Harry Potter - the books

Will you rush out to buy HP Bk 5?

  • Are you kidding? No way!
  • Absolutely! I can’t wait any longer.
  • I’ll borrow it.
  • I’ll wait for paperback.

0 voters

[color=red]Mod note: Originally titled “Harry Potter 5”. Please limit discussion with spoilers for HP6 to this thread.[/color]

Yes, JK Rowlings fifth book about the young wizard is due out on 21 June and has already sold over a million copies worldwide.

We already know Ms. Rowling is richer than the Queen of England., but didn’t she start out as an EFL teacher?

Will you buy it? Why or why not?

OK but not great. I prefer LOTR any time, but yes, I have read her books. Targeted against teenagers, if you ask me.

I’ll just borrow your copy, Fred. :wink:
Seriously, I read the first one with interest – a decent book for kids but nowhere close to the skill of Enid Blyton (racist, bigoted snob though she might have been).
I read the second one, too – derivative, repetitive formulaic cashing in on the success of the first – but then, that’s exactly what kids like, isn’t it? The others I might have looked at in passing, but they have been unable to hold my attention past the first couple of pages. The films are utterly forgettable.
Pretty damn good hype, though – that company sure knows how to sell a book!

As someone who still owns all 51 volumes of the Hardy Boys series (including the dectective handbook), I can confirm this. :laughing:

Harry Potter never did it for me, though. I read the first one, kinda liked it, but never made it through the second one. Nowhere half as interesting as Narnia. Glad to see they’re making a movie from that series as well… :slight_smile:

As someone who still owns all 51 volumes of the Hardy Boys series (including the dectective handbook), I can confirm this. :laughing:

Harry Potter never did it for me, though. I read the first one, kinda liked it, but never made it through the second one. Nowhere half as interesting as Narnia. Glad to see they’re making a movie from that series as well… :slight_smile:[/quote]

Maoman, what do you mean all 51 volumes. There’s at least a hundred and I have about 80.

Oooh yeah. I’m a major fan of Narnia. I’ve read all the books many times (favorite - Horse and his Boy).

I’m not happy they’re making a film of it though, coz they’ll balls it like they have the previous goes. They need a big director, much bigger budget, and technology just a little little bit better than what they have now (maybe 5-10 years). They need to make it big, sweeping epic, visual, and aimed at least as much at adults as kids. More LOTR than HP. Actually they shoudl get PJ to film it in NZ.

Brian

As someone who still owns all 51 volumes of the Hardy Boys series (including the dectective handbook), I can confirm this. :laughing:

Harry Potter never did it for me, though. I read the first one, kinda liked it, but never made it through the second one. Nowhere half as interesting as Narnia. Glad to see they’re making a movie from that series as well… :slight_smile:[/quote]
Maoman, what do you mean all 51 volumes. There’s at least a hundred and I have about 80.[/quote]
Oops - edit that to read original volumes. I remember reading a newer one in the 80s that had Joe & Frank Hardy practising martial arts and using computers…

As wonderful as CS Lewis/Narnia, LOTR, and the Hardy Boys are, the authors never sold a million books pre-release. The phenomenon of HP is astonishing. What is it that allowed Ms Rowling to capture the interest of children and adults all over the world and enable her to amass wealth greater than the Queen’s? What’s the secret ingredient to this overwhelming success in the literary world?

Sure the films (crap) and marketing has had something to do with it, but even before any of that came out, people were mad for little HP.

They were mad for Britney too.

(As someone who owns all of her original CDs I can attest to that :wink: )

Bit different, MT. They’re actually having to READ something, and they’re doing it enthusiastically.
I think it’s the whole culture that JK has created surrounding the wizards, she’s set it in contemporary England which appeals to the audience so they can relate to it, and has re-introduced magic to a world that already exists on a sort of ‘magic’ reality, in the form of technology.
I enjoy her books a lot. I also enjoy a lot of other books, too. Adult books. But I find it interesting how successful this woman has become since I do some editorial work with teenage literature. It also makes me wonder how much tweaking the editors have done with her stuff. I imagine loads.
I had read the other four as Bloomsbury editions, UK, and I hope that the one I’ve preordered from my company is the same, not the Scholastic, US, version.
Btw, the latter books, Azkaban and Goblet of Fire, are much darker, mature, and creepier than the first two. And this one is something like 845 pages long, only a hundred or so short of War and Peace, for godssakes!

You mean like the ones you can buy in adult book stores? :wink:

Scholastic Books (and that’s just in the US) is spending a whopping $3-$4 million smackers :shock: on marketing the new HP book. I’d say that’s a pretty damn big “something.” (Today’s China Post, p.3, story about Clinton’s memoirs).

I read the first four because a junior high student I was tutoring was interested in them. So they became the lesson. The names and spells offered possibilities for discussions of etymology. They also offered a varied but not overly difficult vocabulary.

I think JKR has been improving as a writer, though I wish she’d stop her absurdly frequent use of the cliche of faces changes color with emotions. You can barely get through a dozen pages without someone going red, green, white or some other color.

But, yes, I’ll read the new one, too – maybe not this month, but probably before the end of the summer.

I’d rather poke out my eyes.

Luckily it’s Bloomsbury edition that most stores in Taiwan are carrying. Or should be. Caves is anyway, thank god. I prefer the British version because it’s how it should be.

So Cranky, since you’ve read them (moving this over to your little corner in a minute), what is your take on the amazing popularity, if you disregard the marketing?

Hmm. Maybe the fact that Harry Potter has more of a personality than most other characters in books aimed at youngsters. Plus the talent stuck in an everyman/everykid role. He’s sort of like Spiderman that way.

Then there’s something of the ever-popular sitcom formula in the “guest star” role of the dark arts teacher.

And the books aren’t “girls’ books” or “boys’ books,” thus avoiding alienating half of their potential audience.

I don’t really know.

It is interesting to think about what makes these books popular. I believe they’d be popular even without mass marekting. They are good books. Not great literature of course, but good fun reading.

I guess one thing is that they’re taking the mundane everyday setting of a school (something that all kids can relate to) and making it magical, and at the same time taking magic and making it mundane (by having potions class and exams etc).

Perhaps another thing is that they’re not trying to be very ‘literary’ and ‘wordy’. I don’t think kids like to read too much about what the environment is looking like, and what people are thinking. They just want to know what’s happening. When I reread the Narnia chronicles for the first time in a few years I was surprised by how little CS Lewis ‘described’ what was going on. So much happened in so few lines. I think a lot of children’s writers, trying to appeal to adults as well and write something that will be thought of as having ‘literary merit’, forget this. It’s not what kids want.

Brian

Interesting story here for all you Hairy Pooter fans out there. Its a three-parter, so you’d better save the link so’s you can come back tomorrow for part two.

Where’s the “already preordered mine like two months ago” option in the poll?

As someone who has a guilty obsession with reading children’s books, I preordered it a while back. For The Goblet of Fire I waited until it came out in paperback, but I didn’t really get into the books at that point so I could stand to wait. This one, while I have been dying to read what happens next for a long time (not as long as those who got the hardback edition I suspect), I am not going to start reading until I get on plane to London so I will not read it all before I get on the plane. I expect to finish the book before I step onto British soil. I liked the Chronicles of Narnia, but it took me longer to read that than the Lord of the Rings (less than 2 days for all three volumes) or the 3rd and 4th Harry Potter books combined although I went through the first two Narnia books in a night apiece. I personally like The Magician’s Nephew for the scene where Aslan creates the world.

And as owner of both the Scholastic (1-3) and Bloomsbery (1-4) editions of the books, I prefer the original British English. Plus the cover art is better.

the most interesting bit to me being:

[quote]In the mythology of JK Rowling, Nicolson