The Hairy Potter

They were cutest as kids.

The three

Finished watching the Harry Potter series with my son, last night.  (I love holidays!)  It’s the first time that I see the whole thing (I had seen up to 5 before). I missed the movies when they were on the circuits and the whole hype was on.  (I was too involved with writing my own stuff at that point.  One needs to be careful what one puts in when one is set on output.)

Definite Tolkienish elements, what a saga!  Interesting twist with Snape in the end, though his intentions actually come through pretty clearly throughout (I don’t know if she does a better job hiding them in the novels).

It’s somehow funny and sentimental to watch these three really cute kids grow up in the span of 4 nights.  Especially funny as they go through their “13” and become unbearable in turns.  Even funnier with my son’s pithy commentary on the side (he’s 12).

But not so funny when I look at my own kids and see how big they are already.  😦  I need to do something.

The kids tell me I should read the books… but there are a stack of books lined up that I need to read for the business, I really think I’ll only manage to read the Harry Potter series when I’m old & gebukkend.  (And I doubt I’ll read the Twilight series at all – I opened it randomly and found a cringeworthy scene and opened it at another random place and found another cringeworthy scene…  watched the first movie in snatches from the sidelines as my oldest did and got an overdose of depressive atmosphere…  though, our Dawie raved about how well-done the werewolves were, and that after a lifetime in opera and theatre, so he must have known.)

I must re-watch HP one and two, where they are still cute kids – those are the best two.


17 thoughts on “The Hairy Potter

  1. I have attempted to read Harry Potter three times and never managed to get further than the first chapter.
    I just cannot get into them at all.
    Not that JK cares a stuff about what I think.
    That we all enjoy different stuff is what makes the world go round.

    • I tried reading the first book while I was editing SW1 for publication and I couldn’t get through it. Guess the editor and critic in me was just over-active that time. Will give them a second try, my kids tell me they get better from the second one onwards.

    • Great…I must read a whole book just to get to the next one because it gets better? Er….I don’t do so well with skewed logic like this. But you go ahead. I’ll read your crit when you post it! 😉

    • LOL Ark – no. It’s not skewed logic, it’s self-observation. I knew at the time that all my “editor” neurons were primed and waiting for fodder, because I was in the middle of chiseling away at my own novel. There were various things that bugged me when I read the first sequel of HP, among others Harry’s lack of emotional reaction about being locked into a cupboard every day. I remember at the time wondering if JK’s editor had cut all emotional bits out for her.

      In the same timespan I would walk into Exclusive Books, pick up a new bestseller, page around in it; note the binding, weight of the paper they use for the cover, the type of lamination / UV coating, marvel at how the Chinese printers manage to get perfect-bind – well, perfect where ours struggle; check how much gutter, how much bleed was used, the size of print, margins, distance between lines, the font… the amount of space the blurb took at the back… then I did something really discerning and read the blurb, and puzzled over how the heck people could write such a compelling blurb and what was compelling about it; and then I’d randomly snoop into the actual book, reading a paragraph here and one there to determine the author’s style. I don’t think that’s quite what the average reader does.

      Also in my head danced the cast of the Solar Wind, relentlessly – how could I get involved with the characters in HP? The Solar Wind’s crew is possessive!

      Under such conditions, trying to focus on reading someone’s bestseller is not the simplest task, and I quickly got frustrated. But it was to 80% my own mind frustrating me. Harry Potter is a huge wave, a freak wave. What makes such a book sell? She’d hit a spot that appealed to tons and tons of kids out there – and I used to love reading lit for 12-year-olds. (Not only when I was 12.)

      You must of course also consider that once one has watched the movie, trying to read the book after the fact is not everybody’s cuppa. I had already seen the first movie.

  2. From the fourth book onwards, I would get it on the day it was released and wouldn’t stop reading it until I was finished. I’m not such a big fan of the movies though

    • I must say, seeing that I didn’t read the books first I found the movies absolutely compelling. But I did get the commentary from my expert 😉 (12 yrs old) about where the films deviated from the plot in certain details.

  3. I thought the first film was tolerable. We both fell off our perches watching the second it was so utterly boring. We turned it off.

    In one of my free book acquisitions (dumped outside the block so nabbed by Partner) was HP and the Half-Blood Prince. Tolkien and Meyer were in there too, so I had a fine time writing a blog post about the three. To save you reading it, I thought Rowling was poor, Tolkien was brilliant, and Meyer was good readable YA fantasy. I wouldn’t compare Meyer with Tolkien in terms of literary skill, (although I would compare Pullman and Tolkien). Taking all books in context is critical when reviewing. No, she didn’t do a better job hiding evil Snape in H-B Prince, and I am slow on plots. If I can guess them, they are not good plots.

  4. I never got into Pullman (I tried, with grandson overboard about them) but I must admit I did find HP books compulsive. They are certainly inventive and imaginative, and they strike a number of chords with children of various ages with Harry’s notoriety on the one hand and being imposed-upon and misunderstood on the other, the crude bits of humour, and some truly terrifying concepts.
    My own opinion is that the movies were extremely well done. The casting was brilliant, and brougnt the characters alive in a way suggested by the books.

    • I agree, the casting is excellent, as is the setting. Crazy about those moving staircases (Ray played the game for several years, and those can really be a challenge).


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