View Poll Results: Do you like Harry Potter?

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  • Yes

    163 77.99%
  • No

    46 22.01%
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Thread: Harry Potter

  1. #61
    Daydream Believer Kiwi Shelf's Avatar
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    I guess I always thought the best selling novel of all time would not be about some kid that is magic... There are just better books out there, and I am not even talking classics because I go through periods of reading classics and I am not in one right now.
    "Hear and you forget; see and you remember; do and you understand."

  2. #62
    Monarch of Holy Imperium Levenbreech Vor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samercury
    I disagree with that. Harry Potter was the first book in English that I read by myself and that I actually liked. The school that I was going to my first year here gave us this list for summer reading and frankly, I didn't like them (later I read them again and they weren't that bad)... Anyways, after I read Harry Potter, I got more interested in reading . I read the second and third volumes and afterwards, when I started school, I had this teacher who had a very large library at the back of her classroom.
    First book after HP- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen...been reading ever since
    WOW!

    I guess I have never heard a story like that. If Harry Potter really does get people reading then I might concede that itís not so bad.

    I wonder what the statistics are about Harry Potter and books read next.
    I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

    Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear - From Frank Herbert's Dune Book Series

  3. #63
    I completly agree with the first post, however, I must say that I contradict myself. It is one of the easiest reads one will find out there, and one of the easiest to loose your self in. I read the last one between 2:30 one day and 10:00 the next.
    However, they offer no necesary thought at all to read and comprhend. In a world when very few kids read, let alone adults, it forced people to begin to look at books. In my high school if you ask any one if they have read harry potter, they will most likely say yes, but if you ask them if they are readers, they will all say no.
    For this i am thankfull to it, for it has made some people in this Telivision controlled world turn them off and open a book.

  4. #64
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    Harry Potter seriously annoys me. I actually bothered to try to read the first book, before the whole HP insanity kicked in but I couldn't get myself to actually enjoy it. Everyone was simply...contrived. At some point I felt I was reading a strangely silly version of The Magician's Nephew by C.S Lewis, so I put it back and re-read the classic Narnia story instead. To this day, I haven't regretted it.

  5. #65
    Attack With Love Jack_Aubrey's Avatar
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    I feel like Harry Potter is a sorry excuse for literature. The writing is poor,and the stories are pretty adolescent.
    Братство

  6. #66
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    After reading the latest installment of Harry Potter I've found I'm enjoying the books less and less. The series seemed to peak with the fourth book when it was fun and intriguing but now Harry's become a bit of a snark, irrelevant and moody although I must admit some teenagers do make the changes he has.

    I think the thing I dislike most about the books, and I've enjoyed the first four mind you, is that they take so much from other good author's. Reading book six, the Half Blood Prince, I felt somewhat like Nocturnal except my reaction was less spontaneous as I did read the entire book. Afterwards I felt like calling the plagiarist police! Thatís a little annoying and yet Iím curious to see what the last book will be like and Iíll probably snag that book up from a friend like the latest. No point in buying it.

  7. #67
    Registered User Charissa's Avatar
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    I like it...

    Harry Potter is not an educational book. it' s more for enterainment. As for me, I like it. I like adventure and fantasy book you know. I don't care if it's non-EDUCATIONAL.
    Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.

  8. #68
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    Hello guys
    I think I joined in a bit late as most seem to have had their say in the matter. And I see that I am probably the only avid Harry Potter fan here. And I am an adult!!!
    Before I state my views, I'd like to confess my lack of sophisticated knowledge of literature. I read books as a hobby- so my choice of books is probably not the most intellectual, but I love Harry Potter. And I find that besides the tight plot, the books do try to delve into deeper issues- growing up, dealing with the loss of loved ones etc. In fact, one of my best quotes from the books is the one when Dumbledore consoles Harry about the early loss of his parents and says, "Your parents are alive in you". I don't recall all of what he said, but in essence he talked about how the dead are alive in the minds of the ones who loved them the most. It might be just me, but I felt really touched by these lines. And the fact that JK tried to talk of such profound matters in books that are mostly targeted at kids was quite impressive to me. The loss of loved ones is probably the most heart-wrenching and difficult thing to live with even for the most mature adults and her take on it was quite profound and interesting. This is just one example, but there are numerous others in these books. I feel that the worth of a creation should be decided by how many lives it can touch and by that measure, Harry Potter is assuredly a modern classic. It has left an indellible mark on the publishing and reading world and who knows, it might even lead our new-young readers to classics like Shakespeare and Joyce!!

  9. #69
    i too am very late at expressing myself. I admit that the sheer overwhelming consumerism of the hp books has prejudiced me somewhat against even picking up my first one to read. however having read some of your opinions i will do so because to judge a matter before hearing the evidence seems to be grossly unfair. and i hate that sort of thing. so even if it is with a lack of excitement i will get going and buy my first harry potter and see what all the talk is about.
    i too love the good earth by pearl s. buck. in fact her writings made a huge impact upon my life and life choices. her thoughts and her worlds, her two worlds captivated me and forced me to evaluate my life and what i would do with the years allotted to me, to make a difference somehow in this world i roam about in.

  10. #70
    I only started reading the Harry Potter books after the fourth one came out. I wasn't much interested in reading them before that because all the hype sort of put me off. But after reading the first, I did get intrigued enough to read the others and have been a fan since. (Although the 6th book wasn't quite up to par in my opinion and has taken the plot in another direction...but let's see how it turns out.)
    I don't think it's true that readers of the series are all people who don't read books other than popular literature. I enjoyed the HP series and read other 'serious' works as well. My favourite writers include Joyce, Shakespeare, Faulkner, Virginia Woolf and many others. And there's plenty of evidence if you only read some of the fansite editorials that there are other Harry fans who have much deeper knowledge of literature. One editorial even detailed how Rowling used Proust's literary techniques in her work. Rowling's writing style has to be simplistic as her main audience comprises children. But she does draw from mythology and literature. Harry Potter may not be a literary classic or even the best fantasy fiction, but it is a compelling read in my opinion.
    ďI would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.Ē

    - Jack London

  11. #71
    apprentice LightShade's Avatar
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    Well, what a set of interesting opinions

    one comment, and then I'll write my personal view on hp books
    Quote Originally Posted by el01ks
    You think a novel has to have a good vocabulary, good grammar and make you more intelligent?
    Yeeees, I definitely think a novel should have good vocabulary and good grammar. As for a novel making one more intelligent, well, that depends on the client's material, so to speak generally, yes, that should be the case.

    I have read the first five hp books. I may read the subsequent ones, because I am curious how the author will sort things out and if the characters will actually grow "up". But not because they are good literature. They're not.

    I do believe they are good books for one to start reading in English. The language is pretty easy, the plot is not complicated, therefore I would rather recommend Harry Potter than my favourite Terry Pratchett to someone who doesn't have a very good command of English. However, I had the surprise of some of these people disliking Harry Potter and choosing to read other, more complicated books instead (yes, even TP). Apparently, they got bored.

    After the first read, when I just followed the story as such, I re-read the books and ended up with an amazing list of what an author should NOT do
    I have kept that list as future reference for my own literary attempts.

    I know why it appeals so much to kids: the idea of a kid just like themselves, who suddenly finds out he's a wizard and goes to study at this awesome wizarding school is a perfect hook. I bet most kids imagine one day this will also happen to them and secretly wish they have been adopted

    The rest is just the effect of a huge marketing action. Hurray for whomever devised it.
    Last edited by LightShade; 10-31-2005 at 06:39 AM.

  12. #72
    Katie
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    Quote Originally Posted by LightShade
    Yeeees, I definitely think a novel should have good vocabulary and good grammar. As for a novel making one more intelligent, well, that depends on the client's material, so to speak generally, yes, that should be the case.
    I feel a bit like this has been taken out of context... I am not advocating poor English in literature, but I believe that an expert use of vocabulary is not essential for a book to be enjoyable. If the vocab is too advanced for potential readers, then it would put off a lot of them! Which is why a lot of people have trouble with getting into 'the classics' if the writing style and vocabulary is alien to them.
    I don't think I will ever agree that a book must be educational to have merit, it sounds a bit too much like the 18th/19th century belief that well-bred young women should only read 'improving' works, as anything of a less prudish tone might corrupt them! As I said before, what's wrong with just enjoying the plot?
    If something is very badly written, it can take away the meaning of the text (as the editor for the reviews/features part of my universty's student website, I once spent an hour re-writing a review of Master and Commander because it was so poorly written - and I hadn't even seen the film!) and make it impossible to enjoy, but the Harry Potter books are readable.
    This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with force.

  13. #73
    apprentice LightShade's Avatar
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    ah, "expert use of vocabulary". That would indeed make the book difficult to read. I agree with you on this one, sorry for the misunderstanding.

    However, I found it upsetting that J.K.Rowling doesn't diversify her wordpool repetition is annoying and there are such things as synonyms out there... it's a shame not to use them, really

    As for the "educational" argument, I have the strong belief that books shape readers. Unknowingly, I might add.
    I may read a book just for the plot, but then again there's no telling what my mind will pick up from it and store somewhere safe until it's needed, if you get my meaning.

    ps - I cannot say Harry Potter is not educational - it's taught me some fair bits about writing with style (as I said in my previous post).

  14. #74
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    I'm an English major. I don't watch TV simply because I spend too much time reading--not just what's assigned in class, but what I choose to read on my own as well. The vast majority of what I read on my own would be considered "good literature"--I just reread Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and I'm currently taking my time over a copy of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell with the original plates.

    And, y'know, that's all well and good. But sometimes, just like with anything else, you need junk food. Harry Potter is quick and light and fun, and it fulfills that occasional junk food requirement. I have a close friend who is also an English major, and is just as passionate about literature as I am--maybe even more so, because he came from a home where his reading material was strictly monitored, and he's overwhelmed at what there is to read. A few weeks ago I loaned him a young adult book I'd borrowed from my sister. His response? "Wow. I love what I'm reading, but it makes a nice break to read a high school book again."

    I don't look at this as an argument for Harry Potter; rather, it's an argument against taking literature so seriously. Yes, it's vitally important, but what's the point if you can't have some fun once in a while? That's what books are for, after all. I can appreciate the meter of Byron or the phrasing of Wilde perfectly well, but every now and then, the analyzing brain cells must go off and let the having-fun cells take over.

  15. #75
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    There is so much better children's fantasy out there that I think it's kind of sad that HP gets so much of the attention, but in and of itself it's not bad. Just . . . not challenging. I don't mean challenging on a reading comprehension level, I think it's fine for that (and I imagine American kids of this generation will be way more literate in British terms than many others are!), I mean challenging in the sense of firing the imagination. For all its magic, most of what goes on in the magic world works just like the Muggle world with shortcuts. They're perfectly fine kids books and enjoyable - it just gets a bit spooky when you find adults considering it great literature. Here's a quote from Ursula Le Guin - I don't think she was talking about HP specifically, but I'm sure the craze is part of the movement she's talking about. (I'll admit to being a much bigger fan of hers than of J.K. Rowling's. I was reading Earthsea at the prime Potter ages)

    SP

    "Commodified fantasy takes no risks: it invents nothing, but imitates and trivialises. It proceeds by depriving the old stories of their intellectual and ethical complexity, turning their action to violence, their actors to dolls, and their truth-telling to sentimental platitude. Heroes brandish their swords, lasers, wands, as mechanically as combine harvesters, reaping profits. Profoundly disturbing moral choices are sanitized, made cute, made safe. The passionately conceived ideas of the great story-tellers are copied, stereotyped, reduced to toys, molded in bright-colored plastic, advertised, sold, broken, junked, replaceable, interchangeable."
    - Ursula Le Guin, preface to Tales of Earthsea

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