Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander is one of the reference books in the Harry Potter world. I recommend listening to the audio book narrated by Scamander himself (i.e. Eddie Redmayne). Scamander explains in the Foreword of this book the reasons for this edition (for muggles’ Comic Relief and for clarifying rumours), while mentioning in passing his trip to New York, the capture of Grindelwald and his relationship with Dumbledore (watch the film!).

In the Introduction, Scamander briefly retells his fond memories of the years where he traveled across countries in search of magical beasts, to “witness their powers, gain their trust and on occasion beaten them off with my traveling kettle” before moving on to the more academic aspect of things like the classification of ‘beast, being and spirit’, answering questions like ‘why don’t muggles notice them?’. The art and literature of the middle ages and some historical records actually prove otherwise: muggles do notice them. My dear British readers, do you not remember the incident in Ilfracombe in 1932 when “a rogue Welsh green dragon swooped down upon a crowded beach full of sun bathing muggles”?

The book includes an a to z list of 81 magical beasts. The list reads a bit like an encyclopedia. But I managed to get through it entry by entry. I think that says something about how interesting the beasts are and how masterfully Scamander compiles the book. (It’s J. K. Rowling just in case you’re still in the dark.)

A few interesting facts: do you know that the Office of Misinformation successfully dissuaded the muggle general public about the photo evidences of the kelpie in Loch Ness? If you’re a parent, this might ring a bell: did your usual-well-behaved child ever trash the garden, and when questioned, deny it furiously? It could be the doing of a hedgehog-like knarl. Do your brand new electric items not work? Chizpurfles might have chewed through the electric parts. Dodos are not extinct, they’re called Diricawl and are in magical hiding (as with most of the other magical creatures).

NEWS (to me at least). The Wikipedia and YouTube rabbit holes just showed me that Newt Scamander was on the Marauder’s Map in the Prisoner of Azkaban film!

At the end in the ‘About the author’ section, it says Newt Scamander is now retired, lives in Dorset with his wife, Porpentina. That settles it then.

P.S. Sorry about the wrong cover photo and the confusion. It’s the original screenplay for the film not Scamander’s textbook although they share the same title. But I don’t have the physical textbook and I thought the screenplay’s cover was too beautiful to miss this chance to get featured ;)

Categories FANTASY&SCI-FI, READINGTags , ,

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