Whilst I may have come in for a little bit of stick by just the way I presented the facts about the new Harry Potter book back in January, I thought I’d just revisit the subject and do a quick summary of what more information has become available regarding “Potier De Harry Et L’Ordre De Phoenix” (and, no, I don’t know if that is the correct French translation of “Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix”).
“The Order Of The Phoenix” is available in two editions: the childrens edition and the Adults version. The childrens one is currently on “pre-order sale” at Amazon.co.uk for just £8.49 (saving 50% off the normal retail price) and is a hardcover book with 768 pages due to be released on the 21st of June this year – the cover shows a golden phoenix bird emerging from the flames and is the first childrens edition book cover not to feature Harry Pottery himself on the book design.
The Adults edition (which has a much darker and blacker cover with a silver Phoenix) is also available at the same price in the same format with the same number of pages – the only difference between the two is different cover artwork (so don’t expect any nude Harry Potter pictures from the Naked Quidditch Match)
The US variant, however, is available in two different formats. The “Standard Edition” amazoncom:043935806X currently at $17.99 (equal to £11.46) is a hard cover version and has 896 pages – somehow you are getting an extra 128 pages for the extra £2.97). I’ve got no idea if it’s just larger type, smaller page sizes or quite how they’ve managed to squeeze and extra 128 pages out of the same Harry Potter story – but it’ll be slightly interesting to find out. Oh the cover is also different from the UK version – it shows 15year old Harry holding his wand in-front of a number of doors and is drawn in midnight blue, indigo and flame blue (making it look a lot more “dark” than the brightly coloured UK version).
There is also a “Collector’s Edition” available for $42.00 (£26.75) amazoncom:0439567629 which is a “cloth-covered deluxe edition featuring full-colour printed endpapers, a foil-stamped title on the spine and a full colour slipcase with an exclusive book jacket design”. Worth an extra $24? I’m not sure, but if you are an avid fan with money to spare why not order it for June 21st?
The book (which has 255,000 words and is rumoured to be in 38 chapters) has already sold half a million advanced copies and will be released in USA, Canada, UK, Australia and in many other English languages on the 21st of June (which is the longest day of the year) right after midnight British Summer Time (GMT/Zulu +1) – and would be approximately two and a half years since the previous Harry Potter book “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” was released (which helped bring the total number of “Potter” books sold to over 192million copies).
- The first two sentences of the book are:
“The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive.
The only person left outside was a teenage boy who was lying flat on his back in a flowerbed outside number four. ”
I would guess the “teenage boy” is Harry himself.
- Harry confronts “the unreliability of government and the impotence of the authorities at Hogwarts”
- Whilst on the subject of Hogwarts, another little leak gives us the snippets:
“Dumbledore lowered his hands and surveyed Harry through his half-moon glasses.
‘It is time,’ he said, ‘for me to tell you what I should have told you five years ago, Harry.”
- Ron Weasley (Harry Potter’s friend) becomes keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team
- The new defence of the dark arts teacher (a woman) has a personality “like poisoned honey”
- Professor Lupin will be back with “a lot of old friends”
- They’ll also be a venomous, disgruntled house-elf and the end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level (OWLs) exams
- Harry has nightmares about a single door in a silent corridor which is “more terrifying than every other nightmare combined”.
- There will be a new Sorting Hat song
- They’ll be a bit more of characters such as Mundungus Fletcher
There’s no doubt the book will be a huge success, but will the latest Harry Potter book live up to the hype or has its readership grown up in the intervening years since the Goblet of Fire…. Only time will tell….