Podcast: Potterless

I have recently started to appreciate podcasts. I have a long commute to work and am often either stuck in traffic or on delayed public transport. So I decided to buy a subscription to Spotify to listen to music (without those annoying ads every 3 songs) and then got into podcasts. Naturally, the first podcasts I looked for were those Harry Potter-themed. And I quickly found a favourite: Potterless!

The premise is easy but so perfect: a grown man reading the Harry Potter series for the first time. Mike Schubert, the host, is in his early twenties and he has never read the Harry Potter books. He doesn’t know much about it and has half-watched 3 of the movies. And now, as a challenge set by his girlfriend and sister, he decided to start reading them through his adult eyes and discuss the books chapter by chapter. Each episode, he invites a friend who is a Harry Potter fan and knows a lot about it to discuss the chapters with.

Or as his own website describes it so beautifully

Potterless is a magical journey following Mike Schubert, a grown man reading the Harry Potter series for the first time, as he sits down with Harry Potter fanatics to poke fun at plot holes, make painfully incorrect predictions, and bask in the sassiness of the characters. With his energetic sense of humor and arsenal of witty and insightful guests, Mike Schubert will take you on a journey through your childhood, this time with the rose-tinted glasses off. People are calling Potterless “hilarious and engaging,” “down-to-earth magic!” and “like watching a baby learn to walk.” The show has been downloaded over 50,000,000 times and has over 500,000 subscribers across all podcasting platforms. 

He has been doing it for quite a while, but I’ve only just gotten into it and I’ve started from his first episode, so I’m now about 20 episodes in. And I love it! You can hear him start out with a lot of skepticism as he doesn’t seem to get the hype. And over time, you hear him really start to appreciate the magnitude and intricacy of the world created by Rowling and he starts to fall in love as well. He doesn’t ridicule the books ever, but he does highlight plot holes or things that seem a little off. As a Potterhead myself, it’s fun to hear him make predictions (which are often completely wrong) or try to figure out what is important and what might come back later on. In doing so, he manages to understand the books as if he had read them 5 times over. He grasps things that took me two or three readings to understand, and knowing when he is wrong is so much fun for the listener.

Also, I’m embarrassed to say, it took me about 15 episodes to realise where he got the name from: Potterless in juxtaposition to Pottermore. I felt like such a dweeb when I finally got it.

I’ve also browsed through some other Harry Potter podcasts, but this one caught my attention from the first episode. And since it has over 200 episodes, I might want to get up to speed with this one first, before I start with another one! Because I don’t want to just start listening to the current episodes, I want the whole backstory.

Do you listen to fun, interesting or surprising podcasts about books? Please let me know in the comments, I’d love to discover more!

Happy listening,

Loes M.


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