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Author Topic:   Harry Potter: Its all over
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 537 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 1 of 52 (412567)
07-25-2007 12:20 PM


Obviously everyone here is a very mature and serious minded person with no time for things like entertainment and childrens books. Otherwise how can one explain the massive dearth of any sort of Harry Potter related thread in any of the EvC forums, especially now that Book 7 has come out and completed the series.

I just finished the last book on Sunday and I really enjoyed it. It might have been a bit heavy on exposition for some people but personally I love backstory and infodumps so I had no complaints. Some of the plot twists required greater recall of the previous books, particularly 'Half-blood Prince', than I was able to muster straight away, but I think reading them back to back might clear things up a bit.

All in all I think Miss Rowling has produced a very enjoyable and readable series. The harry potter books may not be great literature, but then wouldn't say that many classic childrens books and series would count as that either.

I'd certainly rate Harry Potter over the Narnia series in terms of depth and enjoyment, even though Narnia was what I grew up with at home and on the telly.

I don't want to go into any spoilery plot details, so what are other peoples opinions on the last book in the series, or of the series as a whole?

TTFN,

WK

P.S. If you have already read the book or don't care about major spoilers then I would recommend the Potterdamerung parody, actually a very good, although not brief, precis of the book. While this isn't slash fiction or anything I wouldn't recommend it for younger readers as it has strong language and suggestive material. Don't give this to your kids as a Cliff Notes for the book!!

Edited by Wounded King, : Added parental advisory

Edited by Wounded King, : No reason given.


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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8586
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 2 of 52 (412587)
07-25-2007 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Wounded King
07-25-2007 12:20 PM


It's Over ...
:(

It wasn't long enough. :


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Codegate
Member (Idle past 64 days)
Posts: 84
From: The Great White North
Joined: 03-15-2006


Message 3 of 52 (412591)
07-25-2007 1:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Wounded King
07-25-2007 12:20 PM


All in all, an 'ok' conclusion to the series.

I had two gripes with the book, one not so big, the other way more critical.

First, the book did not follow the standard Potter formula, with school being the gel that held everything together. It was far more similar to your classical 'quest' fantasy novels and unfortunately I think it really showed Rowling's weakness as a writer. It was hard to compare the first six books to other works because of the setting but when you remove that you can far more easily put it side by side with other books and see where it falls down.

The far more critical issue with the book was the lack of any real epilogue or 'denument'. After investing seven plus years and 3000 or so pages into a setting and characters the lack of closure really, for lack of a better word, sucked. It was like watching the LOTR movies without the scouring of the Shire or Babylon 5 without season 5. I would like to think that she did this on purpose in order to leave further writing opportunities open to her, but unfortunately I think that is giving her too much credit.

Oh well, it's all over now.

Other then the really weak ending (gripe 2), I would really recommend the series to anyone. I think it was a blast and a load of fun to read.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 13229
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 4 of 52 (412595)
07-25-2007 2:14 PM


Am I alone in not liking either the books or the movies? She seemed to invent the magic as she went along. There were far too many rabbits out of hats.

I read maybe a quarter of book 1, and I saw the 1st two movies.

--Percy


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Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 1021 days)
Posts: 6202
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 5 of 52 (412597)
07-25-2007 2:16 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Percy
07-25-2007 2:14 PM


Am I alone in not liking either the books or the movies?

Heh, I may be in an even smaller group -- I've never read any of the books or seen any of the movies.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 370 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 6 of 52 (412602)
07-25-2007 2:23 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Percy
07-25-2007 2:14 PM


She seemed to invent the magic as she went along.

it's called fiction. and of course she invented it. do you think there's a real magic book out there?

anyways. i enjoyed the series. being a girl i hoped for the ending i got, but was displeased with it when i found it. it was sappy. i suppose that may be a failure in her writing. whatever.

i didn't mind how the last book didn't happen at the school. eventually you have to leave school and a big scary quest is a great way to do that. it was unlike any quest i've ever read. i really liked the endless pages of aimless wandering and unsuccessful subquests. it gave us a chance to see what these kids are made of.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 52 (412606)
07-25-2007 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by macaroniandcheese
07-25-2007 2:23 PM


it's called fiction. and of course she invented it. do you think there's a real magic book out there?

It's a poor writer indeed for whom "magic" is synonymous with "convenient excuse for deus ex machinas"; in the best tradition of fantasy, magic operates by rules.

I wouldn't say that Rowling's magic doesn't have rules, but they're never clearly elucidated, and I found myself wishing I could teleport into the series with a copy of the Player's Handbook and say "Avada Kadavera? Avada Kedavera? You people are getting picked off by a ranged touch attack death spell - and none of you thought to roll cleric?"

There's a part where Ron shoots a spell with three wands at once, and that seems like such a powerful technique that I was surprised that nobody else had thought of it, or ever did it again. But maybe I just liked it so much because it reminded me of another work of fiction I particularly enjoyed.

I didn't care much for the ending, I guess. I mean, did George wind up running the joke store, or not?

Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.


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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 370 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 8 of 52 (412608)
07-25-2007 2:40 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by crashfrog
07-25-2007 2:35 PM


kids books?

but they're never clearly elucidated

it's not about the magic. the magic just makes it interesting. and it is kind of touched on when they're discussing their courses. they talk a lot about the limits on things and the behaviors of various ingredients and whatnot. the problem i think may lie with the fact that, especially with harry potter himself, there's a great deal of discussion about how he seems to break most of the magical rules. so in many cases, they fall by the wayside. but not everyone can be a tolkein and invent whole languages just to have some consistency in the book. it's really not that important, i don't think.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 52 (412614)
07-25-2007 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by macaroniandcheese
07-25-2007 2:40 PM


kids books?

You're talking to someone for whom Foundation, Lord of the Rings, and Song of Fire and Ice (the first one or two, anyway) were "kids books" - books I read as a kid, anyway - so I don't really appreciate the distinction. Kids aren't idiots and writing for them isn't an excuse to be half-assed.

If kids can play Pokemon they can handle an elucidated, rigorous magical system. Haven't you ever seen a ten-year-old talk about dinosaurs? I could have had a master's degree in paleontology when I was 12. Now I can't even remember the difference between brachiosaurus and diplodocus.

it's really not that important, i don't think.

It didn't really hamper my enjoyment of the book, it just gave me some "uh, what about..." moments. Clearly, though, it's enough of an issue that some people didn't enjoy the work. I assure you, not liking Harry Potter isn't an indicator of being a soulless automaton - it's an indicator that one likes a great deal of rigor in one's magic.


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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 370 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 10 of 52 (412616)
07-25-2007 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by crashfrog
07-25-2007 2:51 PM


not liking Harry Potter isn't an indicator of being a soulless automaton

REALYY?!?!?!

relax, i only started reading them a month ago, and i don't own a single piece of potter memorabilia except the wristband we got at the store to reserve our copy of 7 the other night. i'm just saying it's a silly reason to dislike a book about children growing up and facing impossible odds.


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 9960
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 11 of 52 (412624)
07-25-2007 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Percy
07-25-2007 2:14 PM


Books and Films
The books get better as the series progresses in my opinion (although I have not read the latest yet)

The films are dire and I gave up on them after the second one.


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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 370 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 12 of 52 (412628)
07-25-2007 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Straggler
07-25-2007 3:38 PM


Re: Books and Films
i think i recall liking the first movie and maybe the second. 3 was wretched. 4 was almost as bad. i haven't seen the new one. i'll probably continue watching them just to see what they do with them.
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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4396
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 13 of 52 (412632)
07-25-2007 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Wounded King
07-25-2007 12:20 PM


Brilliant
Well, my sister is one of those number one fans. And so - she got me to read them all those years back because she said they were more enjoyable than the films.

I enjoyed the deathly hallows more than any of the others, but only because I knew we would finally get all of the answers. I was expecting a dis-satisfying finale and was pleasantly surprised.

My opinion of J.K. Rowling is that she is a creative genius. In my opinion, I could not see any errors in her story, and I think the books are simply brilliant. I tend think less of the critics who criticize, when they themselves have no creative intelligence. She invents as she goes along in order to stop the fans guessing everything that will happen. She done that in each book - introducing more brilliant ideas AND depth to the story.

The books are not about one character, but about many diverse characters.


Ofcourse it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real? - Albus Dumbledore
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 52 (412635)
07-25-2007 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Straggler
07-25-2007 3:38 PM


Re: Books and Films
The films are dire and I gave up on them after the second one.

Well, there's your problem. If you gave up after the second one, you didn't see the third one - the best they've made, so far. The most recent is nearly as good. (The fourth, not so much.)

The first two were plagued by slavish devotion to the source material and too much time spent oggling the wacky stuff that happens at Hogwarts. They more than get over that by movie 3. I highly recommend it. Just see it and see if it doesn't rekindle a little interest in the films. I nearly didn't bother to see HP5, HP4 was so bad, but the memory of 3 (and the promise of more Gary Oldman, why do I find him so much fun to watch in movies) was enough to get my wife and I into the theatre.


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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4396
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 15 of 52 (412640)
07-25-2007 5:01 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by crashfrog
07-25-2007 4:32 PM


Re: Books and Films
I prefered Richard Harris's role as Dumbledore. Gambon's version is a bit volatile, but Dumbledore is passive. I liked the bit at the end of 4 though, the rest was silly.

I thought film 1 and 2 were a bit too clean cut, but I still think they're the better films. The others are - "hey, look what we can do with special effects." Yawn.


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