Beyond the Wand

The Magic & Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard

Tom Felton is 35. Some might argue that’s a little too early for an autobiography, but in those 35 years, a lot has happened for this young man.  I’ll tell you this for openers, he’s not afraid to share.

This is one of the easiest memoirs to read. It feels comfortable, like being wrapped in a warm blanket. The book is very well written and that is simply due to his honesty. It doesn’t come across as a list of life events. It shows itself as an author (and a competent one) simply telling stories and anecdotes

For those expecting “all Potter”, there is a decent amount of it in this book, but there is also lots of what makes Tom who he is. You find out who Tom really is. What makes him tick. The influences of his family and how a member of his family scored a cameo in Harry Potter.

Young actors and movie sets are a large part of this book. Tom talks freely of earning respect of his adult actors, the story of Alan Rickman and the directors chair a particular favourite. He tells stories about learning the craft and the influences of others.  One thing I picked up from the words on the page, was the sheer respect and admiration he had for others.  For example, Daniel Radcliffe having the weight of the movies on his shoulders as Harry. Emma Watson being the only female in the main child actors. (Note to self: Never ask Emma if she wants to practise the slap).

Tom talks of his time in rehab in the most humbling way. How he felt betrayed and humiliated. How those closest to him had lied to him. It takes courage to go to rehab, and admit that you have issues that are to be dealt with. Tom details in an open and frank way, how his first rehab wasn’t right for him, but he found somewhere that was, and checked himself in.

This book was written well. Stories told with humour, strength and a humility that exceeds Toms young years. He has lived a lot in 35 years. He has dealt with alcohol and drug issues. Knowing that he was missing family, missing friends, He moved back to the UK. Life as he knew it, was right. As he says, family, friends, walking the dog, listening to music, and the palate of a 9 year old with his breakfast of ham and cheese sandwiches.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll like this. If you know of Tom from other roles, you’ll like it too. Spoiler alert though….Gryffindors and Slytherins get on in real life.