Book Review

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)

Image credit: Stephen King Illustration by John Kascht

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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Details Release Date: Jun 21, 2003; Writer: J.K. Rowling; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Scholastic Books

For the July 11 issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine, the editors asked Stephen King to review the fifth ''Harry Potter'' book. Senior editor Thom Geier tells the story of how it happened: ''We knew we wanted to do something special with J.K. Rowling's fifth book, 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.' So we decided to approach the OTHER most popular author on the planet, Stephen King, who agreed to take the assignment.

''King didn't have much time to read the 870-page book -- even he couldn't get the publisher to cough up an advance copy -- and he worked on the review while in New York City doing publicity for his 'Dark Tower' fantasy series and casting an upcoming film project. Moreover, he told us that he'd left his PowerBook back in Maine and declined our offer to borrow a laptop.

''Instead, he delivered a spiral-bound notebook with the review written out in his distinctively neat handwriting. It arrived the morning of June 25 (right on deadline) and was remarkably clean. It appears in the magazine with only a handful of editorial tweaks.''

By the way, King took a shining to the book and gave it an A. Read his review here -- in his own writing in an online-only PDF version of the hand-penned submission.

Download the review (1.2 MB)

Originally posted Jul 03, 2003 Published in issue #718 Jul 11, 2003 Order article reprints