Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Not Wild About Harry

I just finished reading the most recent Harry Potter book. I so want to be part of the Harry Potter excitment and love these books, but I've found the best of them just okay and this one...sigh. It dragged so, hundreds of pages of the same repetitious stuff in the middle. (To paraphrase Buffy, "We get it. She's evil.") A teacher was physically abusing Harry, which neither he nor any of his friends reported. I found that disturbing on a number of levels, and while it's good for a reader to be disturbed I don't know that the author ever really got, herself, that it was disturbing. I don't know if she meant it to be as disturbing as it was.

And that stuff that came out in the press before the book was published about a character being killed? Over and over again characters are nearly killed off in this book so the reader is going "Is this the one? Is this the one?" Towards the end the possible bodies are literally just piling right up. Is this one dead? Is this one dead? It really seemed like a cheap trick. Though the character who finally got it was one of my favorites, I no longer cared by the time the deed was finally done. I'd been toyed with too often.

In the last chapter there were very basic editing errors, too. The whole book needed a really tough editor.

Harry is a very problematic character, which is fine, but I don't think the writing over the course of the series has been sophisticated enough to handle him.

On the other hand, I still think the Harry phenomena has been great for children's publishing.

Now I have to return the book to a woman whose whole family loved it.

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