Swaps55's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
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Aug 16, 07

bookshelves: harry-potter, scifi-fantasy

While the story fits neatly together and again, her imagination is fantastic, the flat characters that play to extreme stereotypes take a lot of the enjoymeny out of this story.

There is no excuse for Gilderoy Lockhart. Granted, his fame obsession and ludicrous self-absorption make for some amusing Rowling-esque moments that make the series good (such as a dozen Lockharts running for cover in the photo frames with rollers in their hair), but at the expense of the reader's patience. This degree of narcissism, even if plausible in the real world, stretches my suspension of disbelief too far. Like every page with Malfoy on it, I'd rather flip past them than read them.

The greatest problem I have with this series is the two dimensional villains (or irritating Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers). Good villains should draw out some sort of sympathy in the reader, or reveal at some point their humanity. At the very least, you should be able to understand why they are the way they are, and that back story allows you to look at them from a different perspective. This moment never happens for Lockhart, and incidentally it never happens for Malfoy.

Rowling allowed the perfect opportunity to make Malfoy a good, three dimensional villain when Harry and Ron used the Polyjuice potion. For the first time, we had Malfoy out of the public eye and in private, where we could see the real him, and not the front everyone else sees. Here was the chance to see his humanity – that he’s such a prick because he’s afraid of disappointing his father, that he worries about his grades, that there’s a girl he likes and he’s secretly worried she doesn’t like him back, anything that humanizes him and draws out some sympathy, because thus far he’s gotten nothing more than eye rolls out of me. But we didn’t get that moment. Rowling wrote him no differently than she does when he is on parade in front of everyone, which was really a shame.

So, overall, the characters get tiring, but the writing style and imagination are extremely enjoyable.
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Shaun Rowland this book is crap...

it has no exciting story...

my opinion..

shaun.


Eeeeeep I completely agree with you. And I really like the good characters because she gives them moments of weakness and of temptations (even though they always make the right choices) they are given more roundness, but the villains are so completely vapid, it makes me want to just scan over their main scenes.


Tracy I respectfully disagree- at least in regards to Malfoy. Later on in the series it's revealed why Malfoy is the way he is and you do gain some sympathy for him. I think in the earlier books the characters seem so one-dimensional because the characters themselves are children. When they get older the other characters become much more multifaceted.


Shanah Davis I agree with Tracy. I think she is a literary genius and wish I could write a perfect series of stories half as well as she did. my question is, "Will she ever write again?" I know, monetarily, at least, she never needs to....but then again, how can she top Harry Potter?


Leah lockhart is a minor charecter not a villian so he doesn't need a sympathy back story and for God sakes malfoy gets explained in the seventh book


Karen Malfoy couldn't show his true self to whom he thought were Crabbe and Goyle. He had to continue to act tough in order to keep them in linewith him. It's not until Harry observes Malfoy alone that we finally get a glimpse of who he really is.


Maddie All I'm going to say is that what makes Harry Potter a good saga is the fact that not every character and incident gets explained the second it is introduced.


Steph I must say that I found Gilderoy Lockhart annoying sometimes as well, but I usually compensated that for the fact that it was just in his very, very shallow character :)


message 10: by Lina (new) - rated it 1 star

Lina "Good villains should draw out some sort of sympathy in the reader, or reveal at some point their humanity. At the very least, you should be able to understand why they are the way they are, and that back story allows you to look at them from a different perspective."

Very well said!


Guillermo I agree with Maddie, most of the things, if not all of them, get explained later in the books. After all there are 7 books, theres no need to explain/show everything in one book.


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