Books 1/26/8

Well I’ve finally done it. I’ve finished the Potter series. I came late, very late to this series – like 3 months ago to be specific. I only got into this when I found Stephen Fry’s reading of the books and being a fan of him rather than the books, decided what the heck. Well I can now say that I’ve participated in one of the most massive cultural events of the last however many years. Am I a better person for having read the series? No, this is not earth-shattering stuff to a middle aged man who has been actively reading for over 30 years of his life. Rowling is a solid writer, not great, but solid – it seems to me what has made this series standout is the universe she created. That is where her genius lies for me. Story itself has been and will be scrutinized but is a hero’s quest spun out over seven years. But get back to the universe she created and lose yourself in the details. They are great fun and keep the books going. If it was on plot and character development that these stories depended – well they simply wouldn’t work. The plot is glacially slow and quite unnecessarily so, if some of the supposedly adult characters would just speak the plain truth, I really wanted to shake these characters and scream – “You are making this harder than it needs to be and you’re the adult!” And the angst ridden teenager thing just never ends – learn from your mistakes children, reflect just a bit please. Anyway, can I recommend these books. Yes – they are fun. Enjoy them but don’t try to over-think these books, otherwise you might get caught up in thinking that these are a bunch of, at times very bratty, kids living in some pre-industrial England reliving all kinds of almost medieval class warfare and engaging in all kinds of wierd occult behavior. If you do that, well I think you missed the point. Its just friends trying and ultimately succeeding to grow up in a very dangerous and wondorous world, sound familiar?

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One comment on “Books 1/26/8”

  1. I read the first book years ago. I found the book to be rather painful to read. But then again, I am far out of the demographic. I just figured that people liked it because it allowed them to re-live their childhood feeling that they too might be special in some way and if they only discovered it, they could escape the reality that confounded them and held them back.

    Ed. I like that interpretation. Simple and tidy. I just felt as I was reading these books that I had to come to terms with the astounding success of the books. To do that I read some criticisms and well, I thought that way too much was being ascribed to books.


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