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Why is Harry Potter so popular (1 Viewer)

AdrienneW

Senior Member
Although I read several genre, young adult/children novels is what I enjoy writing. I have read several in this genre including JKrowling's works. She sets herself apart with her style...I have to wonder though, what makes her books so good? Why do people crave them? Is it the characters? or the story telling? I have yet to read any one else who writes in this style (any suggestions? I would like to compare)....and while *I* have enjoyed the books...I am amazed at how popular they are.
 

rydenthorne

Senior Member
I think it's because she tells a vivid story that is playful yet has moments of drama and darkness. It draws people in. I classify it as apple pie type literature. Everyone likes apple pie. There's something in the series for everyone. It has universal appeal.
 

Elysium

Member
I've never read of any of the books, but from experience with being a very large Tolkien fan, I can assume that people love her books because they created an amazing world. I love what Tolkien did because he created something that could be adapted. I could make up my own stories in Middle-Earth and kind of feel like the story was more real and thus making it that much more cool. Perhaps Rowling did something similar?
 

Cynic

Senior Member
On top of what Elysium just said, it's also that she created an easy framework in which her target audience can imagine themselves in that world. Sure, lots of books try to leverage the universal notions of attending school and generally hitching onto what life is like for a kid (like the Sweet Valley High crap or Goosebumps, etc), but the world of Harry Potter is much cooler than usual.
 

Swift84

Senior Member
People like it because the marketing strategy has been superb. There is nothing overtly innovative about the storytelling, themes, etc.
 

AdrienneW

Senior Member
Swift84 said:
People like it because the marketing strategy has been superb. There is nothing overtly innovative about the storytelling, themes, etc.
What kind of marketing strategy do you think they did different from other books and publishers?
 
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Cynic

Senior Member
For one, I think the fantastic cover art helped a ton. Sure you can't judge a book by its cover, but you know, people do exactly that all the time.
 

Benjirama

Senior Member
From what I can tell is that Ms Rowlings sucess can be put down to the fact that, she simpley produced the right material at the right time. There has been a resurgent public intrest in the occult and fantasy for some time now, and it seems she was lucky enough to seize the public imagination as demand for such a story was reaching its highest.

If it wasn't Potter who made it to literatary super start status then maybe another in the similar ilk would of instead. Artimus foul, dark materials, mortal engines, and series of unfortunate event immediatly come to mind.
 

Swift84

Senior Member
Adrienne, I don't think the publishers did anything extravagantly different. But they marketed the material to the right public. Rowling herself said she didn't intend the books to be for children. In other words, while writing the first book, she wasn't thinking, "I wonder what kids would like to read here."

The publishers, however, decided the series should be marketed toward a younger audience; hence, the success.

Children can't tell the difference between original and cliched storytelling. Then the publishers realized something: "Hey, now that we have a dumb audience to read this shit, let's act like it's a cultural phenomenon." So then we started to hear story after story about how Harry Potter teaches children to read and appreciate literature, when in fact all it does is make the younger generation approve of lackluster writing and overdone "I'm the little fucking engine that could" messages.

How did the shitstorm stick even more? They produced a series of unoriginal video games and movies to go along with the books. But it didn't matter. The characters were still there, so people were dumb enough to consume these products, too.

Now that Potter has inspired a successful book, film, and video game series, many people just adopt the attitude: "Hey, it must be good if it's popular." Then they pick up the hackneyed nonsense.
 

Firewriter23

Senior Member
Cynic said:
I'm generally more suspicious of people who don't like Harry Potter than who do.

I agree. Harry Potter is a big thing mostly because it goes well with adults, children, and teens. Pretty much just about everyone likes it.
 

Craigy

Senior Member
I think its just one of those pieces of writing that everyone can easily read and enjoy. I'm trying to think where exactly it made the leap from normal book to literary phenomina. When it really boils down to it, I can't think of another book that had such an instant explosion to pop-culture. Lord of the Rings had a similar occurance, but that came fifty years after they were written!
 
P

Paper Pieces

Well I'm not a Harry Potter fan, but I have read two novels from the series. Basically I think it's because she's original, and puts you into a complete different world yet is still like ours. The reason I like it is because it's so rich in details, and it feels like I'm experiancing something new.
 

Mike C

WF Veterans
Cynic said:
I'm generally more suspicious of people who don't like Harry Potter than who do.

Suspect me then.

I couldn't finish the first chaper of the first book, and have had no inclination to read any more.

What is great about HP though is that it has got people reading who may not otherwise have done. Paying customers who have or will go on to try other books. That's never a bad thing.
 

Cynic

Senior Member
Life is too short -- we'll never get to read even a fraction of the things we might like to, even if we have enough of an obsessive-compulsive disorder to give it an honest shot. So by all means, anyone who thinks they can call something as a whole crap from the first bunch of paragraphs, that's cool. We read what we want, and what we want isn't anyone's business but our own.

But seriously, people who think they can honestly reject something on that basis remind me of trying to get toddlers to try new foods. They're convinced that it's horrible by the time the fork has breached the smell barrier, and turn their little discriminating noses away.

It seems counter-intuitive to compare literary snobbery to a child's sincere desire to live out life on a steady diet of chicken fingers, mac-cheese, and stawberry milk, but there it is.
 

David Siudzinski

Senior Member
One of the reasons it's so successful is beacuse it imploys the same world that exists in reality with one tiny exception; there is magic. This is called magical realism. In addition that great themes of the bible and myths is imployed in the epic fight between good and evil. Also, the characters are realatable to kids (i.e.-kids vs. adults, like in real life). The story is also incredibly well written. All this equals mass appeal, hence, why it's so popular.
 

Swift84

Senior Member
It seems counter-intuitive to compare literary snobbery to a child's sincere desire to live out life on a steady diet of chicken fingers, mac-cheese, and stawberry milk, but there it is.

Actually, it just seems desperate and pretentious. More power to Mike C. He didn't have to make his way through all of the overrated piffle.
 
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