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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > The Harry Potter Series - Yay or Nay?

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message 1: by Brittomart (last edited Nov 19, 2010 07:36AM) (new)

Brittomart Okay, so I read the first Harry Potter book around...2001? I was 10, I remember that. It was right before the first movie came out, and I think it was the release of the first movie that sparked interest in me.

And I was hooked, but you know, I was also 10. So I got like, two of the books that christmas, and then I read the fourth. Waited for the fifth. I got the 6th pretty soon after it was released, and I waited like, 6 months before I read the final book. AND BOY WAS THAT A FUCKING DISAPPOINTMENT. "Oh, I know how to end the series; I'll just kill a bunch of beloved characters and write a LAME ASS epilogue."

But no, I was not one of the college kids (and according to facebook and today's Daily Tar Heel, there were many) who went to the midnight premiere 'cause I just grew out of the Harry Potter. I mean, really? Reflecting back on the books, I really sped read (ooh, sped read....I like how that sounds. spead read, sped red, sped....where am I going? Oh yeah...) them, and I was reading just to see what happens, not literary merit. I remember it took FOREVER for me to get through the 5th book 'cause it would have these periods where tons of shit is happening, and then Harry is learning about potions or something. I DON'T GIVE A SHIT BRING ON THE FIGHT WHERE SIRIUS DIES. You know?

So do your kids read HP? Did you read HP? Are your kids going to read HP?

Oh, and I was in recitation this morning, and this one girl said in this thick Tennesseean accent, "I've gone through life without readin' any of the Harry Potter books, and I haven't seen any of the movies..." and she might as well have finished that off with "'cause my family are devoted, god-fearin' Christians, and they don't allow any of that blasphemy in their house." But I'm just stereotyping.

message 2: by Dr. Detroit (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6031 comments I've read the first four and they were...just alright. Kinda predictable. But for some strange reason, I still want to read the rest of the series.

message 3: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I stopped reading after I think the first three. The last couple were SO huge I was like, nah, I'll just read the summary on wikipedia. My wife and two oldest kids are hyped for the movie, though...they're going on Sunday at some special big screen. A lot of my students went last night at midnight, too.

message 4: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments i started reading harry potter after the fourth book was published and actually read book four before i started in book one. books six and seven i read on the day the were published. it's been a while since i've read any of the books, but i really enjoyed them when i did. i still haven't seen harry potter and the half-blood prince.

message 5: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 136 comments I started reading them when my little sister came home from school saying she needed the first book because they're supposed to be awesome. This mustve been 8 years ago. I read the book and she never did. I really enjoyed it and have read all the books. I've seen the first 4 movies and like them a lot. I actually just made my husband watch the first 3 with me. I want to catch up on the others before we take our niece to see the new one.

message 6: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherjoy) | 384 comments Well Brit Brit, I'm a Tennessean and I can assure you, the individual you spoke with is in the minority :). I could also speak on your comment about the series not appearing to have any literary merit, but I don't think it’s worth the argument.

In answer to your thread topic, I fell in love with the Harry Potter series when I was 13 and have adored them ever since. I went to every midnight release for all the books and the movies that provided midnight releases, including last nights 12:30 am showing in spite of the fact that I had to be at work by 8 am. So I give Harry and the lot a big YAY!

message 7: by Carol (new)

Carol | 1679 comments I say Yay! My daughter and I tried to read the first book together and we were both meh and didn't finish.
Then I saw the first movie and could put faces to names and muggles and whatnot. I read all the books that were out (3?), read each book and saw each movie within the first week of release. I went to one midnight showing which was fun. Library staff here book-clubbed the sixth and seventh books. So yeah, YAY.

message 8: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) I read the Potter books so I'd know what everyone at work was talking about. They were fun but if you've read more than a few fantasy books before them I don't think they bring anything new to the table.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Definitely yay for me. I love how they are set in our world, just around the corner, or through that pillar. I love the epic battle of good vs. evil, and I love how Harry isn't at all perfect but going through all the trials of being a teenager while saving the world at the same time.
They're awesome.

As for saying they bring nothing new, well, there isn't really anything truly new - every story has been told before. It's HOW it is told, how the characters are represented, that makes it worthwhile and fresh.

message 10: by Jammies (new)

Jammies I've enjoyed the books, but haven't seen any of the movies past the second one.

message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I have unabashedly loved the whole series. I don't think it's the greatest thing written, but I think it's excellent. Great characters, great character arcs, great world with fully realized settings. Good balance of humor and drama and action. Good use of the tropes of the genre.

I've seen all of the movies at midnight premieres or previews. I don't think any of them were outstanding, but as I said in the premiere thread, I love the excitement of that type of group gathering. Other showings will be full of casual fans, but I kind of like being among excited kids who cheer and boo and weep.

And I did go to the midnight screening last night - one of NINE (12:01, 12:02, 12:03 etc) plus two 3 am showings, all sold out.

Here is my non-spoilery review:
Dark, dark, dark movie, but with a couple of unexpected uplifting moments that I don't think came from the book.
Not enough Alan Rickman, but he rocks the hell out of his cape.
One sequence that is in the book was filmed in a way that completely took me by surprise, in a very good way. I think it worked far better than in the book.
Very abrupt ending that made half the audience boo, but I think I preferred it, since allowed this movie to breathe. Both of my favorite sequences would never have made it into the film if the whole book had been squeezed into one.

message 12: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments I'm going to see it tonight! I've been to all the book releases and I've seen every movie when they come out. I'm definitely a fan.

message 13: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments BunWat wrote: "I do love Alan Rickman."

Moi aussi.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Me, too!

message 15: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments OH! Me, too!!!

message 16: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments TAWNUB!!!! ♥

message 17: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments BunWat wrote: "::Grins::

Oh oh, I think Rhys Ifan is in the new one! I love Rhys Ifan too."

Oh! That's who that was! Zu whispered to me "he's always funny!" when he came on, and I said "who the hell is that?" but I didn't recognize him. Now that you say it, it makes sense.

message 18: by Jaimie (new)

Jaimie (jez476) | 664 comments Can we start a thread for people who have seen the movie and want to discuss it? Sarah, I want to know what the sequence you were talking about that took you by surprise. I agree with your synopses. Alan Rickman was totally rocking that cape. He seemed hotter to me in this movie. I've never thought he was hot before.

As for me, I started reading the books after I saw the first movie. I wasn't going to but I loved the movie and a lady I worked with (in her 50's) gushed about how good the series was and how they were not just kids/ya books. I read the first three in a row, copies I borrowed from her, and kept going. I started going to the midnight showings for the Half-Blood Prince. I've read books 3-6 twice. And I have all the movies on dvd.

I have to disagree that there is literary merit in these books. True, the story is, for the most part, nothing we haven't seen before. I watched a documentary on the Bible once in which they talked about God vs. the Devil/Jesus the Messiah is pretty much the origin of every good vs. evil, chosen one story. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, you name it... But the reason I say the books have literary merit is because the fans have become so heavily invested in this world. You can go up to any HP fan and ask them what house they'd be in and they'd adamantly know because they put thought into it (I'm Ravenclaw). And the way Rowling wrote it, I can watch a scene in the movie and know exactly who a background character is, even if the actor has no lines whatsoever. Sure, the series isn't going to ever be looked at as being great novels but when a series has such an impact on people it's worthwhile.

message 19: by Jaimie (new)

Jaimie (jez476) | 664 comments Sorry, Bun! They do have literary merit. I probably shouldn't talk about anything more complicated than "Me Jaimie! Me hungry!" when I'm so sleep deprived. :-)

message 20: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24355 comments Mod
I haven't read any of the books, have seen 2 or 3 of the movies. I don't really see any need to read the books at this point or watch further movies, but I may change my mind. I just don't feel that strongly about the franchise.

message 21: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments Nay.

Never picked up the books. Saw the first movie, then the second. During the second I really wanted to walk out, but my ride was staying.

message 22: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Jaimie, feel free to start a spoileriffic thread about the movie.

message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Ah, yes. So she did!

message 24: by Jammies (new)

Jammies Jaimie, just FYI, I am totally a Hufflepuff.

message 25: by Jaimie (new)

Jaimie (jez476) | 664 comments I sure did start that thread! By the way, I like exclamation marks!!!!!

Alright, Jammies! One of my best friends (the one I went to the movie with last night) is Hufflepuff too. :-)

message 26: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) I read the first three and listened to the last four. The narrator, Jim Dale, is FABULOUS! My daughter is one of those college kids that grew up on Harry and if she did not have a test this am she probably would have been at the premiere last night. I have enjoyed the movies and the books even though they are predictable.

message 27: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Nay.

message 28: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1107 comments Yay! The books are amazing! Like rollercoaster rides, only you don't scream and throw up after. But the movies suck.

message 29: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) Yay to the Harry Potter series. Yay to the movies. Yay to Alan Rickman.... and if I was a whole lot younger, or he was a whole lot older - Yay to Daniel Radcliffe.

message 30: by Knarik (new)

Knarik Larry wrote: "Nay."

Don't you like Harry Potter Larry????????????

message 31: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1107 comments BunWat wrote: "I like Jim Dale too, but In England the Harry Potter audio books are narrated by.... wait for it... Stephen Fry!!! Squeeeeeeeee!"

The British are lucky. I loved a Bit of Fry and Laurie!

message 32: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Not especially, Knarik.

message 33: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) Bun, I will be on a mission to find that version.
Rachel, they are soo funny!

message 34: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1107 comments I know right? I watch them on Youtube! Laurie is great as Dr House, but I hate watching him age like that, he used to be soo handsome!

message 35: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart "Tomato, tummytoe, tummytoe!"

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments I really enjoy Stephen Fry whenever he turns up. He was great as the inspector in Gosford Park, and I loved him as a psychologist on Bones.

He's got a real charm that is irrestistible. I think it's hilarious he turned up as one of the possible GR mascots, even though it made no sense at all. :)

message 37: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (bonfiggi) I didn't care about reading any Harry Potter books. Then on vacation, my 8 year old grandson kept asking me to read the first of the series to him. I cared pretty quickly, about weaseling out of it. i thought it was tiresome and repetitive, and he got sick of it quickly, thank God.

message 38: by Orion (new)

Orion | 34 comments I was luke warm on Harry Potter. I always intended to at least attempt the books, though. I had seen the first four movies, and when the fifth came out, I purposely avoided it like the plague. If I kept watching the movies, I'd never read the books.
Then I got with my girlfriend, who is a supreme fanatic. So naturally I finally picked up the first book. Loved it. Read the first six books in three weeks. The seventh was a litle eh for me, and I have a few issues with it, but as a whole the series is amazing.
I think people approach the series with a predisposition to hate it because it's so popular. But it is definitely justified in its popularity.
The world Rowling builds is just so amazingly thought out and nuanced and sucks you in like a warm dream on a summer night. For the most part, she is a master story teller and great architect of arching plotlines.

message 39: by Spellbound (new)

Spellbound (spellboundreads) | 117 comments I enjoyed the books a lot, all 7 of them in a crescendo. I didn't enjoy the movies as much, in fact I doubt I will see the last two.

message 40: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (heyashes) I read the first one a little bit after it came out in the states (I was about six or seven). I hated reading but my dad just wouldn't leave me alone about it so I eventually read it. It took me forever, but I absolutely loved it and have been hooked ever since. HP is what got me interested in reading as a kid and without it I don't think I would have the passion for books that I have now.
As far as the ending goes, I didn't really like it at first, but after I read it a couple more times it eventually clicked and now I think it's one of the most fantastically weaved endings to a series I have ever read. Didn't enjoy the epilogue quite as much though, but I no longer ignore its existence. xD

message 41: by William (new)

William Topek (william_topek) | 3 comments Definite yay. I had no interest in the series, though was very impressed that it was bringing young people back to books. I saw the first film, thought it was okay, then saw the fourth film years later and was very impressed. That got me to reading the books, and I think the books - individually and as a series - represent storytelling at its best.

message 42: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17346 comments Mod
Britt was 10 in 2001. I'm very old.

message 43: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) You?

message 44: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Sally wrote: "Britt was 10 in 2001. I'm very old."

Says the young pup!

message 45: by Heidi (last edited Nov 23, 2010 09:22AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Sally wrote: "Britt was 10 in 2001. I'm very old."


>: /

message 46: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) So I'm reading Shooting Star by Robert Bloch. Did anyone else not know muggle was another word for joint in the 50's?

message 47: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I did not know that.

message 48: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) Sarah Pi wrote: "I did not know that."

Yeah, I was sure surprised. I had to re-read the paragraph that talked about smoking muggles twice to make sure I wasn't hallucinating.

message 49: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Maybe you had a non contact high from reading it.

message 50: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) In a 50's potboiler written by the guy that wrote Psycho, anything's possible.

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