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Harry Potter--why??? (1 Viewer)

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secretreader

I personally have read all the Potter books and I must say that with the exception of the sixth book, they are no more than just okay. I found that her writing was okay, her story was okay, but the content itself was very unoriginal. I mean, yes, there were some aspects that were creative, like the way she handle the classes, but I have a lot of problems with these books.

Her books are full of inconsistencies, flaws and illogical plot points. She has established that in her world, the kids are forbidden from using magic outside the school, but thery do it all the time and the only time the Ministry of Magic knows about it, despite the rampant use of magic outside school, is when it is part of the story. Otherwise, Rowlings does not stick to her own rules.

Then there's the matter of the characters, which are about as interesting as grass. I don't mean to be brutal, but come on, does anyone really care what happens to Harry or anyone else for that matter. Her characters are dull and some are downright repulsive.

As for realism and knowing how to write kids, which is something I once read in a review of one of Rowlings books. It stated that she knows how to write kids. But let's get real here. In her first book, you have an 11 yr old kid who has lived his life under the stairs, worn hand me down and very scruffy clothes, eaten scrapes and has gotten beaten up repeatedly by his cousin, as well as verbally abused by everyone in that house--yet, at no point does Harry, who has stated in no uncertain terms, that he hates living with the Durselys, has ever thought to report them. And what about him finding out he is a wizard. Listen, if this had been a real kid, after the life he has led in that house, don't you think he should have been bouncing off the walls upon finding out that, not only is magic real, but that he is going to some far off, magical school, where he will learn Magic. he reacted like he heard it had stopped raining outside. And then, when he finally gets to the school, he spends his classes, talking, not remotely paying attention to the teacher, who should have been saying something remarkably interesting, but who was instead, teaching these so-called, witches and wizards, ridiculous stuff like, giving people boils and changing living animals into cups. It makes magic sound cheesy and pointless.

And Rowlings obviously has not respect for life whatsoever. And she is very prejudiced against anyone over weight. Everyone in her book who is overweight, but who is a good guy, is described as round or plump (neither word being very negative in her tone), yet, the "bad" people in her books who are equally overweight, are called, "FAT, Piggy, and made to sound grotesque.

Her characters are completely 2 dimensional. And they are all either completely good or completely bad, no in betweens there--no shades of gray to make a character interesting, or give them depth.

So I don't understand why her books have become so popular. I can onyl venture to guess that before Rowlings came out, there wasn't that much out there for kids 8-14. Before Rowlings, there were "baby" books, teeny-bopper books and teen books. Nothing remotely good or interesting for that age group (8-14). So for this I applaud Rowlings. She found a market that had not yet been born, and in doing so, she has opened a world of doors for other writers who wish to write for that age group. She got lucky. If it had been you out there, or me, or my neighbor who had done it first, we would probably be in her shoes now. She is Rowlings a genius, as many call her, I don't think so!
 

playstation60

Senior Member
Perhaps you need to reread the books, and this time use your imagination. The books are fiction. They are not meant to be taken seriously, so don't treat them as such. Just sit back and allow the story to play out in your mind.

I did not find her characters dull. I do care what happens to them. I felt the story was totally engaging, overall.

There were elements that I did not care for. The excessive eating habits being one. Everything food wise is done in excess, and I just don't care for it, but that's about it.

With regards to the breaking of magic rules, so what? How many times have you broken the rules and should have been caught? How many times have you sped past an unseen police car? It's called life. Things don't always follow the rules. Besides it helps the story along.

I do not feel she is the greatest author ever to pick up a pen. However I do believe she is quite good at what she does. Her stories have grabbed the entire world, if for nothing else she deserves a lot of respect for that.
 

midlandsmuse

Senior Member
Remember they are for kids. And for a kid the idea of a "muggle child" (Ie them) being a wizard is fascinating.

And of course the kids break rules. if they stuck by the rules then kids wouldn't like it would they?

As for "reporting" his family. Think about it. All kids have moments when they think their family are "the worst on Earth" and usually shouts, "I hate living with you." It's just an extension of that.

I agree that her writing is, at best, okay but she has tapped into what children want and, best of all, got them reading books that are 400+ pages long. I give her respect for that above everything else.

For me though, Potter isn't magical. Sounds weird I know but something like The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is magical... Potter isn't.
 
S

secretreader

jealousy is not the issue at all. I am an avid reader and feel, as a writer, that if you write a book, you should be faithful to it and not ignore the rules you have set for your world. And for those who say it is just for kids and who cares, well, I think they would care to know that they were being spoken down to in saying that these books are just for kids and who cares. Only a non-writer would say that everyone breaks rules. My comment about her breaking her own rules in having the Ministry only respond to the use of magic outside school when it serves the story is not about comparing thhat to kids who break rules. The comment was about Rowlings breaking her own rules. That is a sign of a writer who is not devoted to her work. I applaud the woman for her success and I think it is great kids are reading again, that was not the issue I brought up. In fact, if you read my post carefully, I gave her the credit she deserves for opening the doors to many other writers who wish to enter this genre.
 

Londongrey

Senior Member
The only time I can remebr in a Harry Potter book when a kid has used magic outside Hogwarts is on the Hogwarts Express, which is considered part of the magical world and therefore not a breach of the Underage Magic laws.

It says in the books quite clearly that magic is only detected by the Minsitry when done inside a magical home, but as to who did it they don't know. They assume that wizards and witches will guide their own children till they of age.

If you read the books carefully, she has not broken any of her own rules.

Where are they broken?
 
The reason her books are so wonderfully popular is becasue it's what every kid dreams about, right? They're insanely easy reads and action packed to grab the attention of people who don't normaly read. I am thankful for these books simply because they have attracted many people who don't normally read, and it's nice to think that more people are enjoying books.

peace
 

Viqto

Senior Member
secretreader said:
As for realism and knowing how to write kids, which is something I once read in a review of one of Rowlings books. It stated that she knows how to write kids. But let's get real here. In her first book, you have an 11 yr old kid who has lived his life under the stairs, worn hand me down and very scruffy clothes, eaten scrapes and has gotten beaten up repeatedly by his cousin, as well as verbally abused by everyone in that house--yet, at no point does Harry, who has stated in no uncertain terms, that he hates living with the Durselys, has ever thought to report them. And what about him finding out he is a wizard. Listen, if this had been a real kid, after the life he has led in that house, don't you think he should have been bouncing off the walls upon finding out that, not only is magic real, but that he is going to some far off, magical school, where he will learn Magic. he reacted like he heard it had stopped raining outside. And then, when he finally gets to the school, he spends his classes, talking, not remotely paying attention to the teacher, who should have been saying something remarkably interesting, but who was instead, teaching these so-called, witches and wizards, ridiculous stuff like, giving people boils and changing living animals into cups. It makes magic sound cheesy and pointless.

Uhh, well you have to consider that he thought he was dreaming. Even though he didn't come out and say it, it was apparent when he woke up the next morning in the room at the Leaky Cauldron. Personally from that moment on he was so bombarded with new and interesting things that the shock continued to overtake him. Not all kids react the same as bouncing off the walls. As for talking during class, what kid, no matter how interesting the subject might be, has not talked during class. Obviously you didn't, but you represent a small minority in that aspect.

As for not reporting his guardians....report them to who? When he wasn't in school, he was at home. And he wasn't allowed to do much outside the house as he was considered undesirably there. Plus do you really think that something so obvious to an adult would be so obvious to someone in that situation. Someone that sheltered wouldn't think of reporting them because the idea probably wouldn't even be realised as an option. I don't know if you have kids, nephews, nieces or whatever around that age, but they can be pretty ignorant of such possibilities. Plus, even if he did have the thought, there is still an underlying connection between the family that would probably conflict with the decision.

(forgot to include this next referenced topic in quote...and too lazy to add it :lol: ) You have to consider that her target audience is not literary geniuses. Her characters are two-dimensional because it works with the story she's planned out. Adding other dimensions would otherwise distract the younger audience from what was happening.

As for the appeal of Harry and other characters, I guess thats personal opinion. I thought Harry and his friends were such mildly interesting by themselves, that yes it may seem that itd be hard to like them; but its when they are together that the appeal kicks in. Because with such a "acceptance seeking" boy, his "somewhat clumsy, hotheaded" friend, and his "brainiac" other friend, the possiblities for the trouble they could easily get into our pretty broad.

I'm not sure what exactly you are meaning when you say:

She has established that in her world, the kids are forbidden from using magic outside the school, but thery do it all the time and the only time the Ministry of Magic knows about it, despite the rampant use of magic outside school, is when it is part of the story.

Every time they use magic outside of school, they do get reported and recieve one of those owls. If you are referring to the 5th book where they are fighting within the ministry itself, take into account all the confusion going around with post about Dumbledore. As well that type of post is sent to the homes of the children and ministry officials didn't apparate in to fix any such discrepencies. If there was another more specific example you want to talk about, by all means post it.
 
S

secretreader

Where does she say that the train is okay for magic use? Where does it say that magic an only be done in magical homes? These are nothing more than assumptions made by the readers blinded by the popularity of the series.

As far as kids breaking rules is concerned---I know they do! That was not the point.

Also, I noticed that no one made mention of the other aspects of Potter that were mentioned in original post. UMMM, I wonder why???
 

Londongrey

Senior Member
secretreader,

I'm sorry I remember what I read.

It is made perfectly clear when Harry sits before the Court after he had defended himself against a Dementor in Little Whinging, that Underage sorcery is detected by underage wizards when done outside a magical home. Dumbledore himself quite clearly states in book six, that underage magic in the home is not detected, as the Ministry can only detect the magic there, not who has done it. That is not assumption but basic comprehension.

The Hogwarts Express, the Ministry of Magic, are both places where adult wizards are present, therefore magic takes place and is impossible for the Minsitry to detect who has performed it. Whilst it is made quite clear that in Muggle areas it is possible to detect whom has performed it if Underage.

I'm afraid secretreader that it appears to be your critique of the books that is based on assumption, you have not provided examples and it seems that basic comprehension of the plot and the world described falls down slightly on your part.

The other aspects have not been mentioned quite simply because they are ridiculous. Report the Dursley's? Rowling has prejudice against fat people? Learn about satyr and context.
 
I

Ilyak1986

What the heck is the point of all of these kids learning magic when they are certianly no better than teachers? Are they going to fight a war with it or something? IMHO, Rowling's books are a travesty to magic...instead of making them a power or a force to be reckoned with, she makes it a kids' subject that does a whole lot of nothing besides make people surprised. What about the flash magic found in RPGs? What about the subtle yet vast magical powers of characters in works where magic still plays a role in medieval warfare fantasy stories? IMHO, any page-turner fast-paced fantasy book is better than Rowling's shit. Not to mention that that woman had the idea of a color-changing ceiling to match the sky, and when I included that in Mythica, people screamed Harry Pothead.

Now I want Rowling to be run over by a double decker bus because of that. Die, Rowling, die, and burn in hell. I wanted to have a nice little original idea and instead she already did it...die plz.
 

Viqto

Senior Member
secretreader said:
...teacher, who should have been saying something remarkably interesting, but who was instead, teaching these so-called, witches and wizards, ridiculous stuff like, giving people boils and changing living animals into cups. It makes magic sound cheesy and pointless.

And Rowlings obviously has not respect for life whatsoever. And she is very prejudiced against anyone over weight. Everyone in her book who is overweight, but who is a good guy, is described as round or plump (neither word being very negative in her tone), yet, the "bad" people in her books who are equally overweight, are called, "FAT, Piggy, and made to sound grotesque.

When you first went to school what did you expect? The experience of something is never exactly what you predict when you first imagine it. By your statement, you assumed that by going to a magic school he would be learning powerful magic. Let's make a stretch and compare this to english classes. You start with the basics and work up. The spells and incantations he started learning were the building blocks, and more simplistic ones, that would help him understand the more complex and related spells later on.

The way she depicts the overweight in this book is to subtly let the reader know if the character has good or evil intentions. however it is true this is a very 'evil' way to do it for impressionable young minds.
 

Wyndstar

Senior Member
story

Well, there are a considerable amount of inconsistancies in the book, that's true. Any adult with half a brain in the England I'm familiar with would take one look at Harry, how he's dressed and how he's treated and BAM! His caretakers would be reported in an instant---particularly in a well to do neighborhood. Its very unseemly. I found the adults to be unnaturally stupid given the circumstances (except Dumbledore) and the chars shallow and cliche. It is understandable why at least one publisher turned down the manuscript the first time (I think). However, drop the IQ a few points, forget for an instant that you can only be satisfied by Kerouak or Socrates, give your brain an hour vacation and have a read. Its like a nice carneval ride. You know its cheesy, but its fun for a while and you let IT drive and you just enjoy the ride.

Besides, what kind of jaunt for a child would it be if Prof. Snape actually showed up, turned in Prof. Querl for suspicion of being in league with Voldemort, the teachers used THEIR magic to find and beat the troll first, and Dumbledore followed the kids down to the mirror and fried Querl himself? After all, we grownups are usually what spoils all the fun---like vivisecting children's books because they don't read like Wilder or Dickens.
 

playstation60

Senior Member
Ilyak1986 said:
What the heck is the point of all of these kids learning magic when they are certianly no better than teachers? Are they going to fight a war with it or something? IMHO, Rowling's books are a travesty to magic...instead of making them a power or a force to be reckoned with, she makes it a kids' subject that does a whole lot of nothing besides make people surprised. What about the flash magic found in RPGs? What about the subtle yet vast magical powers of characters in works where magic still plays a role in medieval warfare fantasy stories? IMHO, any page-turner fast-paced fantasy book is better than Rowling's shit. Not to mention that that woman had the idea of a color-changing ceiling to match the sky, and when I included that in Mythica, people screamed Harry Pothead.

Now I want Rowling to be run over by a double decker bus because of that. Die, Rowling, die, and burn in hell. I wanted to have a nice little original idea and instead she already did it...die plz.

Ok, first of all, your opinion is not humble by the simple fact you are always quoting yourself, your work and saying IMHO.

Secondly, get off of your high horse. She beat you to it, get over it. If you have any worth at all as a writer you'll find a way to distinguish yourself as a writer. Yes, you may have a lot of people compare you to Rowling, but whatever, get over it. If you do your job, which is to write, you will find success.

Third, please, please, please stop referring to magic in video games. THEY ARE SEPARATE from literature. Also take into effect that the Harry Potter books are for CHILDREN. If you would read the books, then perhaps you would understand why magic is as it is. The point of them learning how to use magic is the same as someone learning how to breathe when running, or how to spell. Catch my drift here?

Fourth, you need to take a breath and relax. You have way too much anomosity towards someone and something you have no control over. You're a writer, you should treat other writers with respect, just as you expect them to treat you. Your lack of respect in your posts on this topic and others may very well be part of the reason for your sudden loss in readers of your story. You yourself came out and said you want people to enjoy what you write. That can very easily be taken to EVERYTHING you write, including comments on other pieces, and opinions on non-related topics.
 

Slot

Member
Ilyak1986 said:
Now I want Rowling to be run over by a double decker bus because of that. Die, Rowling, die, and burn in hell. I wanted to have a nice little original idea and instead she already did it...die plz.

The mark of a writer isn't always having the most original concept but tweaking it to give it an extra something that captivates one's imagination.

Writing about magic has been going on for quite a while now, and even had Rowling not chosen to write on the subject, someone else would have. Had she not "taken your idea", there is also no saying you would have found the success she held. Roll with your next concept and move on. Please. Move on.

As for the book's success: I can't quite explain it, but in captivates me as well as a majority of people. There seems to be something about the writing that holds onto people, though seeing as I have grown up on the books, my investment is it is quite evident. Had I not started reading the book pre-success at a young age, I cannot guarentee I'd love the storylines so much.

The portrayal of good and evil is in fact cookie cutter black and white, despite people's insistance on grey characters and things of that nature, but if you truly allow yourself to get lost in the story; to latch onto something and go with it, this doesn't truly matter.

This book isn't about being accurate, perfect, or the literary masterpiece of the century; it's merely a novel meant to appeal to kids and kids at heart that somehow stumbled into a whirlwind of success.
 
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