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halfway point meanderings on harry potter

The book, thus far, has only served to further my insistence that the character of Harry Potter is, as they say, a prig. Or a wanker. Or a jerk. Whichever pleases you. I just don't like him. Never have.

Also, the quality of writing has seriously diminished. Granted, it wasn't high literature to begin with, but I think this book is missing some of the breathless descrpitions that made the earlier books so delightful.

And the Young Wizards in Love sublot is dreadful. Some of the passages read like Degrassi Junior High, with wands.

There is plenty to like about the book, but I don't want to give anything away, so we'll leave that for a full review later on.

That said, I'm thoroughly enjoying the read. Escapism is a wonderful thing. I'll have more on that tomorrow when I post something I'll call In Defense of Adults Reading Harry Potter (and other children's books).

Speaking of adults acting like children, we're off to see Willy Wonka.

Comments

Phew! I thought it was just me. I'm not too thrilled with this book either.

Saw wonka on Fri night, liked it, fun to hear Elfman have some fun and Depp has some great stuff ,my fave was the biz card bit.

Saw Willy Wonka on Friday night, well worth the 1 hour wait to get into the theatre. Depp is hilarious - much better as Wonka than Gene Wilder in my opinion.
I'll be seeing it again before it leaves theatres.

There was much I liked and disliked about it. Put up a review on my blog.

(Don't read if you're not finished.)

Ummm....forgot the link ; http://bobroland.blogspot.com/2005/07/harry-potter-and-half-finished-novel.html

I liked this one better than the last one, but it definitely had a sense of being rushed.

Degrassi Junior High with wands. Hahaha! I almost did a spit-take!

I am halfway finished with the book also. It's not that I don't like Harry Potter (as a person, per se) it's more like I am impartial. If he were real, it would be like, if he's there, he's there, if not, not.

My main problem with the books, they are forgetful (at least for me) I remember the characters, but don't remember main plot points, with the exception that Voldormort wants to kill Harry.

All I remember about the last book, is that some kid got killed. I don't even remember which kid.

Loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

"And the Young Wizards in Love sublot is dreadful. Some of the passages read like Degrassi Junior High, with wands." Definately.

I couldn't agree with your review of Harry Potter more. I hate him, always have.

The romantic subplot doesn't bother me - when you stop to think that the primary market for these books are kids, these are the types of things kids are interested in reading about and that will ring true to them - the confusion about discovering feelings, the awkwardness of having someone like you that you don't like...it's all stuff my daughter has gone through.

As far as Harry's character, I agree, and I like that he's not perfect. In the last book, he learned that his father wasn't an especially nice person; although he was popular and a good athelete, he also had his moments of cruelty to other kids. He and his own little clique felt themselves to be very exclusive and special. When Harry first discovers his heritage and the manner of his parents' death, he enshrined them in his mind as being very noble and selfless - which they may have evolved into as adults. But as a teenager, Harry's father was pretty much a conceited jerk, and Harry has been struggling to reconcile that truth with the way he built him up in his mind.

I find Harry's character to be reassuringly real. He doesn't like to be the center of attention but then gets miffed when he gets slighted by others. He makes mistakes and isn't always nice. And he's struggling with the age-old teen angst dilemma of self-discovery.

What does bother about the books is the number of times that either he or his friends have information that is extremely important to the safety of others and they fail to let the people know who could help them the most. How many times has Dumbledore asked if there were something that Harry needed to tell him, and Harry has lied and say no?

On the larger scale of teaching kids the value of trust in adults, I feel like the author is sending the wrong message - that kids should keep things to themselves and try to work out problems on their own. That's contrary to everything I've taught my kids.

I'm not here to rain on anybody's parade--I have nothing against anyonew who loves these books--but I detected that her writing was going downhill by the third book, and I couldn't even finish the fourth one. Something seemed to be happening to Rowling that happens to all wildly successful authors: she stopped working as hard. The proof being that the books got longer and longer--if you've ever done any serious writing you know that longer is not a sign of more work, it's usually a sign of less work. You may be putting more time in but it's likely you're working in long bursts, then spending a lot less time going back and editing and trimming out the fat. And of course the more successful you are, the less anyone in your circle of friends and editors is willing to talk to you about that.

Mind you, I'm not saying that anyone who's enjoying these books should listen to me, or that anyone's a fool to like them. One thing that's obvious is that a fresh voice and a fresh concept is very rare in fantasy literature, and for that alone Rowling has a major achievement.

It is also fair to note that yes, these really are kids' books, and with the Potter crew heading into their teen years one should expect the soap-opera quality to go up.

By the way, since I'm very unlikely to read this book, would someone do me the favor of dropping me a line and telling me who dies? I'm just curious.

Dean, I clicked on the "Contact" link on your site and got an error message. Email me and I'll fill you in, if you like.

Email is missusde@gmail.com

I've found that, as you read along, if you replace the word wand with wang, it adds a whole new dimension to the stories...

I think the biggest problem with this book is that it is the setup before the end. Those stories tend to be more housekeeping than real substance. See: Star Wars as another example......

Most authors who have extraordinary success with their first book (Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Ms Rowling) end up becoming uneditable because they have too much clout. I have been published many times and I would say that I agree with specific editing changes made (without my permission, mind you) about 90% of the time. There is always that niggling 10% when the editor changes something that you did intentionally to set something up later. But most of the time the editor was right and I goofed.

I believe the word you are looking for is "prat". LOL!
I too am at the halfway point in the book and find it ok, but yes, the plot about young love is not working for me. It's ok, I think western kids will have no idea what they're talking about since kissing is referred to as "snogging".

I personally have found each book in the line less and less wonderful as the series has progressed. I'm not sure why... maybe I just hope to recapture the love I had in the first book. The first high is always the best, I guess... but it doesn't stop me from going to the store at midnight to get my book. shrug

Being sixteen (seventeen in two weeks) years old and having grown up with Harry Potter (I read the first book the summer I turned eleven. Oh, how I waited for that owl to arrive, clutching a letter addressed in green ink and sealed with the Hogwarts crest, but alas...I'm a muggle. Tragic isn't it?), I can truthfully describe the moral, social, and spiritual effects it has had on me. So many people seem to think that because I and others like me read Harry Potter and enjoy it immensely, we all want to give up our religions, curse the world into oblivion and create a new universe where we can all walk around with long, black robes and pointy sticks. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but I have noticed that some people at my church refuse to allow their children to read the books, and the pope himself has expressed displeasure in the series. Now I feel that it is up to me to tell the world that the idea that J.K. Rowling's created world has had a negative effect on me IS INSANE.
What has Harry Potter taught us if not that good can overcome evil? That a pure soul is better than one that is torn apart? That unity is necessary to defeat oppression and prejudice? That loyal friends can be an enormous source of comfort in a dark world? That love conquers all?
And God is love, right?
To Trish. You say that "on the larger scale of teaching kids the value of trust in adults, I feel like the author is sending the wrong message - that kids should keep things to themselves and try to work out problems on their own." With this statement, I must disagree. All throughout the fifth book, during Harry's most angsty phase, he refuses to tell Dumbledore about his disturbing dreams. All throughout the fifth book, during my most angsty phase, I'm screaming my head off at Harry (on the inside, of course) to, for the love of all that is holy, GO TELL DUMBLEDORE! But I also realize that there are some things that you simply have to do yourself. These things help to prepare you for what lies out there in the "real world" (and judging from what all the grownups at school tell me, the "real world" is a frightening place).
The Harry Potter books have been a wonderful experience for me, as many books have been. But Harry has not made me stray from my morals or my religion or my grasp on reality. If Pope Benedict, who I regard with the utmost respect, would like to argue with that, tell him that he must first do something about reality television. If anything distorts the human perception of real love, real truth, real relationships, and real life then it is that, not Harry Potter.
And unless your kids are really dumb, they all know that what it means to snog. Oh sorry. That was just the angsty, Harry Potter-loving bit of me roaring up again...