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Musing Mondays

musingmondays51Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Musing Mondays comes from the MizB of the Should Be Reading blog.

Rowling - Harry Potter & the Order of the PhoenixMy Musing

This evening I went to a book discussion meeting of a group of Harry Potter enthusiasts I belong to. Tonight's book was not by J.K. Rowling, and had nothing to do with teenage wizards. We were discussing Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, which many reviewers have compared to the Harry Potter books.

So, what a
re some of the similarities between the Harry Potter series and The Graveyard Book? Here are a few:

1. Both stories begin with the murder of the baby protagonist's parents.

2. Both boys are the subject of a prophecy and believe themselves to be chosen for a special purpose.

3. Both have to fight against evil, and in both cases, they are supposed to kill the evil enemy or die trying.

4. Harry Potter has a three-headed dog who guards a valuable object. The Graveyard Book has a three-headed snake who guards three valuable objects: a brooch, a cup, and a knife (sound like Horcruxes, don't they?) That same snake can also be compared to Nagini, who, as a horcrux itself, guards a piece of Voldemort's soul.

5. In both, ghosts interact with the living.

Gaiman - The Graveyard Book
6. Magic shields Bod (the main character in The Graveyard Book) from the eyes of others, as long as he is in the graveyard. A magic invisibility cloak shields Harry from the eyes of others, as long as he is wearing it.

7. Harry has a teacher named Remus Lupin who is a werewolf. Bod has a teacher named Miss Lupescu who is a werewolf (though they seldom use the term, calling themselves instead Hounds of God).

8. In Harry's world, an organization called the Order of the Phoenix fights evil. In Bod's world, an organization called the Honor Guard fights evil. Both Lupin and Lupescu are members, and both end up dying for the cause.

We discussed more similarities at tonight's meetup, but I think you get the idea. Gaiman himself did not list Rowling's series as an inspiration for The Graveyard Book. He said the idea came mostly from two sources. He wanted to write a story similar to Kipling's Jungle Book, in which a boy is raised by nonhumans. And watching his son crossing a graveyard on his trike gave Gaiman the idea of setting the story in a graveyard, where his character would be raised by ghosts.

So, what books are you musing about this week?

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