Rating: 4 stars
From Borrower to wizard, Tom Felton’s adolescence was anything but ordinary. His early rise to fame saw him catapulted into the limelight aged just twelve when he landed the iconic role of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films.
Speaking with candour and his own trademark humour, Tom shares his experience of growing up on screen and as part of the wizarding world for the very first time. He tells all about his big break, what filming was really like and the lasting friendships he made during ten years as part of the franchise, as well as the highs and lows of fame and the reality of navigating adult life after filming finished.
Prepare to meet a real-life wizard.
I’m not one who typically reads autobiographies, but as someone who grew up loving the Harry Potter series, I was excited to read this one about the actor who plays the iconic character of Draco Malfoy. I found this autobiography to be an easy read for me as I learned more about Tom Felton and what it was like for him to grow up as a child actor.
What I loved about reading Beyond the Wand is the way in which Felton wrote. In his book, he felt so relatable, and I enjoyed that. I know those of us not in the entertainment industry tend to idolize celebrities, but they are just everyday people like us. And I felt that in this book when Tom talked about his family and what it was like growing up with three older brothers. As someone who doesn’t follow celebrities closely enough (even celebrities that are part of a series that I really love), I felt like I learned a lot about Tom that I didn’t know and felt like I got a really good understanding as to why he was the perfect person to play as Draco Malfoy.
What I also enjoyed from reading this autobiography was getting to get inside the mind of an actor and getting to visualize where the Harry Potter films were created. I felt like we got a huge glimpse into the Harry Potter universe through Felton and I enjoyed it. I also found this book to be a highly entertaining read whenever he would mention another actor from the series being up to no good or whenever he talked about things he did on set that got him into trouble. I also loved hearing about the other actors in the series from Tom’s perspective as we don’t really know what the relationship between actors on a set is like and you could tell that Tom overall enjoyed his experience filming the Harry Potter movies.
If I had to choose anything to criticize about Beyond the Wand it would have to be the overall length and how it ended. I felt that while this autobiography was a very enjoyable read, it felt almost too short. Like there was more content that could’ve been included that we didn’t get. I feel like this goes hand in hand with my view about this book’s ending, which I’ll get into now.
While I enjoyed the last two chapters as they portrayed a serious subject matter that I don’t feel gets talked about often enough, I feel like they didn’t fit in with the rest of the book. However, once I read them, I also wanted more chapters like them as I feel like a lot of Felton’s autobiography focuses on his time filming the Harry Potter series. Of course, I understand that the Harry Potter films played a huge role in his life so it would make sense that there would be a lot about them but after reading the last two chapters, I realized then that I wanted even more. I wanted to learn more about the subject Tom barely covered as I feel like it’s an important element to his book that we needed more of. And the way in which it was talked about wasn’t enough for me.
But overall, I enjoyed reading Beyond the Wand as I felt like I could hear his voice as I was reading it, and loved the nostalgia it provided me as someone who grew up with the Harry Potter series. I highly recommend it to those who enjoy autobiographies, especially by celebrities. I also recommend this book to those wanting to see the Harry Potter series through the eyes of someone portraying one of the characters in the films and if you’re curious to learn more about the actor who played as Draco Malfoy.