the most brave, and sympathetic c
...more
Dawn Hoffman
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 examples t
...more
hpboy13
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
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
Marlene
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Laura
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I loved this commentary on the complex character of Severus Snape. So well done. I appreciated all the many quotes from the original texts. I felt like I was reading the entire series over again!
Josh
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Six stars (but as a Slytherin I am biased.)
Nicole
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Shannon Sauro
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kristy
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: would-recommend
I'm not a Snape loyalist. I don't believe he is a hero. This book tries to make a case for Snape being the true hero of Harry Potter. It's an incredibly well researched and in-depth look into the personality, history, and actions of Severus Snape. The problem I had is that I completely disagree with her main point that Snape is a hero to be honored, when he was really a bully who enjoyed crushing the spirits of young children. I often wonder if it's Snape that people love, or if it's Alan Rickma ...more
Tim Prilucik
Mar 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Beth Anne
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This book was incredibly well research and engaging. I couldn't put it down for the final third, and felt like it was nearly as exciting as reading the actual Harry Potter books. I really loved the detail, quoting frequently from the novels in each chapter. There were a few times where it seemed like the author was repetitive, but it didn't detract from the overall effect for me.

Her analysis of many of the characters in HP was so detailed, and I felt like she treated them equal and fair, not exc
...more
Valentino Mpasinas
I strongly recommend this book to any Harry Potter fan or even aspiring writers. Not only this book gives you the chance of diving again into the HP world, it analyses the story through the eyes of Snape, one of the most well-written characters of the series. After getting some obvious truths out of the way from the get go (yes, we get it, he is a bully. He is petty and arrogant, nobody justifies or condones his behaviour), we are asked to understand some aspects of his life and his hidden inten ...more
Charly Troff (ReaderTurnedWriter)
This was a very well researched, well thought out book that I simply devoured. I couldn't put it down, and it was so fun to dive into the world of Harry Potter again.

There were a few leaps that Kim Lorrie made, without a lot to back them. I just took them as her view and it didn't bother me.

Even with that, it was an interesting read and I loved seeing so much of get analyses. I can honestly say I won't ever read Harry Potter the same again.
...more
Megan
Jan 27, 2021 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this, but ended up just eah. While I agree that there is so much more to Snape, I’m not sure that everything was intentional. I think the author dug a little too deep and stretched things to fit a narrative.
It’s definitely an interesting point of view and opinion of an obvious fan. I enjoyed the somewhat different perspective though. Eye opening.
Melo
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...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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“It is no wonder that Snape is feeling the strain of being the only one who can help Draco, the only one who can fight some forms of Dark Magic, the only one who can retain Voldemort’s trust while taking his place at Dumbledore’s right hand. In some ways, it’s a bit similar to being the Chosen One, although Harry gets credit for his sacrifices and the blessing of a clean conscience. Snape’s job depends upon his guilty past and upon the secrecy that ensures his sacrifices will never be seen.” 1 likes
“Draco cast Expelliarmus. He could have, should have, attacked, but he disarmed, instead, and then attacked no further. The effort Snape has poured into this boy for the past six years has been worth it. He will not split his soul by killing. Covertly, against the efforts of Lucius, Bellatrix, and Voldemort, Snape has taught Draco non-aggression. He has fulfilled two of his three vows to Narcissa: he has watched over Draco and protected him from harm.” 1 likes
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