Cathy Leogrande's Reviews > The Life and Lies of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

The Life and Lies of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore by Irvin Khaytman
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it was amazing

Potterheads rejoice! Longtime Harry Potter fan Irvin Khaytman has provided a deep investigation of all things Albus Dumbledore in his new book The Life and Lies of Albus Percival Wulfric Dumbledore. Published by Story Spring Publishing
(, this book is a compilation and more of Khaytman’s previous writings and presentations on the complex character of the Hogwarts headmaster. When readers finished Deathly Hallows, many of us when back to the beginning reread the series again in order to see anew the breadcrumbs Rowling left for us along the way. Other than Severus Snape, Dumbledore is the character that draws the most debate among serious readers. Who he is as a person, as a wizard and as a mentor are topics that are blurry and intricate.

Others have written about Dumbledore’s ethics and morality, and Khaytman builds on this solid foundation for this examination. He painstakingly recounts Dumbledore’s actions and perceived intentions along the timeline of the books. This is no small feat; we know that details in the later books cause us to rethink our beliefs from first readings. Rowling uses the third person limited point of view for her narrative, so we as readers are as ignorant to Dumbledore’s Machiavellian plans as Harry. Throughout this text, Khaytman returns to the critical questions of what Dumbledore knows and when he knows it, in order to help us see what he was planning and how it went wrong. Dumbledore’s invisible hand was always at work, and Khaytman teases out the threads in that plan with superb analysis.

For many of us, Dumbledore was the supportive adult we always wanted. From his appearance in the first chapter of Sorcerer’s Stone, he was a mixture of parent, teacher, and mentor for Harry and for us. Most readers forgave him his harsh actions, hoping and assuming that his goal was always Harry’s happiness. In this new addition to Potter-related texts, Khaytman helps us revisit each step the headmaster took, see it with new perspective, and understand Dumbledore’s mistakes as well as accomplishments. Although we as readers always felt that Dumbledore knew all, we gain even more respect after the comprehensive portrait provided in this volume.

Rita Skeeter reminds us in Deathly Hallows that Dumbledore is “a biographer’s dream.” Khaytman proves her statement correct. He is neither pro or anti Dumbledore; he takes care to remind us of the ruthless and sometimes cruel behavior on the part of the headmaster. At times, he shows us, Dumbledore was as manipulative as Voldemort. However, his analysis helps us forgive the flaws in our hero. Khaytman reminds us, “Dumbledore did what he believed needed to be done in order to defeat Voldemort. He fought for the greater good” (167). Like Harry, the more we understand the man, the more we can appreciate his greatness, and even identify with him rather than idolize him.

Perhaps the greatest gift of this book is the challenge for each fan to now judge Dumbledore’s morality himself or herself, based on accurate facts and thorough analysis. The intense scrutiny provided here helps us see the entirety of Dumbledore’s character. Khaytman pays Dumbledore the greatest compliment of all: the proof that he was human after all.


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Reading Progress

July 31, 2018 – Started Reading
August 1, 2018 – Finished Reading
August 6, 2018 – Shelved

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