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Finis (Harry Potter, no spoilers)

Well, I've finished The Book. I have to say that once it got going (which didn't happen for me until about 250 pages in) I couldn't put it down. Ultimately, it was satisfying. I also have to say, though, that I thought this one was probably the second worst of the series (after #5) and my opinion that JK Rowling is one of the worst writers ever is pretty much confirmed. She has at least given up SHOUTING (mostly, not entirely), but there is so much that is fundamentally bad about this book, and all her books, that I could get very grumpy.

I'm also thinking about the whole phenomenon of Book As Blockbuster. I thought on Saturday that I doubt we'll ever see anything like this again; now, I'm thinking that I wouldn't mind betting you that we WILL see its like again. The media industry won't be able to resist it. And yes, I know that the initial success and popularity of HP came entirely through word of mouth and all those library copies of the first printing in the UK, which I think is wonderful. But the success of the 5th, 6th and 7th? I need to think about this and post something more coherent later.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
anghara
Jul. 26th, 2007 04:53 pm (UTC)
But the success of the 5th, 6th and 7th? I need to think about this

One word.

Hollywood.

intertext
Jul. 26th, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
I think that's part of it, certainly, but I'm not sure that's the only thing. Hollywood helped, but ... for example, the novelizations or extra-to-canon books about Star Wars never took off in the way that HP has, so it's not just a question of appealing to a built-in fan base.
sartorias
Jul. 26th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
It's so difficult to look at past phenoms and see just when reader investment trips over into generating because of its own power. I wonder if book seven could have been Voldemort meets Harry on the Quidditch field and not just kids but smart adults would have attributed all kinds of brilliant symbolism to sometimes clever, sometimes funny, but mostly banal text.

I also wonder in ten or twenty years if these books will have the Trilby effect: someone reads it wondering what the HELL anyone saw in it?
intertext
Jul. 26th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
I think in ten or twenty years, they'll still be popular with children in the same way that Enid Blyton or the Babysitter's Club books are. But there won't be the huge "Thing" that there is now.

And I think Harry meets Voldemort on the Quidditch field might have been more dramatic than what we got :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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