Tuesday, July 19, 2005

New Harry Potter

Despite the media hype, Rowling's latest installment of the Harry Potter dynasty offers an entertaining yet dark new look at the boy wizard and his wizard friends. That's what they said about the last one, "it was so dark", but the boy is on the verge of becoming a man, HP fans know that. Puberty can be a dark moment, indeed, and turning 16 and 17 somehow makes you smarter than everybody else, even smarter than the professors at your school. Hormones are funny that way. Rowling seems to force the teen's dialog to the point of being entirely annoying. I suppose if you're an adult, that should be the effect, and if you are in the readership of 12-18 year olds, then you can probably relate to the boy's angst quite well. I was a teen once and can't remember being quite so rude to those wiser than I for fear of being cast among the pariah or emerging from the floor with a swollen red handprint across my face.

But the bitterness in the Harry Potter character is understandable, I suppose, because in most hot selling fiction, the protagonist's life is constructed by a relentless series of adversity. As with Potter (those who haven't read the series, look away), his parents are dead, he lives with a psychologically abusive aunt and uncle who allow their only son to abuse Harry physically and psychologically, his godfather died, and in the latest installment (look away) someone important in his life dies yet again. Not to mention, somebody evil is constantly trying to kill him.

I'm sure the kid won't get a break from this until it's all over because, well, Rowling will lose her readership if she gives him a break now. Half-Blood Prince gives no breaks. It leaves us with many cliffhangers, and to be quite honest, I can't wait for the next one to come out. I suppose I'll have to wait, though, I can't make the woman go write it right now. That's telling. At least I'll get to see some Harry Potter movies until that time (no more Chris Columbus please, let's get back Alfonso Cuaran.)

The thematic principles of the series are this: Good triumphs over evil, sometimes evil people get away with doing evil things, love conquers all, take responsibility for your mistakes, and it's fun to be a teenager. Sounds a little bit like real life, now, doesn't it?

For those of you who think Potter is evil, I offer my opinion: Harry Potter is a fictional creation with no more magical powers than a blank sheet of paper. It's not a sorcery handbook for young children to use and practice magic on friends and teachers. It is a story. I tried the incantations in the book and, well, they don't work. I haven't lost my faith in the devine and I'm not planning to delve more deeply into the Dark Arts. I'm way to busy for that. So don't worry. I think you should be happy that your teenager is picking up a book to read instead of wasting away in front of the television watching some "reality based programming"(and you think Harry is evil?).

If you didn't know it, Rowling is among a select group of authors who have won awards for fiction writing. I am a person who has read countless fiction novels, has studied the fiction craft, knows enough about linguistics to be dangerous, and my life involves quite a bit of reading, writing and communicating. Bottom line is, Rowling is a gifted fiction writer because she is keeping everybody hooked and she is getting paid. The writing is good, the pages turn quickly, and you might even have to stop reading for a very brief moment to look up a word or two, which to my knowledge are activities that have yet to cause death or demonic possession. So, please get over your fear, dear Potter book burners, instigators of Fahrenheit 451, I would think your faith is stronger than Rowling's imagination.


At 7/19/2005 08:42:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Welcome, one and all, to my brother Tim. He lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas. So, with the L in Little Rock he maintains the L & N Line integrity--and that was the most important thing.

At 7/19/2005 09:35:00 AM, Blogger MaraJade said...

I thought that name looked unfamiliar. . . Yay, a new edition!

Though I don�t relish HP quite as much as some, I do aspire to have the success that Rowling has had. Her life is simply phenomenal and any writer would have to be at least a little impressed whether they like the work or not.

That being said, I will of course flock to the next movie with the rest of the sheep and probably enjoy some parts of it too. : )
Anyone see that there are some idiots on Craig�s list rants and raves (Boston, but probably elsewhere too) posting the ending to the new book? People suck.

At 7/19/2005 02:02:00 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Read often, never post, but I could not pass up the chance to write about Harry Potter.

I was a bit late getting into HP, about two years ago one of my friends handed year one to me to read, after that I was hooked. From the standpoint of JK Rowling, this is a woman who came from nothing and succeeded. Her stories are detailed, the characters are ordinary kids that if I were still a kid, I could relate to and the plot weaves seamlessly through each book. The magic is (in my own opinion) secondary. I actually waited in line two years ago at midnight to pick of year 5 and just last Friday, I did it again. Eagerly waiting to see what Rowling had thought up. I read the book in a day and was not disappointed. I laughed, cried and scratched my head a few times. In short, it was worth the wait. Of course now I have to wait another two years for the final book, but that is okay too. I can go back, reread all of the books, during that time and attempt to guess what will happen in year seven.

I just saw the trailer for The Goblet of Fire, directed my Mike Newell. Interestingly enough, this will be the first Brittish director for the film series. I think that the previous directors did a great job of staying true to the books.

I could go on and on about the book, but I need to get back to work. . .thanks for letting my throw my two cents in.


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