The Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is available as an audiobook for the first time, with Newt Scamander himself as the narrator.
New editions of Scamander’s (aka J.K. Rowling’s) encyclopedia of magical creatures went on sale Tuesday, featuring six new beasts native to North America and a new foreward written in Scamander’s voice. The book is available in hardcover, as an ebook and, in a first, as an audiobook, which is narrated by Scamander actor Eddie Redmayne reprising his role as the famed magizoologist.
Readers wondering why creatures like the Thunderbird, which played a large role in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film, or other beasts like the Horned Serpent and Wampus Cat, which figured prominently in Rowling’s previous writing on Ilvermorny School of Withcraft and Wizardry, weren’t in the original Fantastic Beasts textbook released in 2001 get their answer in the new foreward. (Main reason: Magical Congress of the USA President Seraphina Picquery asked Scamander to keep them out to discourage wizarding tourism, and he felt it a reasonable request since American wizards were at greater risk for persecution than the European wizarding community at that point.)
Scamander’s foreward also hints the Fantastic Beasts film series is coming out now because the Ministry of Magic is in the process of declassifying documents from the time Gellert Grindelwald was active. Additionally, he dispels a few of the inaccuracies in a recent biography by – no surprise here – Rita Skeeter.
To be clear: This is the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them textbook, not the script for or story in the film. The Fantastic Beasts screenplay is available separately. The film itself will be released on DVD or Blu-ray March 28, and is available as a download.