Friday, November 06, 2009

Reader's Diary #541- J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

A few months ago I reread Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, stating at the time that while I wasn't a huge Potter fan, I enjoyed it much more reading it to my daughter.

Rereading the 2nd in the series, I'm even less of a Potter fan. Still, I continue to enjoy reading the books to my daughter.

Personally, I think Rowling tries to cram too much in. Did we need floo powder? Why are kids still traveling on Hogwarts Express, when there's floo powder?

And I know this is fantasy, so I accept witches and ghosts and the ability to talk to snakes. But I still find Harry and his friends' tendency to be in either the right place at the right time, or the wrong place at the wrong time, to be stretched too far. I realize it's Harry's book and all, but are the rest of the Hogwarts students such dull little creatures that they never sneak out at night?

Fortunately my daughter seems to have gotten attached to the characters so her enthusiasm hasn't waned. It's enough to convince me to reread the third with her.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I would imagine that floo powder can't be used when you are bringing all your suitcases with you for the school year, hence the need for the train.

AS you can tell, I buy in to Rowlings stories, because I quite enjoy the way she creates an entire world, complete with all those little details.

John Mutford said...

Barbara: I read in a forum somewhere last night the same rationale. The problem is that the readers are left to guess. It's the little details she doesn't supply. I suspect it's not to bring the reader in as much as it's because Rowling simply didn't think of it.

Remi said...

I liked the Potter books in the same way I once liked a bag of jelly beans. They tasted good going down but were soon forgotten.

When I moved from my old apartment, I gave the set away to a random little girl who was in the lobby with her grandmother. I really haven't missed them since.

Wanda said...

I've read all the books but only seen the first three movies, so far, the books are better.

nadinebc said...

She does cram a lot in there, but I have to say I still enjoyed the series. It got so many kids reading again. I cannot wait until my little guy is old enough to start reading them.

John Mutford said...

Remi: I'm not a fan of jelly beans either.

Wanda: I don't mind the movies, but they're probably on par with one another for me.

Nadine: Oh I certainly respect the sheer number of kids who got excited about reading because of the books (even if half of that was marketing). I also think she turned kids on to the chunksters, once the fourth book rolled out. I can't stand reading books beyond five hundred plus pages and I see kids reading gigantic doorstops of books all the time.