Audiobook Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Hogwarts Library)
by J.K. Rowling, Eddie Redmayne (Narrator)

Publication date: March 14th 2017
Publisher: Pottermore from J.K. Rowling (first published March 1st 2001)


Summary:

A brand new edition of this essential companion to the Harry Potter stories, with a new foreword from J.K. Rowling (writing as Newt Scamander), and 6 new beasts! It is read by Eddie Redmayne who plays Newt in the new movie.

***Important note: This is an updated version of the originally released “textbook” by this name, not the new screenplay.***

A set textbook at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry since publication, Newt Scamander’s masterpiece has entertained wizarding families through the generations. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an indispensable introduction to the magical beasts of the wizarding world. Scamander’s years of travel and research have created a tome of unparalleled importance. Some of the beasts will be familiar to readers of the Harry Potter books – the Hippogriff, the Basilisk, the Hungarian Horntail…Others will surprise even the most ardent amateur Magizoologist. Dip in to discover the curious habits of magical beasts across five continents…

Source: Goodreads


Thoughts:

I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books, but I’m a fan of the films and have been since childhood. Following the recent 20 year anniversary reunion episode, I’ve started a viewing marathon and was already in a wizarding frame of mind when I stumbled across this quick read on my Libby app so knew I had to give it a go!

This guidebook was originally written in 2001 under the pen name of Newt Scamander, the leading character of the 2016 film with the same name, and it’s intended to be the textbook that’s mentioned in the first of the Harry Potter books. As Newt in the film, Eddie Redmayne takes on the narration of this audiobook too.

“I would like to take this opportunity to reassure Muggle purchasers that the amusing creatures described hereafter are fictional and cannot hurt you. To wizards, I say merely: Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.”

I found this to be a fun read. It’s a reference book and that means it’s basically a list of beasts that reside in the magical world and some detailed information about each of them. I believe that the print copy of this work is illustrated, which is a shame to miss out on, but the audiobook did a fantastic job at immersing the reader, with occasional sound effects to bring each character to life.

I didn’t love it, as it really is like a textbook and is quite repetitive in nature, but it was still an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours and adds a little bit more depth to my knowledge of the series. It’s also great to know that this book and it’s companion read has raised tens of millions of pounds for Comic Relief since their release.

Overall rating: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a textbook straight out of Hogwarts. I found it quite fun to learn more about the beasts living in the world of magic and the sound effects made it even more special. A little bit repetitive, but aren’t all textbooks? This was a nice and quick 3 star read for me.

4 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling

  1. I bought the (very thing) Comic Relief edition when it was first released (along with Quidditch through the Ages). I also have the large format illustrated edition which is really lovely and has some additional creatures. A nice but not essential read for fans 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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