Jason’s review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Ashley (new)

Ashley I looooove itttt :) This is part of my top 10 fav reviews cause it's all so true :)

message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim One interesting thing about the Harry Potter books: I find, several years after having read them all, that they all run together in my mind. The fact that all of them take place in more or less the same locale makes it diabolically different to separate one from the other after the fact.

Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways My biggest life-lesson was to avoid people named Dolores. That Umbridge woman scared me witless, and Imelda Staunton still makes me flinch after seeing the movie.

message 4: by Nataliya (new)

Nataliya Great review!

message 5: by Steve (new)

Steve Your take-away points from the HP series are further justification for the rapid climb your name has taken on my list of potential life coaches. Good stuff, my friend.

message 6: by Jason (new)

Jason Ugh, Dolores and her evil pink cardigan—she is one of the worst villains ever! Thanks, guys. :)

message 7: by David (new)

David Jason, I'm sorry that you wrote this good review and this is the thing I end up responding to, but humor me:

How the heck did you do that superscript 1??

message 8: by David (last edited Jun 22, 2012 07:05AM) (new)

David Oh, and to respond to the beginning of your review itself:

I think that all written works—without regard to quality or 'merit'—are literature, in the same way the word 'art' isn't a qualitative judgment of the work in question. I hate when people look at abstract or highly conceptual art and ask, 'But is it art?' Or they make a snide comment that it doesn't deserve to belong under the same rubric as the great 'masters' of the Renaissance, and so on. I don't like when people use terms like art and literature as 'rewards' for creative products that they deem worthy. These are neutral terms. At work, for instance, we have 'marketing literature'—brochures and fliers, essentially—but this doesn't imply they should be included in a Norton anthology.

I understand that in the everyday, conversational sense, these words have taken on a qualitative (and even haughty) connotation, but I still don't like it, and this is why: When someone denies a book like Harry Potter the label 'literature' from the outset, he or she is already marginalizing it or demeaning it before any actual discussion of its merit has been embarked upon. This ends up begging the question, so to speak. Harry Potter has been discounted or dismissed in some way a priori before it has even been properly dealt with. (And ergo, since it has been initially denied the label 'literature,' there is the suggestion that it doesn't even deserve thoughtful criticism.) I think it's better to speak of 'good literature' and 'bad literature' than objecting as a premise that a book is deserving of the label itself. It is literature. And so is this post. And so is this review.

message 9: by Pinky (last edited Jun 22, 2012 07:16AM) (new)

Pinky I have learned all of these things, too! But from Jersey Shore¹.

¹This is not true. I've never learned anything.

message 10: by Jason (last edited Jun 22, 2012 07:00AM) (new)

Jason Kowalski, that was awesome. I love every sentence of that last paragraph. Part of my reason for writing this review is that I wanted to, in part, explain why HP qualifies as literature, but you're right—it shouldn't require explanation. It should be about discussing whether or not something is good literature, not that it is literature in the first place.

Of course, you said it way better.

message 11: by Jason (new)

Jason Haha, the HTML. I looove HTML. It's this:


message 12: by Jason (new)

Jason What you should be most impressed with, though, is that I was able to type ¹ without it being rendered. Dig that??!

message 13: by David (new)

David Jason wrote: "What you should be most impressed with, though, is that I was able to type ¹ without it being rendered. Dig that??!"

You are the html master! Show me how!

message 14: by David (new)

David Jason wrote: "Kowalski, that was awesome. I love every sentence of that last paragraph. Part of my reason for writing this review is that I wanted to, in part, explain why HP qualifies as literature, but you're ..."

Thanks, Morais! The 'literature'/'art' issue is one of my pet peeves, so that's why I spouted off at length. I'm not usually this spouty. (Who am I kidding? Yes, I am.)

message 15: by Jason (last edited Jul 11, 2012 05:51AM) (new)

Jason well the & symbol has its own HTML code, which is & so I just typed ¹ to render &sup1.

Which of course means that to type ¹ I actually had to type ¹ and so on... (this could literally go on forever).

It's similar to how I can tell people to use <spoiler> and </spoiler> tags without them actually rendering as such. The symbol < has its own HTML code, which is &lt;

Here's a whole list of super fun ones, including pretty hearts and stars and musical notes:

(view spoiler)

(I did not just type that out...I copied & pasted from a cheat sheet list I have). I actually use en-dash and em-dash a lot in my writing, but that is mostly because I have a Mac and those symbols are as easy to type out as áccênts and õther diäcritiçal marks.

message 16: by Pinky (new)

Pinky HTML god. *clap*

*clap clap*

*clap clap clap clap clap*

*thunderous applause, tears of admiration*

message 17: by Jason (new)

Jason Mike ♥ Laurie Anderson!

message 18: by Jason (new)

Jason David wrote: "...so that's why I spouted off at length..."

And this is why we're friends, Kowalski.

message 19: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Great review. This makes some great points, and I think you accurately defend that these books should be set apart from the standard fantasy/YA/etc books and more to a realm of literature. I quite enjoyed that, and now I have a lot to ponder.

message 20: by David (new)

David Thanks, Jason! I am going to go around impressing all the hot chicks with my html studliness now.

message 21: by Michelle (last edited Jun 22, 2012 08:28AM) (new)

Michelle So cool!¹

P.S. I liked your review, too, Jason.

message 22: by David (new)

David Michelle wrote: "So cool!¹

P.S. I liked your review, too, Jason."

You weren't supposed to see that, Michelle! You were one of the hot chicks I was intending to impress!

message 23: by Michelle (last edited Jun 22, 2012 08:37AM) (new)

Michelle Damn! Let's pretend I haven't seen it yet.

(But we'll always have trademark™, registered®, re-sizing photos, copyright ©, and typing empty space. You impressed me with all of those.)

message 24: by Nataliya (new)

Nataliya Jason, that HTML tutorial was really cool! ¹

¹ I am very impressed.²
² Thanks!

message 25: by Jason (new)

Jason No problem, Nataliya. It comes in handy!

message 26: by Desiree (new)

Desiree Omg, I'm in geek heaven with that HTML tutorial.

I loved the review too :)

Elizabeth(The Book Whisperer) I love finding someone who loves Harry as much as much as I do. I have them in soft back, my kindle, audio tape, and a fancy hard back collection that has never been opened! (its just to stare at lovingly!) I have figures and kitchen magnets. harry makes me cry! I love your review, it was wonderful!

message 28: by Kristen (new)

Kristen wow :-)

message 29: by Cecily (new)

Cecily A great review, in part because it comes at the books from a fresh angle.

message 30: by Bookworm (new)

Bookworm How do you rate the whole series out of 10?

message 31: by BookWrm88 (new)

BookWrm88 Well said! I will share with those who oppose Harry Potter although they will probably be too closed minded to listen.

message 32: by Aditya (new)

Aditya Mandalemula An excellent review.

message 33: by Mnkmak (new)

Mnkmak Y'all haters out there better actually read the book before you just start commenting

message 34: by Jason (new)

Jason Mnkmak wrote: "Y'all haters out there better actually read the book before you just start commenting"


message 35: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Maybe he meant to comment on your Stephen King review.

message 36: by Jason (new)

Jason Well at least that would have made more sense.

message 37: by Ally (new)

Ally This review is amazing and couldn't be more true.

message 38: by Jason (new)

Jason Thanks, Ally.

message 39: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin great review. I am thirteen and read the series when i was ten and still reread the books.

message 40: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten I am a Literature major and have a professor who has a Doctorates in British Literature specializing in Renaissance era, and HE considers Harry Potter as a major modern literature piece, as do many of my other lit profs. I'm in a 500 level Shakespeare class and there has not been a day we haven't correlated themes in Shakespearean plays that are found within Harry Potter. Tell the people who make fun of you to shut up, Harry Potter is literature through and through

message 41: by Andrea (new)

Andrea I agree to FULL EXTENT on what you're saying about Harry: that's the HIGHEST praise on a HP interview (I can quote from the book)

message 42: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline Thank you for writing this review!!! I frequently get made fun of for reading (all kinds of books) and almost stopped reading at school. I thought I was the only one!!!! Once again, thank you.

message 43: by Jason (new)

Jason Glad you liked it!

message 44: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Bull Loved the HTML code...thank you Jason. You learn something new every day!

message 45: by Hannah (new)

Hannah I have never met a man who loves the Harry Potter Series like you do. Will you marry me ?

message 46: by Anna (new)

Anna Hovey The books are all so amazing. Especially the last one. I was BAWLING at certain parts. Like when Harry was on his way to be killed by Voldemort. I was disappointed when I had seen the movie because they had changed a bit of the story. The book definitely makes more sense for me. I agree that the Harry Potter books are real literature. It's a truly amazing series. I've learned much from the books and I've had a real blast reading them. I reread them all the time because I love them so much actually.

message 47: by Kalkedan (new)

Kalkedan Bezabih I completely agree with you! There is plenty of evidence in the book to support your conclusions. I agree with the first bullet point; Hermione was judged because her parents were "muggles" (or non-magical people). People called her a "mudblood," one of the most offensive terms someone can be called in the wizard world. People thought she would amount to nothing, but she ended up being the brightest witch of her age (or even generation), as so many people in the books say. Every bad assumption people made of her was proven wrong. She is a very skilled, brave, and loyal witch.
I agree with your second bullet point, because of how Draco Malfoy treated Ron and Hermione when he first met Harry. He looked down on them because Ron's family was poor and Hermione's parents were non-magical, and he showed no restraint in letting people know that. When he first offered his hand to Harry, he declined, because of how rude he was. This proves your point that "the way you treat other people, especially those less fortunate than you, reveals your true colors more quickly and more completely than almost anything else you do."
I also agree with your fourth bullet point. This is proven by Albus Dumbledore. When Dumbledore says that Voldemort possesses powers that he will never have, Professor McGonagall's response was: "Only because you're too... well... noble to use them." Dumbledore and Voldemort both posses great power, but the difference is that Dumbledore uses his power for good, while Voldemort uses his for evil. They both have great abilities, but as you said, that does not define them. Voldemort and Dumbledore are two completely different people. One is respected and admired, while the other is hated and feared.

message 48: by Janaki (new)

Janaki I have been laughed for the same reason. But I totally agree with you. Harry Potter is one of the greatest literary works of the century.

message 49: by Colin (new)

Colin Foster The best of the best = the worst of the best. Harry Potter; Game changer...

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