Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Harry Potter

The final Harry Potter book (#7), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was unleashed to the public some 10 years after the first volume was published this summer. Since I had started the series, I felt compelled to finish it much like how I ended up seeing the third Matrix movie or Star Wars Episodes 1-3 (although I did think that Star Wars got better as it moved along). It's a quick read that took me about a day and half to finish and I was going to write about it earlier but didn't feel motivated to.

Reading this series (especially in the later volumes) is like watching an TV episode. J.K. Rowling describes the scenes like a screen play and fades them in-and-out like sitcom. I started expecting to read into a commercial. It reminded me of reading George Lucas' Star War novels (I'm a Star Wars fan btw) which didn't have much details or character development. The power of George Lucas wasn't his ability with prose as much as he was able to create a world in our minds that allowed us to fill in the magical details. Similarly with Harry Potter, the beauty of the series lies in the world that exists in our imagination and far from Rowling's writing style.

What really bothers me about reading Harry Potter is how Rowling uses so many pages to attempt to describe in excruciating detail Harry's emotional turmoil and troubles while regulating the supporting characters' trouble to a few simple lines even though they are suffering similar (if not more) then Harry. It always felt to me that Harry's friends sacrificed more for Harry then he did for them, but their troubles are trivialized in comparison to Harry's.

Harry Potter is worth a read because it is part of our pop culture, but don't expect too much especially in the later volumes. Even as the length of the books grew to extremely lengthy (wasn't there an editor?) it is a quick read so check it out and find out why kids are walking around with a lightning bolt drawn by markers on their foreheads.

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