1. TDFuhringer
    Offline

    TDFuhringer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    504
    Likes Received:
    164
    Location:
    Somewhere South of Midnight

    Finally gave in and read Harry Potter (and the Sorceror's Stone)

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by TDFuhringer, Feb 1, 2012.

    Just finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone for the first time ever. I liked it.

    I'd been avoiding it because I'm cautious about reading anything that's extremely popular. I guess that was silly of me. The book is fast paced, the prose nice and brisk, the way I like it. Entertaining instead of flowery. Rowling certainly has a vivid imagination and the story has plenty of fresh moments every few pages to keep the reader interested. Say what you like about her skill as a writer, she knows how to tell a rousing good story.

    Peace.

    Register to remove this ad

  2. jc.
    Offline

    jc. New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Thank you. I think a lot of people automatically assume HP is stupid because other popular mainstream series are. People think that just because Twilight was garbage that HP is too, never mind the fact that the first HP book came out more than ten years ago and actually has a pretty cool world and some very memorable characters.

    I'm in the same boat. I don't care what people say about Rowling or her books. I love them, and anyone who says otherwise will just have to agree to disagree with me.
    1 person likes this.
  3. UrbanBanshee
    Offline

    UrbanBanshee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Seattle
    It's always nice to hear when someone finds a new book that they enjoyed. :) I read Harry Potter back before it was popular and grew up with it so reading the books/watching the movies has been an experience, not just a story. For Christmas I would get the newest Harry Potter book (or birthday depending when the book was released) and would read it aloud to my dad and siblings and when the movies came out it was a family adventure to go watch them together. So I'm always a bit biased when it comes to the books. They were very much a part of my childhood and were something steady to hold on to as I became an 'adult.'

    It is interesting what becomes popular though and how it isn't necessarily a mark of something being "good."

    I think looking back what I liked most was how the books used a lot of the usual story telling 'cliches' orphan kid, chosen one, evil wizard, but she gave it enough of a spin and life that it went beyond.

    Also it was just fun :)
    1 person likes this.
  4. UrbanBanshee
    Offline

    UrbanBanshee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Seattle
    oops double post
  5. Daydream
    Offline

    Daydream New Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    In another dimension.
    Always found it strange that some people stay clear of mainstream stuff. It's mainstream because alot of people liked it which alot of the time means its quite good. I remember not once even picking up a book by George R.R. Martin until the tv series came out. After seeing the series I ended up reading all of the books and loving them! Glad you like it though...your in for a treat. Kinda jealous that you get to experience the world of Harry Potter not knowing whats going to happen! Once you've finished the books i'd give the movies a try....they aren't as good but still worth a watch!
    1 person likes this.
  6. jc.
    Offline

    jc. New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Martin's books are excellent. I'm a little frustrated with the pace of the most recent one, but I'm not going to hold it against him because the other books were amazing. Personally though the show did nothing for me. The way I imagined the story/characters/world is so much better than what HBO's doing. I do love some of the cast though, I'll give 'em that.
  7. shakespear57
    Offline

    shakespear57 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Wagga Wagga NSW Australia
    HARRY POTTER IS THE MOST AMAZING THING THAT HAS EVER BEEN BROUGHT INTO EXISTENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    just saying
    :p
    1 person likes this.
  8. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,404
    Likes Received:
    193
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    I love Harry Potter. I agree that there are certain Gary Stu moments and cliches, but the overall richness of Rowling's world more than makes up for that.

    I'm always a little boggled when people say that H.P. isn't a classic, and that Rowling isn't a good writer....really? I know it's not everyone's thing, and that's cool, but come on now.

    It also bugs me when people bash Twilight JUST because it's trendy. I have my own reasons for hating Twilight -- mainly because it's full of gender stereotypes, Bella is a submissive doormat and Edward's creepy, controlling behavior is romanticized. But there's a huge difference between having issues with the messages within a story, or just having logic-based criticisms of the way it's written, and whining "Waaaahhh! It's trendy, so it MUST be laaaaaaaame! I'm too good for that...I'll just bash on it, find something cool and unknown, and then trash that once it becomes popular." People like that annoy the crap out of me.
  9. jc.
    Offline

    jc. New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Agreed. I dislike Twilight because it gives such a bad message to teens and young adults. Meyer describes Bella as different, and yet she's so needy and obsessive. I dislike Edward because he's controlling, and overprotective. I think in general their relationship is disgusting and psychotic. I hate how she makes it look like a good thing. Since when was watching a girl sleep and sitting outside her house normal? And Bella trying to kill herself? Shoot me.
  10. Jetshroom
    Offline

    Jetshroom New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Australia
    See, I thoroughly enjoyed the first 3 Harry Potter books. (I did enjoy the others, but I feel those were the best.) And the only people I've spoken to who don't like them, can't tell me why they don't like them, it comes down to the whole popularity thing I think. But Harry Potter is certainly popular for a reason. Enjoy them or not, the first three are fairly solid children's books. Given the strength of the writing in those, I believe JK would have been better to have written 7 childrens books rather than 3 childrens books, 2 tweens books and 4 teens books. IMO the further she got from childrens writing, the worse she got. But, it has to be said that it worked. She kept the audience.

    Twilight is a different matter. I've not read them, and I'm never going to. I have a thorough understanding of the story (through my other half who went through the phase) and I've no interest whatsoever in it. I was convinced to try to read them and the actual writing turned me off after the first page. Often I can get past that if I'm intrigued by something in the book, but in Twilight, I just wasn't.
  11. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex Hey there Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    6,900
    Likes Received:
    601
    Location:
    Northeast England
    Harry Potter isn't bad, and it's fun and accessible. It and the Kindle have done a lot to make reading a little more trendy. I must admit I was part of the 'Harry Potter hate club' when younger, but now that it's over and I'm a little older I can look at the series objectively and say that while I'm not exactly crazy about it, I am rather warmly fond of it. Sure there are thinks you can criticize it for: like goofy characters and moments, plotholes; and hints at really disturbing events - like one character being dragged off by Centaurs - anyone who knows their role in Greek mythology will know exactly what I'm referring to. The series though is far from bad.
  12. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 New Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,320
    Likes Received:
    37
    I never understood this mentality either. As if just because its mainstream automatically makes it bad somehow. It just never made sense to me.
  13. TDFuhringer
    Offline

    TDFuhringer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    504
    Likes Received:
    164
    Location:
    Somewhere South of Midnight
    I grew up under unusual circumstances. I was raised to be an elitist, one of those 'we're better than everyone else' people. I rejected my family and their diseased thinking, but sometimes old habits linger. And I'm not the only one. A lot of people define themselves by feeling superior. I think not reading or watching something because it's mainstream is another way of making people feel special.
  14. muscle979
    Offline

    muscle979 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Maryland
    I didn't read it ten years ago simply because I had heard that it was written for kids and teenagers and didn't think I would enjoy it. That was probably a mistake. A few months ago I decided to use it as a way to get my school age daughters interested in reading. It worked very well and I discovered that it's actually a very good work of fiction that anybody could enjoy. The girls look forward to reading the book with me every night now. We'll be finishing up Chamber of Secrets probably later this week.

    It's crazy that anybody would compare Harry Potter to that Twilight nonsense or say that J.K. Rowling isn't a good writer.
    1 person likes this.
  15. Ashleigh
    Offline

    Ashleigh New Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    144
    Location:
    In the comfort of my stubborn little mind.
    This is absolutely true for me too. I thought the film was silly, but decided to read the books before I made any comments on them. After reading them I found all the same problems with it, but I can still see how it got so popular. People who dislike things purely for being trendy are missing out on rich lessons about the publishing world...And it probably all stems from jealousy anyway.
  16. Ziggy Stardust
    Offline

    Ziggy Stardust New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    3
    It's amusing. I'm an adult male, picked up the first twilight book at a bookswap when travelling. Must have been before the movies had come out because I hadn't heard much about it. And I enjoyed reading it. Pretty light stuff, think I got through it in one very long bus journey, but it was entertaining. It is actually very well written, I can see why it's popular. Very accessible, the characters are interesting enough, the plot is decent enough. It's significantly better the usual romance trash (which is hugely popular anyway), it's a good YA novel.

    Really the hate only started after the movie came out and there was all that hysteria over that British kid from Harry Potter who plays the vampire. I think it's all rather pathetic, the hysteria and the hate. It's no literary masterpiece, but it deserved success. No idea why people are so critical of it, I'd challenge anyone to do better. :rolleyes:

    Harry Potter on the other hand, is just plain awesome. I grew up with it, it's just fantastic. The world that she created is completely amazing. Middle Earth, The Disc World, and the Harry Potter world. They were the big ones for me. Yes, I used to dream of getting a letter for Hogwarts, especially before my 11th birthday. But it never came... :(
  17. TDFuhringer
    Offline

    TDFuhringer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    504
    Likes Received:
    164
    Location:
    Somewhere South of Midnight
    Aww. :D That's so cute! I'm sorry you never got your Hogwarts invite. And yes, so far I'm loving the world she created. I'm halfway through Chamber of Secrets now.
  18. twelveninetysix
    Offline

    twelveninetysix Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Wigan, UK
    I've never understood when people think Rowling is a terrible writer. Her prose isn't revolutionary or anything, but it's entertaining and at times moving, and generally pretty well done. Her characters are her forte, interesting and three-dimensional, and the story has a much stronger moral than some books. There's a fairly wide range of themes under the surface, too, if you want to look for them. I heard a Stephen King quote that sums it up nicely: "Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend."

    I was always a Harry Potter kid, and I think this is a lot of what makes it special for me. I grew up with the characters, and they were a major part of my life. It sounds really cheesy but as you grow up you go through a lot of the same emotions that they do, and it brings you closer to the stories in a way that good writing on it's own just can't. The darker tone of the later books was criticized but it felt like the books grew with me, and started to deal with more "real-world" issues as I, too, was exposed more and more to that side of life. I've loved lots of books since then, but I'll always have a special place for Harry Potter.
    1 person likes this.
  19. muscle979
    Offline

    muscle979 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Maryland
    No more than any other trashy romance novel. It took a perfect storm of circumstances for those books to rake in the money they did. It's not as if there aren't plenty of people out there who can and have written much better fiction.

    My kids absolutely love Harry Potter. I like it too even being a grown man.
  20. Anniexo
    Offline

    Anniexo New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really like Harry Potter, when I first heard of it (Which was the PS1 game) I though it would be crap, but I enjoyed it, then I saw the film, not knowing that it was based on a book (I didn't read anything outside of game text and stuff in school books back then) but when I did, I borrowed all the books out at the time from my school library and started reading, then my mum got me all the books for me to keep so I took the school ones back, to which the lady there said I could have stolen them (I went to a bad school). Anyway when I finished reading the first book I said I wanted to be a writer. And every time the next book came out, I would read it, then read all the books all together, but I didn't do that after reading the last book because it took me awhile to read it.
  21. KipDynamite
    Offline

    KipDynamite Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Like many of you, I also grew up with Harry Potter, and I honestly think that they are the best books for kids to read. Not only are they entertaining, but they also include a plethora of moral and philosophical lessons. I understand what you mean about not wanting to read something because it's popular; I hate conformity, but I think that it's important to not get too caught up in that.
  22. AndrewH
    Offline

    AndrewH New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    I avoided the Harry Potter books when they first came out; I think the rabidity of some fans turned me off. I read Goblet of Fire on holidays when I ran short of other reading material, then went back and read the earlier ones - and becoming one of the rabid fans :p

    I think that experience taught me to inform myself before dismissing things, which sadly led me to read the Twilight books, and not dismissing them out of hand.
  23. Cerrus
    Offline

    Cerrus New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Right Behind You
    I have to say, I do find myself deterred from the big, mainstream novels. The Harry Potter series is good, but I could name off many other books that are much much much better. I've gone to book stores and picked up the book that's the next big thing and am turned off by the first page. It's the same reason I don't like mainstream music, they sing the same lyrics over and over and over and it's just boring, but it's the "cool" thing to listen to so people listen to it. Don't get me wrong, I give the books a chance, but I usually find myself deterred because of a predictable plot and un-originality.
  24. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel I do not like snoopy reporter Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    618
    I tried reading Harry Potter and I couldn't stick with it, it just wasn't all that interesting to me. Although one day when I have kids, I am sure I'll read it to them.
    Twilight I also don't find at all interesting, actually I find the characterisation quite objectionable (for all the reasons other posters already mentioned), so I haven't even attempted to read the whole book, a short excerpt was enough.

    But I wouldn't dream of accusing either Rowling or Meyer of "bad writing". Clearly, they wrote something that captured imaginations of millions of people, and that is the hallmark of a good writer.
  25. Dragon Boy
    Offline

    Dragon Boy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    I was reluctant to read Harry Potter, but finally decided to give it a try a couple of months ago. It was hard to get into it at first as I had just finished a really dark novel ( Dearly Devoted Dexter ), but after the first few chapters I was really hooked ! Now I just started Goblet of Fire yesterday and I really don't regret picking up those books.

Share This Page