Friday, July 20, 2007


No, not the company, the initials. I didn't want to broadcast loudly that this post was about Harry Potter. Now I'm not going to go into tirade over one side or the other in the realm of good fiction vs. crap. I'm not going to make comments about how Harry Potter's popularity largely shows the problem with literacy in America. I'm just going to say that I read the plot points to the end of the last Harry Potter book and I'm disappointed.
When these books first came out, I had some issues for many reasons. First off, I wasn't drawn into the books like many readers, though my sister at the time was of a more appropriate age for these books(10 or so) and seemed to enjoy them. I didn't like the language, it didn't flow to me the way I like a book, particularly a fantasy book to flow. That being said, I'm a fan of older fiction when it comes to fantasy. I haven't really found many newer novels that I would actually read. Harry Potter also seemed like a cheap idea of a wizard to me. While I'm sure many aspects of my imagination would swoon over the school at Hogwarts, just the names themselves cheapen it for me. Perhaps I'm not willing to overlook that these are childrens' books, but perhaps it also has to do with my lack of enthusiasm for "fake magic".
Regardless, I'm not going to be alone in feeling underwhelmed with the end of this story. Something that I'd like to give away, but won't. As Laura Miller wrote in Salon today:
But Rowling is most definitely a novelist; she writes about people and stuff, not about elemental forces and unconscious urges. Like all true novelists, she is the champion of the specific and the domestic, the often unsung pleasures and perils of a good lunch, a crush, a ball game with friends and a little gossip about machinations at the ministry -- which is why the doings at Hogwarts and in the Weasley household were always the best parts of the series. Her books, for all their spells and incantations and magical creatures, have never been the stuff that dreams are made of. Instead, they're the stuff that life is made of.
Personally, I don't like my fantasy too closely mingled with reality.

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