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American Libraries Interviews Dan Radcliffe

Posted by: Mel
October 28, 2010, 04:54 AM

As you may recall, Dan Radcliffe (Harry Potter) was recently featured on an ALA READ poster, and now American Libraries, the magazine of the ALA, has interviewed Radcliffe about several topics, including the books he likes to read:

In your poster, you are holding Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. That’s an extremely interesting book choice, with demons, succubi, a talking cat, the interplay of good and evil, truth and lies. How did you discover it?
I’ve been obsessed with the novel ever since I read it about a year ago. I’ve always been a huge fan of Magical Realism. It’s an inspiring genre in which writers can just let their imaginations go wild and wonderful. I discovered the book through an recommendation. I’d just ordered Louis de Biernières’s The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts, and The Master and Margarita came up as an Amazon “other readers like this book” choice. I’ve read it twice now, and I just received an English first edition (Collins and Harvill, 1967) with a beautiful cover as a birthday present. That’s the one that appears on the READ poster.
You mentioned in one of your interviews that you buy a lot of books—what are some of your favorites?
I loved Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. I also liked Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, and Émile Zola’s Germinal, which I thought would be difficult but it read very easily. I also like classic Russian writers; I’ve read Mikhail Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Notes from the Underground. The reason that these books have become classics is that they are so readable and accessible.

Radcliffe also discusses his opinion of the Harry Potter books and of how they've been translated the screen, as well as how they've increased literacy:

Do you think Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is one of the best books in the series?

My personal favorite is the fifth, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, because it’s involved with Harry’s relationship with Sirius Black, the most interesting character in the series. But Deathly Hallows is also one of the best novels. J. K. Rowling was under intense pressure to complete the series, but she is a woman of much conviction and she wrote a final novel that was both up to her exacting standards and one that she knew would give fans the ending that they wanted.

Will these two Deathly Hallows films be the best of the Harry Potter series?

They’d better be. We need to have the series go out with a bang, in recognition of all the fans who have supported the films and books over the years.

How much of the Harry Potter character is due to J. K. Rowling’s text, and how much do you attribute to your own insights and ideas?

Most of what you need to know about Harry Potter is in the books. It would have been presumptuous of me to add things that were not already there. J. K. Rowling is not one of those authors who is constantly on the set, but she was always available to answer questions.


Librarians love Harry Potter because Rowling has created such vivid characters and a fun fictional world that encourages kids to read. I understand that many cast members were intense fans of the book. Do people tell you that the books and the films have inspired a love of reading?

Absolutely, and I am a case in point. Before I was cast in the first Harry Potter film, I didn’t read much at all. But I have grown to love reading because of the film and now I am an absolutely voracious reader, although kind of a slow one. Anything that gets kids into reading is fantastic.

Radcliffe discusses more, such as the music he uses to prepare himself to play Harry, in the full interview which you can read here.

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446 Points

First The same thing happened with me. I hated to read and actually had a really hard time reading. But when I read Harry potter everything changed. I became a better reader and much better writer. Also now am I a fast reader but I love reading all different type of books

Posted by thundermountain7*Roar* on October 28, 2010, 06:00 AM report to moderator
668 Points

You gotta love Daniel!!

Posted by Natalia {ROAR} on October 28, 2010, 07:44 AM report to moderator
121 Points

He’s really maturely for his age. I’d like to talk a whle evening with him about HP and other books. I’d like to know, if he red Lord of the Rings!

Posted by ginnyshiel on October 28, 2010, 08:13 AM report to moderator
1740 Points

Dan is seriously a great role model. He isn’t like other people that let the fame get to their head. He is a true leader.
But I’m actually surprised that he reads tons of books. But then yet again he was brought up well pretty well….

1166 Points

I have always been a reader but I was apprehensive about reading HP at first, I wasn’t going to read them. They were kid’s books. But my friend had to force me to read SS, but once I did, I was HOOKED!! I am going to start reading the series again next week. I should be done with it by the time DH pt 1 is being released! I can’t wait.

Posted by JessSnape on October 28, 2010, 11:34 AM report to moderator
79 Points

i need to check out some of these books! i trust dan’s opinion. haha.

Posted by sarahkaz on October 28, 2010, 11:52 AM report to moderator
566 Points

As an older fan with kids of my own I always wonder about the parents; what did they do to encourage the good nature of their kids? I wouldn’t presume on their privacy but I am curious!

Posted by 2tal - SpiritMagic174 on October 28, 2010, 12:03 PM report to moderator
8317 Points

The same thing happened with me too! I wasn’t that much of a reader until I laid my hands upon Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone, 6 yrs ago. That’s when I started reading seriously! :-)

Posted by forgetmenot_007 on October 28, 2010, 12:26 PM report to moderator
3985 Points

Nice Interwiew!!

Posted by CDR on October 28, 2010, 01:28 PM report to moderator
10268 Points

It makes me chuckle that he thinks of ‘Crime and Punishment’ as being ‘readable and accessible.’ I found it so dark and misanthropic that it made me feel more like slitting my wrists, and it turned me off to further pursuit of Russian literature (except for their science fiction, which tends to be very sly and satirical). That’s probably a pity – I suppose I really should give ‘War and Peace’ a try sometime.

Magical Realism, on the other hand, is a natural next step for young fantasy fans as they mature. If you’d like to live in the wizarding world, you might also try a visit to Macondo, the mythical South American town of Garcia Marquez’s ‘100 Years of Solitude’!

Posted by WeenyOwl {The Human Deluminator} on October 28, 2010, 01:37 PM report to moderator
10268 Points

I wish that Dan wouldn’t go around saying that witchcraft isn’t real, though. It doesn’t give people super-powers like in fantasy novels and fairy tales, but it IS a real religion.

Posted by WeenyOwl {The Human Deluminator} on October 28, 2010, 01:40 PM report to moderator
104 Points

Very interesting and good interview.Though,as WeenyOwl said…witchcraft is pretty much real.Not the Harry Potter style exactly,but it is:)

Posted by Black_wind on October 28, 2010, 02:24 PM report to moderator
112 Points

NIce interview!!

Posted by hrslvr529 on October 28, 2010, 03:23 PM report to moderator
199 Points

Interresting interview !§! The Harry Potter’s books gave me the passion of reading, like a lot of people !§!

Posted by HogwartsHP on October 28, 2010, 05:12 PM report to moderator
4852 Points

Nice interview! I am glad that he thinks highly of reading!

Posted by #1 Witch ROAR! on October 28, 2010, 05:25 PM report to moderator
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