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Discovering Harry Potter

I thought Harry Potter was perfectly OK already before this Christmas, but although I've seen all three films to date, I'd only bothered to read the first two books, and had then got bored. Then I re-watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone late on Christmas night, and also spent a fascinating half-hour at Valid.Pop on Tuesday quizzing damien_mocata, whose knowledge of the books is quasi-encyclopaedic, about the plots of books 3, 4 and 5. I now see that I seem to have stopped reading just at the point when the initial process of establishing characters and setting had been completed, and before the interesting plot-twists and surprises had really begun.

Therefore, I have been spending some time over the last two evenings mooching around on sites such as J.K. Rowling's official site, MuggleNet.com (which has some really impressive articles!) and The Harry Potter Lexicon. I've found out lots of interesting things, and I think I shall now aim to continue reading the books in the new year. (Not straight away, though, as I got several for Xmas which I want to finish first). I still don't think J.K. Rowling's writing is ever going to thrill me in quite the way Diana Wynne Jones' does. But I now have greater respect for her ability to set up complex plots and mysteries, and to create well-defined characters.

I also got myself sorted into a House:

Want to Get Sorted?

I'm a Ravenclaw!

It is kind of what I expected / hoped for after damien_mocata and captainlucy told me all about the characteristics of the different Houses on Tuesday, but it's nice to have it confirmed.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 30th, 2004 01:59 pm (UTC)
Ravenclaws rock.

Welcome to the world of Parry Hotter :) I look forward to finding out what you think of them.
Dec. 30th, 2004 02:10 pm (UTC)
So do I!

Great icon, by the way.
Dec. 30th, 2004 02:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I didn't make it, but I did inspire it by coming up with the Luke-Harry line.
Dec. 30th, 2004 02:39 pm (UTC)
Want to Get Sorted?

a Hufflepuff!


I've really got to start reading the books myself. :) I like the films (I think Prisoner of Azkhaban was one of the best movies of 2004!), and I'm curious to see how they stand up to the novels.
Dec. 30th, 2004 07:35 pm (UTC)
The novels are WAY better. The fifth dragged in parts though. One of my lifetime goals is to make the animated series, chapter by chapter.

Anyways, I'm somewhere between Slytherin/Ravenclaw.

Dec. 30th, 2004 03:23 pm (UTC)
Me too!
Dec. 30th, 2004 03:50 pm (UTC)
I had a really strong feeling that you would get Ravenclaw :D

As for me, I'm in Gryffindor (hooray!):

Want to Get Sorted?

a Gryffindor!
Dec. 30th, 2004 04:37 pm (UTC)
Rowling's writing is very dull and pedestrian, and doesn't get any better in later books. What she does very well is plot: she really did have it all worked out from the beginning. As long as the lack of magic doesn't put you off irreparably, the later books are worth reading for the depth they explore; and I thought the newest one was much the best. The characters are older and more angsty: it is quite realistic about children's feelings.
Dec. 31st, 2004 02:15 am (UTC)
Except for Goblet of Fire, which I felt had the most glaring plot holes. I never understood why it was necessary for Voldemort to rig an elaborate contest just to get Harry to touch a particular object. Why not just send him a piece of post, say?

It all seemed terribly contrived, but maybe I missed something.
Dec. 31st, 2004 02:32 am (UTC)
Why not just send him a piece of post, say?

Sounds to me like the problem there would be that it just wasn't a sufficiently eeeeeviiilll thing to do. But I have some reading to do before I can really judge!
Dec. 31st, 2004 02:29 am (UTC)
Yes, the dull and pedestrian aspect of the prose in the earlier books was what put me off continuing with the series. I'm not surprised to hear that aspect doesn't change, but I've now heard enough about interesting plot developments to decide that it's worth reading more for that reason. It sounds like you would feel much the same.
Dec. 30th, 2004 05:15 pm (UTC)
Hss. At least you're smart, unlike those stupid gryffindors and mud blood Hufflepuffs. ;-)
Dec. 31st, 2004 02:26 am (UTC)
It's funny: I was thinking about what Houses some of my friends would be last night after I did the quiz, and there was no doubt about you!
Dec. 30th, 2004 11:25 pm (UTC)
I still don't think J.K. Rowling's writing is ever going to thrill me in quite the way Diana Wynne Jones' does

Rowling's prose style is pretty pedestrian, tbh. What it does have in its favour is transparency; the books are incredibly easy to read (for instance, I read Order of the Phoenix - all 764 pages - in 36 hours, and I'm normally a pretty slow reader these days), which is partly also a function of the gripping plots - and she does plot and character well enough to make up for the deficiency in the writing, imho.

The books are never going to be great literature, nor even up there with the best of children's fantasy; she's no Diana Wynne Jones, no Alan Garner, no Philip Pullman. But they have their merits, and I know that come 16 July I (and much of the rest of the country) will be glued to my copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Dec. 31st, 2004 02:37 am (UTC)
...come 16 July I (and much of the rest of the country) will be glued to my copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Ah, so it sounds like that's my deadline for reading books 3, 4 and 5! I was certainly thinking I should read 3 and 4 before the next film comes out, which I believe will also be some time this summer. I wonder if there's someone in JKR's publicity team who'll ensure that the 4th film and 6th book are staggered by a few months, so that her and Harry are kept more consistently in the public eye, and the film and book aren't having to 'compete' for the same pocket money?

Excellent icon, by the way: I've not seen that one before!
Dec. 31st, 2004 12:19 pm (UTC)
Welcome to Ravenclaw! ^_^ We are the best, no matter what the other Houses think... Heh.
Dec. 31st, 2004 01:29 pm (UTC)
Easily... but it does have to be said that we don't have the sexiest House master! ;)
Jan. 3rd, 2005 03:59 am (UTC)
But Flitwick is so cute and you could carry him around all day.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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