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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, March 4

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kelly / July 17, 2007 11:07 AM

Harry kills Hermione.

There. Save your money.

Kevin / July 17, 2007 11:32 AM

Ignoring it completely...

Nicole / July 17, 2007 11:33 AM

I'm a big HP fan, I'll be seeing the movie on Friday night and picking up my pre-ordered book on Friday. I did do one of those Midnight release parties for the 5th book, but not this year. Expect me to be on lockdown next week as I make my way through the book! I'm not sure I can handle the emotions of finishing it.

Nicole / July 17, 2007 11:34 AM

I meant picking up the book on Saturday of course.

Dee / July 17, 2007 11:39 AM

My thoughts are here. I saw Order of the Phoenix on Friday and thought it was the best HP movie of the lot.

Scans of the first several hundred pages of Deathly Hallows are already online, or were last night. There's also an LJ community dedicated specifically to spoilers. Good luck to those trying to avoid any leaks!

Jill / July 17, 2007 11:41 AM

Maybe I'll have finished book 5 by the time 7 comes out.

Still, I'll buy it right away so it can sit on my bookshelf for a while, mocking me with it's fantastic creativity bound up in a super-big book that's too big to carry on the bus for my normal reading time.

Carrie / July 17, 2007 12:06 PM

Oh I love the HP… although I haven’t pre-ordered the book. I never thought I’d like it, but I needed a small book for vacation and I’ve been hooked since. And let me tell you, if anyone gives away the ending before I’m done reading it, I’m going to be sad (not specific to GB… just in general). I don’t do much to celebrate new books/movies; although for the first movie I was working in a coffee shop and had glasses. So, I found a cape, drew a lightening bold on my head and was “Carrie Potter”. HA!

Allan / July 17, 2007 12:07 PM

Well I was not hip enough to leave any comment about Pitchfork seeing as how I didn't go and did not really know anything about it or any of the bands that played. Here, once again I am out of my league since I have never so much as picked up a Harry Potter book. I think I saw one of the movies though, but I couldn't tell you which one. When I hear people talking about Harry Potter they sound like morons, saying things like dumbledoor and perjiggity poof, magic spell this and wizard that. I never know what the hell they are saying.

missmolly / July 17, 2007 12:20 PM

i am counting down the seconds until 12:01 saturday morning. i plan on reading and digesting the whole book in one day! and hopefully we will get some good spots at the B&N on webster...perhaps with beers and pizza at pequods before hand!

no spoilers for me! i have avoided everything so far!

Steve / July 17, 2007 12:44 PM

Never read a word of any of them or watched more than two minutes of any of the flikcs while channel surfing. I suspect that I never will. No big whoop.

skafiend / July 17, 2007 12:49 PM

Well, I am trying to plan out my overnight sleep in front of the local bookstore. There's also a costume contest in the morning and I'm just about finished with the cape. I was going to do a hat but it seemed a bit too much. But we plan on being at leat the 10th or so people in line. After we make your purchase, we're going to hold an impromptu reading on the sidewalk in front ofte book store, each taking a turn reading a chapter. We''ve got a few Harry Potter-theamed treats we've made which should tide us over until the doors open and one of us has put together a trivia game to help pass the time and...

Aw, who am I kidding? I ain't doing this shit. I don't read the books and only saw the movies becuase they were on television and there as nothing else on. While I don't begrudge anyone their fandom of this, it seems a little silly to me. Tell you want, I'll drink a beer in their honor, how's that?

Nuke LaLoosh / July 17, 2007 1:06 PM

The books are imperfect -- I agree that a tight edit would go a long way, that JK uses WAY too many adverbs (he said, sqeamishly), and that the early books were marked by childish sillyness. Though to be fair, they are thought of as chidren's books and have grown in maturity.

That said, I really enjoy the books and greatly enjoyed Cuaron's direction of the third installment, Prisoner of Azkaban (sp)?

I love them because I find Rowling's magical world to be richly imagined and find many of her characters to be endearing and terribly, interestingly flawed.

The whole Weasley clan, especially Arthur, the familys patriarch, are wonderful -- I find his fascination with the non-magical way of doing things and sense of duty to be wonderful; I love the tortured humanism of the half-inhuman Remus Lupin; and I continue to be intrigued by the conflicted history and double-dealing present of Severus Snape. The wise and powerful Dumbledore, of course, has repeatedly missed the forest for the trees throughout the series. I also like how he always insisted on being polite and having a drink with whomever he met.

Harry himself has been a bit of a repetiteive bore, in my opinion, but I find the depth of the world he inhabits, including the political parallels to this Muggle world, to be endlessly fascinating.

I'll be at the BOOK CELLAR on the 4700 bloock of North Lincoln. BUY LOCAL -- if you can, that is.

John / July 17, 2007 1:24 PM

I'm really looking forward to it! My favorite past was in the second book, towards the end of the third age, when Gandalf led the fellowship through the mines of Moria and had to fight the Balrog of Morgoth on the great bridge of Khazad-dûm.

That was some good stuff. I thought Frodo and company were totally screwed there but somehow they made it through the east gate and found the elves of Lothlórien! Whew!

Brandy / July 17, 2007 2:00 PM

Not into HP at all. But I do empathize with those who are avoiding spoilers. After Friday, that'll be SO hard to avoid.

K. / July 17, 2007 2:09 PM

I'm gonna read it. Then I'm going to call up my HP reading friends and bitch about it. It's gonna be awesome.

Judy / July 17, 2007 2:13 PM

I grew up reading L.Frank Baum's "Wonderful World of Oz" books - they were all hardbound and handed down to me from my mom.

The excitement around the Harry Potter books makes me remember many lazy Sundays spent lying on the couch, reading Oz books until it was too dark to see the words on the page any longer.

I haven't read any of the HP books, and I don't know if I will. But I'm glad that they exist for a new generation of youngun's to enjoy. (and older folks....)

I hope that the kids are reading the books, and not just watching the movies.

17 1/2 / July 17, 2007 2:27 PM

I used to love reading Harry Potter books, the rich imagry, the characters, and the way the plot weaves thru JKR's fantasyland. But then I started to grow hair on my balls...

Sarah / July 17, 2007 2:29 PM

I'm a big fan of the Harry Potter series. I'm not the sort of die hard fan that dresses up in costume, makes money knitting Hogwarts school scarves, goes to Harry Potter themed academic conferences, or even someone who wants to discuss the differences between the fifth book and the fifth movie at great length.

I'm just someone who has gotten sucked in to the story and who thinks it's cool that it's something that so many people of all ages and cultures have gotten excited about.

I take immense pleasure in reading the books and watching the movies. Both have held up to repeat readings / viewings.

I went to a sold-out screening of the Order of the Phoenix last Wednesday with a few of my friends. I'll probably see it at least once more in the theaters, hopefully on IMAX.

I've been rereading in anticipation of the final book coming out. I was sitting in a Giordano's last weekend with a copy of the Order of the Phoenix. I had left the dusk jacket at home, but my waitress was able to ID the book -- is that number 5, she asked? It's fun to see other people on the subway with their battered copies.

My boyfriend works at a b0okstore at the airport. He was talking this past weekend with one of his co-workers about how exciting and busy they expect it to be this Saturday.

I preordered my book from Women and Children first in April, even though it meant that I got less of a discount than if I had pre-ordered from Amazon or Borders. I'm glad to support WCF and also had a great time when the last book came out at their pre-release party. I'll be going again this year with a few of my friends, one of whom is the reigning WCF Harry Potter trivia champion.

I told my boyfriend that he should not plan on hanging out with me this Saturday. What happens if you don't finish? he said. Won't you at least call me with updates? Sorry babe. It's just me and Harry this weekend.

Spook / July 17, 2007 2:33 PM

I’m not sure what the book is about, other than it’s supposed to be for kids?
This-honestly- leads me to view this popular cultural occurrence as yet just another sign of an increasingly dumber dumbed down American populace who wears their collective stupidity like a proud scarlet "S" tattoed on their foreheads.

Signifying that if “we” have to read, as a collective we will not only gravitate to the most childish offerings, but we will celebrate it with pride and hyper enthusiasm

Sol / July 17, 2007 2:52 PM

Yeah whatevs - I'm speed-reading/skimming this one just like I did the last one, throwing it down in disgust and then maybe rereading it slower this time when I'm in Italy for vacation. If Harry doesn't die I'm throwing this sucker in the pool.

Hal. / July 17, 2007 3:22 PM

For the first time ever, I'll be buying a Harry Potter book. Not only that, I've pre-ordered it. I didn't read any until #4 was out and just borrowed friends' copies. I was probably going to do the same this time around, but saw a sign for pre-ordering at Women & Children First. Wanting to throw more business their way, I signed up that day. I'll probably wander by on Saturday to pick it up and maybe read it over the weekend.

Nuke LaLoosh / July 17, 2007 3:23 PM

Spook -- I mean this respectfully -- lighten up, please.

Don't confuse the idiocy of the hype machine (I agree, it's way overblown) with the honest anticipation of the vast majority of adult HP readers who, in my experience tend to be thoughtful people who love to read.

I don't know the profile of the kids who are reading them, but most adult HP readers read lots of other stuff.

If it makes you feel any better, even though I'm going to read HP this weekend, the other books I've read recently include "Middlesex," "Arc of Justice," "Picture of Dorian Gray," "Boss," "The Trial," and "Lolita." I read poetry. I just got a copy of "Sin in the Second City," and really enjoyed "Crossing California." This weekend, I saw the new HP movie, but I also watched Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon."

I'm not making any claims of great literary taste or intellectual superiority -- far from it. I have met many adults who are fans of HP, I know that I am a long way from being the best-read or smartest among them.

None of the HP readers I know ever said that anyone "has" to read the books. Lots of folks don't like them and won't read them; that is fine.

But don't accuse those who like the books of being "dumb."

Spook / July 17, 2007 4:38 PM

Nukie La L:
I appreciate the spirit in which you write.

But my personal observation is not on a micro level, but on a deep macro level. With that said, do you think it’s not, appropriate, to point to what seems to be an intellectual ice age that cometh, especially in these times?
And If you wanna talk about books, do you think it’s relevant to mention what’s going on in popular culture i.e. America’s love for Harry Potter, keeping in mind folks like Richard Hofstadter who wrote that classic book "American Anti intellectualism"? Is it o.k. to raise these questions publicly side by side? And what does it mean to be told to "lighten up"? To me that means to dumb down and go back to sleep.

kate / July 17, 2007 4:45 PM

Don't care, don't care, don't care.

But damn, nakey-nakey Harry Potter has a nice body.

Greg / July 17, 2007 4:48 PM

I will celebrate by combing the Fuel archives and charting which anti-Potter posters were big with the "IF U DONT WATCH DA BAREZ IN SUPER BOWL UR BIG LOOZR LMAO!!11" comments. Then I will chart the converse position.

I party todabreakadawn, it's true.

Spook / July 17, 2007 5:05 PM

Spook -- good points/good post. Pardon me if I seemed to bristle.

I agree with you that America has been on an anti-intellectual/pro-irrational bent for several years and looks, unfortunately, like we might are continuing on that path.

I don't want you to go to sleep or dumb down; sorry if that is what came across in my post. I guess I used a blunt instrument when I said "lighten up;" I should have used a scalpel.

What I meant that you shouldn't condemn all HP readers and that is unfair (and, by using the phrase "lighten up," I meant "humourless") to conclude that an interest in HP means an embracing of anti-intellectualism.

That said, I think you make a very good point. In light of the mass-culture hype surrounding the HP books and films, it is, in hindsight, an appropriate time to say that way too many Americas -- what is the word; fear? reject? are apathetic or indifferent towards? -- art, culture, science, and reason, especially if it seems difficult to grasp or inconsistent with their own belief system.

(By the way, for an interesting read on this trend, as well as a way to prepare an articulate response to irrational people, I suggest any of Michael Shermer's books, including "Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time," and "Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design.")

Spook, I know you are a smart cookie and should have recognized that you were raising a valid, broad point.

I didn't mean to squelch the discussion quite so hard. I merely spoke up because I thought you were accusing the wrong group of people (HP readers) of embracing anti-intellectualism.

Nuke LaLoosh / July 17, 2007 5:06 PM

oops -- that "name" in the last post should say "Nuke LaLoosh."

So much for any claim I might have had to being an intellectual.

Nuke LaLoosh / July 17, 2007 5:06 PM

oops -- that "name" in the last post should say "Nuke LaLoosh."

So much for any claim I might have had to being an intellectual.

Vicky / July 17, 2007 5:15 PM

Thanks Nukie LaL:

You expressed my sentiments exactly. While I agree with Spook that there has been a general dumbing down of American culture, I would not characterize the Harry Potter phenomenon as part of that idiocy. I find it refreshing that this level of hype exists about a book.

I also know many highly educated adults who revel in the Harry Potter series. I also know several children who have discovered how wonderful reading can be through the Harry Potter books. I suppose I find it hard to believe that this is an indicator of the stupidity of Americans (and of course, the British, German, French, Turkish, Indian counterparts lining up in their respective cities.)

With all due respect, Spook, I think you ought to read the books before disparaging them as "childish".

Leelah / July 17, 2007 6:02 PM

I read the first book. I thought that it was a well-written book for kids, BUT I remember thinking that Roald Dahl had done it better.

As a teacher, I'm happy with the books because students really do read them.

As for dumbing down of American culture... since when? The 70s? (Three's Company, anyone?) The 80s? (hair metal?) The 90s (boy bands?) I think America has had a fairly consistent level of dumbness in the past few decades... and I certainly wouldn't consider Harry Potter or any other book mania dumb. Except the Kite Runner.

Now everybody go read "What is the What"!

Appleby / July 17, 2007 7:42 PM

My question is why adults are so enamored of HP. If you want to read a novel full of magic and fantasy, you could find books by John Banville, Ishmael Reed, Charles Johnson, José Saramago, Amos Tutuola, Wole Soyinka, Jonathan Lethem, Gabriel Garcia Marquex, or any number of others (though many Latin American writers do jump to mind first). Why do many adult readers prefer instead a story whose rewards are so meager? Why do people who are sure that they are interested in the wider world (and in other cultures) shun that wider world when they choose which novel to read next?

printdude / July 17, 2007 8:40 PM

I love the series. I've already seen the movie and thought it was great, and will have to wait until my wife is done reading the book before I get my grubby mitts on it.
It may geared for kids, but then so are the roller coasters I love to ride and the baseball games I love to attend.
It's gotta beat the snot outta Bad Boys III or Transformers, I tell you what!

skafiend / July 17, 2007 9:56 PM

I second the motion by Appleby. If you're an adult and are reading Harry Potter because of the "fantasy" and "magic", take a step up and read "My Life In the Bush of Ghosts" by Tutuola. Because of certain parts of it, it is not recommended for kids. But it is the most mindbending fantasy book I've read. I'm still not sure what I read but I loved every minute of it.

Or you can read about Dumbledore and Quiddich (or whatever it is) once again. Whatever rocks your world...

Olive / July 17, 2007 10:32 PM


I totally thought the same thing when I attempted to read the first HP book - that it seemed like a poor derivative of Roald Dahl. Needless to say, I didn't finish it.

But, I think it's neat that so many adults and young kids are reading it and it's sort of this big "One Book Series, One Nation" kind of phenomenon that no one really planned. I think the fact that so many people from all ages, all backgrounds are sort of bonding through a series of books is a cool thing.

So, yeah, I sort of feel like I am missing out - never read the books or seen the movies, except for a few minutes on TV. I don't have an interest in fantasy...etc. The last bit of fantasy I got into was C.S. Lewis' Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe series - that was in jr. high.

lori / July 17, 2007 11:04 PM

well, reporting from the kid front, HP mania is building to a crescendo- Friday two of the kids will go to Oak Park for the festivities, as we have done for the past several years, as they turn Oak Park and Lake into Diagon alley. ( Not to brag, but a couple of years ago, we were the winners of the muggle artifact competition, winning hands down with our rusty bee smoker.)

I think this series will go on to be loved by future generations, and it's been cool to have kids while JKR has been putting them out. Having the movies come out along with them is cool too, as the characters are even more real to the kids, as the HP movie kids are growing up at the same time.... we feel pretty connected to them.

to all of the cranky grown ups, just think, if you were a kid, you'd be all over this too. I'm glad there are tons of adults reading along with the kids... there aren't too many things out there that everyone can share and be happy about.

Sarah / July 18, 2007 9:40 AM

If I were to pick something that was responsible for the "dumbing down of America" I would probably look at points in our history in which our agency as citizens and as individuals has been compromised or eroded rather than point fingers at a series of 800+ page fantasy novels.

Adults like myself who are fans of the series really just like the story. It's really no different from someone who tunes in every week to watch Lost or Heroes or another show.

rofimike / July 18, 2007 10:12 AM

Well, what everyone should do is wait til all the kids are gone or asleep, download Wizard People, Dear Reader and load up a Harry Potter Movie 1 dvd.

"I am a beautiful animal. I am a destroyer of worlds. I am Harry fucking Potter."

Lines like that one certainly made me appreciate the childish beginnings of the series quite a bit more.

Carrie / July 18, 2007 10:51 AM

Ditto, Sarah! I preordered from WCF (happy to pay a few extra bucks to support them) and am looking forward to dropping in on their pre-midnight festivities Friday...and maybe take book 7 over to Hopleaf after for $5 off a pint of Delirium! Woo hoo!

I wouldn't call myself an obsessive fan, but I've very much enjoyed all of the books, and rereading books 1-4 is part of what kept me sane in Peace Corps. As an editor, I'm well aware that the more recent books have some flaws (J.K., turn off the CAPS lock before it's too late!), but they haven't hindered me enough to keep me from enjoying the richy-imagined world that they portray. I'm not in the least embarrassed to be an adult fan who will be hanging out with kids in costumes, waiting for midnight. After all, this is my last chance to be involved in this amazing, and, in my opinion, deserving, phenomenon.

Carrie / July 18, 2007 10:56 AM

Also, I'd like to point out as an editor that the last comma in my post shouldn't be there. Oops. Andrew, when do we get an edit button??

Josh / July 18, 2007 10:56 AM

Harry Potter is very popular in my house, but I myself am not a fan...and I only enjoyed the 3rd and 5th films because Gary Oldman was in them. He always does greasy very well.

I think it's wonderful that this phenomenon happened. People who read fantasy books are less apt to fake outrage after reading "news" articles about the president's sex life.

Ol' Blue Eyes once sang - "Some people get their kicks stompin' on a dream." That sounds like Spook to me. These are just fantasy stories that stir the imagination for many and I don't categorize them on the same level as Danielle Steele.

To all you Trekkies, Star Wars freaks, Potter fans, Elvis lovers, et al - HATS OFF TO ALL OF YOU for finding something that you enjoy and ignoring the scenery because you're so caught up in what you love.

taJ / July 18, 2007 11:20 AM

i'm a fan. but not a hard core one. i got into the reading the series later than all the hype started. i really enjoyed the first books when the whole magic world was being set up. i was a sceptic at first: "what's all the fuss about?" but then my friend in germany, whose intelligence and lit choices i trust, recommended it...after that i was hooked. it was great to feel like a kid again and totally get lost in the magic world...

Jill / July 18, 2007 11:36 AM


You hit the nail on the head with "it was great to feel like a kid again and totally get lost in the magic world..." That's exactly why I do like HP--it's a great, fun escape from the dreariness of my desk job.

Carrie (not editor Carrie) / July 18, 2007 12:23 PM

As much as I love the HP, i was suprised that I enjoyed the first book. Like I said earlier, I needed a book for vacation, decided to see what the hype was about, grabbed book 1 and was hooked. I'm not much of a fantasy book kind of person, but it's been nice to venture outside of my normal readings.
As for it dumbing down America, I think there are plenty of other things accomplishing that, not a book series that many, many people enjoy. It's a nice escape from what's going on in the world and who doesn't like to escape sometimes? Just sayin'.

jen / July 18, 2007 3:35 PM


Spook / July 18, 2007 4:01 PM

In my humble opinion, I consider it either anti- intellectual or equally alarming tepid liberalism, for you to offer major points of American history in which our “agency as citizens has been compromised/ eroded", as a reason for "dumbing down of America" yet turn a blind eye on what the average citizen was /is doing during said time.
As if this is a glossy Time Magazine article as opposed to hopefully a search for deeper meaning brought to us by Gapers Block :-)

Dunkeys go before the cart! Or as our first Blues President, Lincoln said “citizens get the type of government they deserve”.

This is why I keep going back to that Blues brother Henry James- who termed America as a "Hotel Society". Do You/we have the courage to ask not just what George Bush is doing, but recognize that what He is doing or not, connects directly to what Americans are not or are doing? Like that other Blues Brother Marvin Gay said “what’s going on?”

Who has the courage -at the risk of being judged 'unpopular”- to examine what We as a country place a cultural premium on? Our “road marks”, "icons", "indicators", "land marks", the "tea leaves", etc, like reality TV, the Red Eye paper, increased sports culture, hyper consumerism,,etc, and perhaps Harry Potter?
"They" don’t exist in a vacuum, isolated. What are they taking the place of? What are they crowding out/ perhaps other conversations?

I make no bones about being an unapologetic noncomformist, cultural flame thrower for freedom and democracy, so when I get to “take off the mask”, I expect my comments/critiques to get rises as well as get ignored at times.

But, I consider it significant when the calm and leveled headed "Appleby" offers a cogent socratic critique on this and is backed by the equally leveled "Skafiend" and they get ignored!

Don't address me, address Applby!

And yes Vicky, British, German, French, Turkish, Indian counterparts are engaged in this, but what does it means to toss this out with no analysis of who our President is, what is the state of our education is, as opposed to what’s going on in the other countries. I look at this as another sign of anti intellectualism in the form of that deep American denial of what’s really going on.

But I will pick up and read a few chapters of the 1st Potter( perhaps I'm wrong) and we will see, (said the blind man) because in reality, Nuke LaLoosh, I am no sharp cookie; I wish! But just some one who presses myself to tell the truth about myself, my community and world, no matter the fear it might render. I also read a lot,-even stuff I don’t want too.

I say the mind is like the body it decays right out the gate. So it’s highly logical to exercise both regularly and vigorously,even when we don’t feel like it, to get the best use before the real decline. Of course now I feel like a beer, but I will wait till tomorrow. :-)

michele / July 18, 2007 4:29 PM

I'm reading HP this weekend and I'll apologize to no one for it. I'll read what I like and ignore the haters. Maybe a little less judgment and little more "hey, you read what you want and I'll read what I want and we're cool" might go a little ways in making this a nicer place to post. The ranting gets old.

Nuke LaLoosh / July 18, 2007 5:10 PM

Spook -- always a pleasure to read your posts. This is no exception.

Let me say one other thing as a moderate (backwards?) defense of the HP series -- some of the things I like most in the series are not in the first book -- at least not in abundance.

Books #5 and #6, however, are much more telling. Book 5 finds the protagonist and his pals lined up a government, media, and school system that ignores the fact that a protofacist, racist cabal is organizing and gaining power right under their nose until it is almost too late to do anything about it.

In an even more depressing turn of events, book 6 finds that government headed by a new wartime leader who whips up hysteria and manipulates the media into promoting stories of the purported "progress" in the war against these racist evildoers when almost no real progress is being made.

This cultural/political background, filled out in the foreground with a number of pretty compelling secondary characters and some nifty plotting, is, why I'm so interested in the books.

The HP books can be read as sheer entertainment, but I can say from personal experience that my reading of the books has already fomented considerable discussion about individual responsibility to stand up to ineffectual government and a go-along/get-along media that helps enable the government to hoodwink the people.

It seems like a good time in our history for those serious topics to be raised

The fact that these issues are raised in a globally-popular series of books aimed primarily at kids is alright by me -- it might even "normalize" the idea that is good to question the G and the media -- get the kids to be skeptical, right from an early age.

Nuke LaLoosh / July 18, 2007 5:13 PM

Please pardon my typos. Sorry. Any chance for an edit button soon?

Mikey / July 18, 2007 11:14 PM

I'm an unapologetic HP fan too (one who went from formerly looking oddly upon adults reading the "children's" books on the 'L', to naming his fantasy football team the Death Eaters)...

I enjoyed the first couple of movies so much (admittedly, while stoned), that I finally decided to crack the first book a year and a half ago and see if I would find it as enjoyable...

Within the following four months, I had read the other five. I think Rowling possesses a fantastic imagination and a knack for creative story-telling, as well as an extensive enough vocabulary that while she may write for children/young adults, I certainly didn't feel like I was reading anything "dumbed down." It is my sincere hope that this series will be read and re-read by future generations to come and eventually find its place amongst the more established classics (i.e. The Chronicles of Narnia, LOTR, etc.)...

I won't be lining up this weekend to buy the last book or anything, but do hope to get my hands on a copy soon enough before I unwittingly stumble upon any spoilers...

Appleby / July 19, 2007 10:24 AM

William Gibson's latest novel is also set in a world in which nefarious organizations silently gain power and convince the citizens to be afraid of nearly everything. People are paranoid, but perhaps with good reason, since they really are being spied on. Of course, Gibson chose to call the troubled, murky place where he sets his novel "the U.S." rather than Muggle World. And what's the title of Gibson's book? Why it's "Spook Country", of all things.

Spook / July 19, 2007 10:35 AM

Damn yo! What bold thoughtfull dialogue and critique! A Spook don't believe in "God talk", but stuff like this could make a Baptist Minister like Harvard’s Cornel West become, a Jesuit Episcopalian !

If I were to offer up summary of the highest aspirations of this post on both sides it would be

Appleby's "question to adults
..........If you want to read a novel full of magic and fantasy, you could find books by John Banville, Ishmael Reed, and Charles Johnson (one of A Spook’s Favs!),.....Gabriel Garcia Marquex. Why do many adult readers prefer instead a story whose rewards are so meager? Why do people who are sure that they are interested in the wider world (and in other cultures) shun that wider world when they choose which novel to read next?”

Then add Nuke LaLoosh's
"HP books can be read as sheer entertainment, but I can say from personal experience that my reading of the books has already fomented considerable discussion about individual responsibility to stand up to ineffectual government and a go-along/get-along media that helps enable the government to hoodwink the people."

But as the Bomb Thrower, I must say that comments from those who call the courageous few of us not afraid to pick scabs to reveal the gangrenous limbs of this Empire/Country,
“ Haters”, -probably borrowing a word from a culture they are just as weary/ ignorant of),
yet have nothing of substance to offer but
“you read what you want and I'll read what I want”, and then equate hollow shallow conversation to “a nicer place to post”, and those who proudly report of “HP mania" from removed vanilla suburbs,.
should borrow a book from Appleby, to shed their cultural myopic blinders before it’s too late?

But we can’t leave out Allan and Mikey who remind us to also keep in touch with the cosmos!

I look forward to reading some if not all of “some Potter”

And we haven’t even head Blaggs perspective, perhaps he’s in the text?

Minnie / July 19, 2007 11:24 AM

Ooh, Mikey, I'm creating a fantasy team for the first time this year and have been struggling for a name. since the 'league' is full of HP fans, I think a nod to the books is a good way to go. Thanks for the inspiration, one nerd to another.

fluffy / July 19, 2007 11:35 AM

ha! I love it when people call themselves 'intellectuals'.
And...'courageous few'??? um, you are arguing about a book about a boy-wizard!! and you see yourself as some savior of culture. damn, what would we do without you?

Listen, if you don't give a rats ass about the Harry Potter books, then leave it at that. What exactly do you have to prove by going on and on about what books OTHER people should read?

Do you really need to drop names in order to substantiate how 'intellectual' you are?

Spook- your head is so far up your ass, you fart every time you cough.

Um...ok... / July 19, 2007 11:49 AM

Spook, I know you are a smart cookie and should have recognized that you were raising a valid, broad point.

Being "well-read" should by no means ever be confused with actual "intelligence."

skafiend / July 19, 2007 12:01 PM

Um, will there be a Cliff Notes version of this Fuel thread?

Being "well-read" should by no means ever be confused with actual "intelligence."

But it's a damn fine head start...

michele / July 19, 2007 12:10 PM

Right on Fluffy!

Spook / July 19, 2007 1:01 PM

Hey fluffy,
did I interrupt you with your stupid cat persona rant?
But not only are you wrong but off your meds again. One of the reasons I'm for universal health care for people like you!
The next thread will be "normal" as usual for your limited taste. Why not let us stretch out intellectaull as way to build community sometimes
in this Red Eye reading culture?

Heck, folks can't even have an intellectual conversation about books, culture, taking off the mask and the American "normative gaze" round these parts.

Yall see us swimming in the deep sea of ideas, ya can't swim but jump in long enough just to take a crap
in the waters.

shame on ya, girl

jj / July 19, 2007 1:05 PM

I enjoy the Harry Potter books because I love to read pretty much anything I can get my hands on, and I think the Harry Potter characters and stories are well done and entertaining. Although I am an adult, I really enjoy reading children's literature, perhaps because I have lots of teachers in my family/friends who tell me about all the wonderful books for kids nowadays. I also think that anything that encourages children to put down the video games and remote control and read is a good thing.

Spook, shame on you for ranting about books you haven't even read. You're no better than the nutjob book-banners.

fluffy / July 19, 2007 2:27 PM


Darling, you don't even know me- unlike you, I don't shove every detail of my persona into public websites. It's like you are force-feeding everyone with every single thought that comes through your brain. And that is regardless of whether it has anything to do with the topic at hand.

Only a moron would pick on an 'easy' target like mental health issues, which are more on the mental health parity bill agenda than on the universal health care.

suggestion: Pick the right website to rant about your crap. The question here was about a wizard book. Calm down. True intellectuals know to think before they speak. at least to read a book before they criticize it.

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