Story Spring Publishing, July 31, 2018
If you could know more about one character’s story from the Harry Potter series, who would it be?
By the time Harry Potter was old enough to have questions about Albus Dumbledore as a person, it was too late for him to ask. Dumbledore was dead, in large part due to a fatal injury he sustained during his final grand endeavor: hunting and destroying Voldemort’s Horcruxes.
Readers who grew up with the series, the “Harry Potter generation,” shared Harry’s love and frustration with this greatest of characters. For most of the series, his wisdom and goodness inspired enormous loyalty. Then, in Deathly Hallows, readers met more troubling aspects of Dumbledore: his ruthless scheming, which J.K. Rowling called “Machiavellian,” and his shameful Dark Magic past.
Millennial author Irvin Khaytman grapples with the process of reconciling the benevolent headmaster with the strategist who orchestrated Harry’s death. Through a close reading of the original seven-book series, Khaytman reconstructs the story from Dumbledore’s perspective. What did he know about the Horcruxes, and when? What was he doing, beyond Harry’s view?
Even after the close of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling continues to tell us more stories about Dumbledore. We heard from his portrait in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We’re about to get the second installment of the five-film Fantastic Beasts series, featuring Dumbledore in middle age as he approached his life-defining showdown with Grindelwald. Khaytman’s deep dive into old-age Dumbledore, especially his guesses and errors, is an invaluable guide to the kinds of revelations we can expect.
Through most of the Harry Potter series, Dumbledore seemed pure in his goodness, leagues beyond the dirtied soul of former Death Eater Severus Snape. By the end of Deathly Hallows, though, we learned that Dumbledore’s worst qualities led to a loved one’s death as surely as Snape’s worst qualities led to Lily’s. Snape lived only one year after he experienced true and full remorse for Lily’s death. What kind of person might he have become if he had lived for decades longer, devoting himself to fighting the evil he once enabled?
Khaytman’s insights will be valuable to any Harry Potter fan, but especially the millennials who came of age with the series, as he did.
The Life and Lies of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore by Irvin Khaytman is published by Story Spring Publishing, who are also the publishers of Snape: A Definitive Reading. Reserve your signed copy at Books of Wonder or order in paperback or electronic format from Amazon. If you’re in New York City on July 31, 2018 at 6 PM, swing by the downtown branch of Books of Wonder for the release party!