Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bye, Bye, Potter

Once upon a time, not that long time ago (really), when I was a smaller, younger version of myself I devoured fairytale stories - and detective novels, stories about Olga da Polga the Curious Guinea pig (yes), books revolving around horses (which is really weird because I've never been a rider myself. Horses are beautiful but they smell) and other animals and...

Some of my favourite books were the Narnia chronology and later on of course The Lord of the Rings. Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" is one of my favourite reads (as a grown up) ever. I do like a bit of magic in my life as well as in my books, but I'm far from a great fan of the fantasy genre in general, mainly since I like literature that I can in different aspects relate to. Or if not that, so darn well and ingenuously written I get totally absorbed.

Fantasy literature just doesn't do much for me, and well, I somehow have a notion that too much of reading (only) literature like that stops you from dealing with the real world. Or perhaps that is just my fantasy playing tricks?

But I, like so many with me, couldn't help but being drawn to the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. Enjoyed the two-three first books, after that I was rather (over)full... Yes I can still definitely see the greatness and ingenuity in creating the characters, details and books, but seven of them - of which I can't tell one apart from another - is really stretching the perseverant patience of one Pia.

Frankly, IMHO they're not very well written. Granted it might have something to do with the translation - I share my books with non-English readers - perhaps they are brilliant pieces of fiction in English... But for some reason I doubt that. And even though they're (rather scary) children's books I did expect more of a snazzy lingua with all the haussing surrounding them. On the other hand, eloquent writing is perhaps not the foremost important thing in children's books?

To me the HP books are the children's books equivalent to (badly written) chick lit, rather full of cliches (genre or otherwise) and cheap jokes. Too many, less than well put, words to get to the finish line - and there are still six books to go. Kind of. I was adamant to finish the whole series though (of course) - and not only because they look great in my bookshelf and the Swedish cover paintings are lovely - but the last one took ages.

To be more exact, about one year. I have now finally finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and phew, I'm so glad to say goodbye for the very last time. Even if it was with quite an anticlimactic both lengthy and muddled ending - not to mention the silly epilogue of 19 years later, I found it to be a beyond words incredibly twerpy round off.

In one of the last pages of the last book I did however found a passage that I can very much relate to, and that was when Dumbledore said that the most suited for power are never the ones who have sought it, but the ones who suddenly have to take the lead and the mantle because they have to and find they do it well.

That is something that has always also been my impression of and opinion about people that wants to lead, the up-and-coming-bosses-to-be that gets all starry eyed in the prospect of being in power for its own sake. And no matter what they claim they most often do it to line their pockets at other people's expense. Hence they rarely if ever do it well. Especially since power corrupts.

So still, despite your flaws, it has been nice to have met you, Harry, you and your entourage of from time to too much time annoying traits.


Anonymous said...

I've never read any of the HP books, nor have I seen the movies. Haven't been able to get excited about it. ;-)


Cherie said...

I must say that I share your opinion of the Harry Potter books, and I'm an American reading them in English. I find them very creative, but not well written. I do think that they've been turned into some very enjoyable films. :)

Poppy Q said...

Hi Pia, I am so glad we got to share a nice birthday day !!! Mine is the 25th too!

I got to go to a couple of country towns with my friends, and although the weather was a bit iffy, with rain and wind we had lots to drink and eat, and lots of relaxing.

Sending you best birthday wishes for the year ahead.

Julie and Poppy Q

Webradio said...

Bye bye Harry...

Smile for You Pia...

Pia K said...

Webradio - thanks for stopping by and saying bye to Harry:)

Julie & Poppy Q - it's not often that that happen, the sharing of a birthday date, I use to get rather excited when I see people being Scorpios (not that into astrology, but...) or being born the same year even, or very close to 25/10, but this was pretty darn neat:) Sound like you had a very pleasurable birthday, best wishes for the year to come to you too!!

Cherie - I do agree that the movies have turned out rather well, although the annoying traits of Harry and his companions are still there, hmf, but I really enjoy the other actors as well as the terrific special effects and sceneries. I've even been to the "real" Hogwarths (Alnwick Castle), not that I realized that at the time though...:)

Paz - let's just say that you can relax about it, not a lot to get all that excited about, if you're not 12 years old...;) Although the movies are rather nice with all the special, magical effects. For a rainy day with some nice treats and a warm blanket.

Wendy said...

Congrats on finishing the HP books. I couldn't even get through the first one, I have to admit. Lots of my pupils read them though so I know what happened. :)

Kay said...

I would have to agree about the HP books... I put off reading them until one of the movie trailers looked semi-good andthen read them all in about two months.

Glad its over. Now I can move on to much better written things.

Your comparrison to chick lit is Spot On!


Pia K said...

Seems Like I should be quite proud of myself for finishing all seven of them then, Wendy, or perhaps I'm just slightly bonkers...;)

Glad you liked that comparison, Kay, suddenly it just struck me:)

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