Just Wild About Harry

Today’s Booking through Thursday:

1. Okay, love him or loathe him, you’d have to live under a rock not to know that J.K. Rowling’s final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, comes out on Saturday. Are you going to read it?
2. If so, right away? Or just, you know, eventually, when you get around to it? Are you attending any of the midnight parties?
3. If you’re not going to read it, why not?
4. And, for the record… what do you think? Will Harry survive the series? What are you most looking forward to?

1. Nope.

2. I’ll be staying far, far away from the midnight-party venues.

3. I think Rowling’s work is unoriginal, poorly written (after the first book, I’m pretty sure the publisher just stopped hiring editors to trim/clean her text), filled with plot devices and cliches, and generally overrated. Yes, there are some charming moments in the books, and some very clever images. But the fantasy genre has been done a lot better by tons of other people. And I hardly think Harry is a role model: pretty much everything he goes through is stuff that happens to him–he is utterly passive. Is that heroic? Hardly. When he’s really in a bind, he’s usually saved by a deus ex machina, not by his own (active) devices.

4. Will Harry survive? I honestly have no idea, since I haven’t read anything after The Goblet of Fire. (Talk about a needlessly convoluted plot. Voldemort comes up with an elaborate plan to get Harry to touch the tournament cup so Harry will be transported to Voldemort-land? Give me a break. Voldemort could have made a chocolate mint into a portkey and left it on Harry’s pillow. “Hello there, what’s this?” BAM! Harry is in Voldemort-land. Scholastic should pay me to write this stuff…)

And what am I most looking forward to? The end of Harry-mania. It’s nice to see people get so excited about a book, but the ubiquitous marketing and product tie-ins—which, when the first book came out, Rowling swore she would never do (that promise lasted all of fifteen seconds)–have transformed whatever literary merit these books have into just another crass commercial venture.

3 Responses to “Just Wild About Harry”

  1. Joanaon 19 Jul 2007 at 5:32 pm

    I have to confess I felt the same way as you do initially. But when I got to read all of the books back to back (at the time it was 1-4) I fell in love.

    Though not with the hero.

    I fell in love with the character of Severus Snape. He makes all of the stories that much more interesting in my opinion. I want to know how it ends for him. Harry, well no matter what pinch he’s in he’s always protected and shielded, just like Snape says. XD Supposedly he’s going to marry Ginny and survive it all. Big surprise there.

  2. Marshaon 19 Jul 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Joana, I agree with you about Snape: he is a terrific character. And (here’s a connection to last week’s BTT) Alan Rickman is perfectly cast in the role.

  3. Frankon 21 Jul 2007 at 12:19 am

    I think the books are fun, but I’m basically reading the last four because I read the first three and really liked them. I think I have an obsessive-compulsive disorder about these types of things because I have to complete the entire book or TV series if I start it.

    Now, if I could just remember where I was at with the “Dune” series.