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Tony Grist

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I've Succumbed [Jan. 23rd, 2007|10:28 am]
Tony Grist
I've decided to join the human race and read the Harry Potter books. If I get my skates on I could be up to speed by the time she releases the final instalment.

I'm halfway through Philosopher's Stone. It's very readable. The style and storytelling are sometimes clumsy- but you're swept along by the stream of invention. Clever things come along at the rate of about two a page. Even though I've seen the films, she's got me wanting to know what happens next.

I miss Alan Rickman. The written Snape is just a mean old man with a hooky nose; nothing sexy about him at all.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: butterscotch711
2007-01-23 11:38 am (UTC)
They get better, IMHO.

I think it's interesting how she developed as a writer with such a huge amount of attention on her.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-23 02:06 pm (UTC)
I think I'd expect her to.

The first book feels a lot like a first effort. It's the work of someone who's brimming over with ideas, but whose craft is still a bit shaky.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2007-01-23 12:08 pm (UTC)
I wish I hadn't read any of them, so I could start now.

If she kills off Harry in the end, I will never forgive her.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2007-01-23 12:36 pm (UTC)
I started to write a response to this, but it involved way too many spoilers to put on the blog of someone who's reading Book 1.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-23 02:07 pm (UTC)
I can understand a successful writer wanting to put a full stop at the end of what must have been a very demanding writing project.
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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2007-01-23 12:15 pm (UTC)
It's true... :-(

You may find things drag a bit during book 2, but once you get into 3, all the establishment will have been done, and the real meat and veg of the plot will start emerging. That's what she's really good at, and it's well worth excusing a few infelicities of style for.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-23 02:10 pm (UTC)
My plan is just to plough my way through. Right now I can't see that being a problem. I'm having fun.
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[User Picture]From: dadi
2007-01-23 01:19 pm (UTC)
Sigh.. another one gone mainstream. I guess sooner or later I will end up there too. I haven't seen the films though. I have been telling myself for some time that my snobism about this is becoming ridiculous. Hell, I read Anne Rice, Stephen King and Dean Koontz.. why shouldn't I read THIS?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-23 02:14 pm (UTC)
The tipping point was when my son started posting about them.

I've liked the films. I think they're a model of what that kind of popular entertainment should be.
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[User Picture]From: sina_says
2007-01-24 04:03 pm (UTC)
i think i've said that same thing exactly. maybe it's time for me as well.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2007-01-23 01:30 pm (UTC)
Someone else here pointed out that from book 3 on things will start to really whirl. Books one and two are more simplistic in a sense. And I too, refuse to forgive her if she kills off Harry or any of the other really main characters.
They do make lovely reading at all levels, I think.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-23 02:17 pm (UTC)
I'm buying the whole series (secondhand, of course) which sort of commits me to stay the course. Book One is obviously not great literature, but then neither is Conan Doyle. Sometimes other things are more important.
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[User Picture]From: haikujaguar
2007-01-23 02:09 pm (UTC)
It remains clever and good-natured throughout the series. I am delighted by how her many many inventions is a form of very complete and believable world-building. :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-23 02:20 pm (UTC)
Her world-building skills are very impressive- Diagon Alley, Platform Nine and Three Quarters, Nearly Headless Nick. It's all so right and fits together so well.
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[User Picture]From: haikujaguar
2007-01-23 02:51 pm (UTC)
It is sooth. I find I am delighted by her wild success, as I find her work charming. :)
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[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2007-01-23 02:46 pm (UTC)
I read the first one and enjoyed it well enough. I read the second, and decided I was done.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-23 02:58 pm (UTC)
I shall no doubt be posting progress reports.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2007-01-23 03:00 pm (UTC)
I like Alan Rickman as Snape - he looks almost exactly as I pictured him.

People can say what they want about the Harry Potter books, they are indeed very readable.

However, I wouldn't blame the author if she DOES kill her main character off at the end of the last book. That's putting and end to him once and for all. It's HER franchise, she should be able to do what SHE wants.

But then, I remember that a certain Arthur Conan Doyle tried to put an end to Sherlock Holmes. And now there are a bunch of 'pretenders' and none of them are nearly as good.

Sorry, just took right off there.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-24 09:31 am (UTC)
Great fictional characters are unkillable. They just go on and on.

I agree with you; she has the right to try and kill him off if she wants. The trouble is it won't work.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2007-01-23 05:33 pm (UTC)
I miss Alan Rickman. The written Snape is just a mean old man with a hooky nose; nothing sexy about him at all.

When you've finished Philosopher's Stone, if you're curious, I have a (somewhat spoiler-ridden) post about Snape. He is actually the reason I have kept reading the series.
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2007-01-23 06:52 pm (UTC)
Of course.....now I'm wondering what you think after the sixth book. ;)
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2007-01-23 07:02 pm (UTC)
now I'm wondering what you think after the sixth book.

See the next entry.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-23 08:00 pm (UTC)
Ooh good. I'll finish up the book and take a look.
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2007-01-23 06:48 pm (UTC)
I think Rowling went overboard on Snape - and as you read further into the series, I think you'll figure out why. I won't say more than that at this point in time, but while I agree with you that he's almost melodramatic in the books...well, like I said, I suspect there's a purpose behind it.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-24 09:33 am (UTC)
Even at this early stage there's something about Snape. Is he a friend or an enemy or a combination of both? I want to find out...
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[User Picture]From: loganberrybunny
2007-01-25 12:01 pm (UTC)
(Here via huskyteer.)

It looks as though this is the week for this to happen: I've just succumbed in the same manner. I agree with you that the ideas are better than the style, but it's a gripping enough plot that that isn't an enormous problem. One or two things grate, but nothing to throw one off course entirely.

I'm nearly at the end of book three, and am enjoying it greatly: it's considerably darker and more complex than the previous two. Actually, book two isn't all that different from book one, though I think it's a little bit better written.

Incidentally, in sort-of reply to another thread on your LJ about HP: The Entertainer chain of toy shops refused to stock any HP merchandise because its Christian owner thought it inappropriate. I don't know whether that's still the case, but I believe so.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-25 12:54 pm (UTC)
By Book #2 Rowling's style has become good enough. That's my feeling anyway. I'm no longer being stopped in my tracks by sentences I'm itching to rewrite.

I've just started Book #3...

Harry Potter inappropriate? I can't get over how silly some people are...
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