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Topic: Is the Harry Potter books that good

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Date Posted: 7/29/2007 2:07 AM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2007
Posts: 5
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I work at a bookstore, and was working the night of the release for #7. It was a madhouse! We had over 1500 people there, 1000 inside, and the rest waiting outside in a line or just milling in the parking lot. It took us an hour and a half to ring everybody's Harry Potter up. It was awesome though. The anticipation was amazing, and so were the people. Most of the staff dressed up (we even had one as a dementor!) and it just added to the fun.

As for the hype, ANY hype about a book and that gets people starting to read is worth it. There are far too few people who like to read or even can read. I've known kids who absolutely refused to read before they picked up a Harry Potter. Now that want all those and anything like that they can get their hands on.

As for the story, if you don't like fantasy/magic/wizards/weirdness, then you won't like the story no matter how well it's written. I gotta agree with the others, always check out a new book from the library before buying. Why waste your money if you don't know you'll like it?

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 4
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Some points about the Harry Potter books that might help you make up your mind further:

The series changes and gets more advanced, complex and darker.  It can be read on two levels, as a simple school tale with adventure and excitement (rather like the movies) or with more attention to details, and with an adult's comprehension, it becomes a different story.   Give the first one a try, but know it evolves into something different from the early books as you go along.  The last book, for example (and I don't think this is a spoiler) racks up something like 18 deaths of characters known from the previous books.    Loved characters die, especially in the later books.  It is not really a children's series, although markeked that way.  There are some interesting moral complexities and some (possibly)  unintended subtext that is absolutely horrifying if you think about it too long. 

The themes of child abuse, prejudice, sports, the role and responsibilities of government, unintended consequences of careless acts, what is evil, and if evil can be redeamed with good works, have under them some unsettling messages.    Good people are destroyed,  evil sometimes wins,  child abusers get away with it.  Yet, because they are  'children's books,'  characters  don't always change/learn/advance as you would expect in an adult book.   This can be frustrating.

The books are part of popular culture, and have spawned some amazing side-effects (anyone here listen to wizard rock?  There are 200 bands playing music about Harry Potter!  Mostly kids, mind you, but some of it is excellent stuff!) and I think everyone should give them a try, even if they don't continue to the end.  Rowling is not an outstanding writer, but she is a good storyteller, if you see what I mean.

 

Caroline

Date Posted: 8/2/2007 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 922
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I definitely agree that you should give them a try...and I think that it's one of those series that you either love or hate. I don't think I've ever met anybody who said, "Eh...they were okay."

Date Posted: 8/6/2007 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2005
Posts: 88
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I absolutely refused to read them when I first heard about them.  I could not believe the hype and did not want to fall for it.  I then spoke to a friend whose taste in books I really respect who was reading them and raving about them. I bought the first 3 at once and have never looked back. I am so upset this is the last but boy is it good!!!!

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