1. brihoppy
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    brihoppy Member

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    Harry Potter

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by brihoppy, Apr 26, 2010.

    Apologies if this isn't in the correct place...I promise not to start all my posts with an apology, at least until I've got used to the forums...!

    I have a question I've been dying to ask literary types, but never really had the opportunity to...

    I've had a good lurk around the site and I haven't stumbled across a similar thread so yet more apologies if it has already been done to death, but I was wondering if anyone believes there will ever be another phenomenon quite like Harry Potter...?

    I've never read the books personally, but I'm in complete awe of what JK Rowling achieved...

    Any thoughts or should I be resurrecting a dusty old thread elsewhere on this...?!

    Cheers,

    Bri.
     
  2. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well there is Twilight.

    But I think there will be another author and series that will achieve something that Jk Rowling has. Whether or not we will see it any time soon is unknowable.

    But every so often there is a series that does this. From what I seen its mostly in the TV/Movies genre. Like Star Trek and Star Wars.

    Its just a matter of time that a new book series will accomplish something like this.

    Also I would recommend reading the books. They are alot of fun with great characters and setting.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There will always be something new. Always. The masses are fickle. With time they will look back and think, "Did I really go gagga over that? What was I thinking?"

    This is a good thing.

    It keeps the door always open to the new.
     
  4. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    ^ True, Wrey, but Harry Potter isn't just a generic crappy teenybopper success (i.e., Twilight). The books are incredibly well-written and tell a story; they have a moral of friendship, standing up for yourself and for others who need it, how love is all-important and good will always triumph over evil.

    In that sense, there will never be another Harry Potter. Commercial success, yes; as Wrey has said, the masses are fickle. But time will tell what commercial success will also have critical acclaim and which will fade away. There's a reason the Beatles and Elvis are still omnipresent and Hanson has faded away; the quality. And that is what will ensure that Harry Potter stays at the top where it belongs. :)
     
  5. brihoppy
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    brihoppy Member

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    Twilight...yeah, I'm aware of that and although it seems to be the latest 'fad' I'm not sure as Gigi points out, that it is even in the same league as Harry Potter. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some fan-boy, it's the whole concept I'm intrigued with even though I think that the theme/story is undoubtedly a big part of its success.

    I am literally dumbfounded by so many aspects of Harry Potter. From the cross generational appeal, which I believe comes from the adults of today not really ever having anything that came near to read when they were young (I know that might be debatable to some, but I don't think Enid Blyton compares!); to the creative process that went into it.

    I personally don't think anything will ever come close in both concept and execution and yes, I'm aware just how narrow-minded that comment is for someone who claims to have an expansive and vivid imagination. I hope I'm proved wrong sooner rather than later as I'd love to see just what it could be.

    I will be reading one or two in the near future to research the writing style for YA fiction...maybe I'll even like them...!!!
     
  6. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    There will always be something new for people to gather around and get excited about. Literature is no different to music, theatre and so fourth.

    Time can be a long process, it's hard to tell what will effect us all in 10 years let alone 300 years. To be honest, i can't see the Harry Potter series being too well known in a century (after 5 more generations are born). I mean people will know it in circles, but i'm sure in time it'll have it's lows and highs (Looks at the re-birth of Lord of The Rings for example)

    I'm sure parents (young kids now) will read HP to the kids, but for it to continue?

    I thought Led Zeppelin would live forever. (Which they still do), but i know so many people who have no idea who they are. So imagine (sadly) what people will think of such talent in another 10 generations time.

    In which case, dozens upon dozens of "classic's" will show up in time. And each generation will one day define what is classic and what is not.


    When i first read JKR, i thought i was reading an extended story from Roald Dahl (who i think was genius for his time). So someone will always come alone and add their own to something.
     
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  7. brihoppy
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    brihoppy Member

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    It's all very well saying 'of course there will' and to be honest, I'm sure you're right, but can anyone think of anything in modern literary history that has ever been as successful...? I can't and it's because I can't that I have trouble imagining anything ever will be...

    Am I confusing commercial success with its literary value...?

    Either way, whether it's good or bad writing, its impact is undeniable.
     
  8. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    You have to realise, the world is becoming much better at marketing.

    And marketing is only going to grow strongner and stronger.

    Look at the Snakes on a Plane movie they did only a few years ago. Shocking movie, but it was mass marketed on every possible service and wat-la, the movie made over a hundred million dollars (actually it doubled its budget.)) I knew the movie was going to be lame, but the way the sold it to me was 'Hey it's so lame, you have to watch it.

    It is foreseeable that in the future something will equal Harry Potter. Be it our choice, or great marketing.
     
  9. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Of course there will be other phenomenons like Harry Potter.

    I watched a film about Enid Blyton, whenever it was on BBC, and I think she is equal, if not better, than JK Rowling. She wrote 750+ (I think..) books or something ridiculous, and a lot were successes. She's responsible for the much loved Noddy(transformed into a television series - not sure if it still shows now, I hope so!), Famous Five, Secret Seven, Malory Towers etc.

    I think you are confusing commercial success and literary value. Harry Potter's commercial success is more obvious, than say other books that could be of more or equal literary value, because of the hype around each new book coming out, the films etc.
     
  10. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    Ofcourse there will be...

    when my fantasy series will get published :D


    (( Haha, just joking, I don't think I'll publish it, I enjoy it as a hobby and I'd feel too much pressure on writing another book for the series that I'll probally get stressed out. ))

    But I'm sure some day there will be a writer that has the same skills as Rowling, but it's also a matter of timing and luck. If there is, I would want to read it!

    ~ Lola
     
  11. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I hope there's another HP phenom that I can get behind. We need a good book that teaches people the importance of friendship, love, etc., a la Potter. I can't support Twilight. :/
     
  12. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    I second this entirely.
     
  13. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Am I going to be lynched if I put forward the suggestion that, whilst Rowling is certainly a competent writer, the HP books' success had more to do with the marketing it received than the actual writing itself? The initial response to it was favourable, and so the publishers and other business enterprises poured investment in in terms of marketing budget, in the hope of maximising its success (little knowing, I suspect, how much it would pay off).

    I also suspect that the fact that it was aimed at children contributed a lot to the success. Rowling deserves praise for being able to write a book that is aimed perfectly at children, but does not necessarily exclude an adult audience. I suspect that children are the largest reading demographic (given that most education systems will strongly enourage children to be reading, aside from any influences of the parents). The target audience being children also provides greater exposure, as many of those children will have had the books read to them by their parents, thus providing one of the many leads-in for the adult audience it managed to capture.

    So could it happen again? Of course! It would merely requiring the same convergence of factors, which is far from impossible: a (minimum) competent writer; business executives willing to pour in the capital; sizable audience and media exposure (which is particularly likely with childrens' books). Theoretically, any member of this site has the potential to achieve something similar.

    (But Twilight can just **** off)
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not only was it the marketing, but the fact that the story was appealing to young readers. The writing may not be of the highest literary caliber, but the characters are fun and the stiry is well told.

    It was good enough that it spread by word of mouth (and Internet). And that, in turn, made it newsworthy, because it sent a notoriously book-shy generation rushing to the bookstores. And that made a more or less local phenomenon go globally viral.

    It was a perfect storm, a book series that filled a vacuum at exactly the right moment.
     
  15. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd just like to pitch my opinion that I don't actually agree that J.K Rowling wrote the books incredibly well at all. In fact, I thought her style was quite boring and lacked any real sense of style, for me. She also told alot, which I understand can be acceptable in some children's literature, but I don't believe it worked well for the kind of story she was telling...then again, millions of readers would disagree with me.

    However, she did tell an immensely good story, and what's more, told one that was completely unique. Good on her!

    To answer the question though, Yes, I believe so. There have been some very popular series, such as the Darren Shan saga for example, but none other than the awful Twilight saga that I can think of.

    Still, there's always hope.

    I agree with Cog in regards to marketing, time, and audience aswell. I think these factors had much more to do with it than her actual style of writing, but as I said before, the actual story was breathtaking.
     
  16. brihoppy
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    brihoppy Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I've no doubt whatsoever that a large part of its success is down to the marketing and the day and age in which we live and I appreciate she might not be the best writer around...I suppose it is a combination of fortuitous timing and an original idea; like Cog says above...a perfect storm...
     
  17. Grim Reaper
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    Grim Reaper New Member

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    I bet when jk rowling makes a new book people hype about it and it probably will be the next best seller...

    Off topic but still fun to know... I think the biggest phenonmenon ever was star wars my dad said when it came out, on a weekday not weekend people jammed the theaters with hundreds of people waiting to see it and after they saw it many people bought merchandise and tons of star wars books.
     
  18. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^ I wish cinema still had that effect on people :( It's so sad turning up to a film with only about 10 of the seats filled.
     
  19. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I suggest reading them all if you read any. To be honest, if you're a mature reader the first few books may be hard to get through. Luckily, I read the series before I became more critical of the work I read. I've read the entire series twice and even bought all of the books. I recently went to read them and just couldn't even get through the first book due to the sloppy writing. Great story there, don't get me wrong, but I have an idea that some readers have a reading age that's separate from their chronological age (this is why I can no longer read Stephen King and I used to be his number one fan. :D ) and after you've spent some time critically thinking about written works and working to improve your own writing you seem to lose the enjoyment of a "good" but not particularly well written story.

    Sorry, I got a bit off topic there. My long, rambling point is that the writing gets better as you progress through the series and becomes much darker and adult oriented.
     
  20. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^ Totally agree with you, Gar!

    I found the first book a total chore because of the writing, and it's true - styles that I used to read can bore me to death now, and I tend to judge the writing alot more critically then I used to.
     
  21. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    One of the best things about HP is its central positive message that friendship and love will triumph over evil.
     
  22. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The one thing that's annoying is that all seven books are essentially the same. Harry goes to school, fights Voldemort, wins, and then goes home for the summer. This is why I like the third book more than the rest. It just seems a lot more imaginative to me.

    Also, I agree with the posts above that her writing got better as the series went on. But I do agree with Banzai that marketing helped a lot more than her writing in getting sales.
     
  23. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's a nice message but a little patronising and unrealistic...good for kids, I suppose. Fact is, good people die everyday, no matter how much love and support they had behind them. I know that she tried to show this by having some of the characters die in the novels, etc, but it kind of had that happy-clappy pleasentville effect.

    Another thing that annoys me is the how pretty much all the way through, it's: You're alive and happy because you're HARRY POTTER! Nothing can ever beat you, and there is no task too big for you, because...YOU'RE HARRY POTTER!

    Eggh...
     
  24. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    In the later books he's indeed quite arrogant and self-confident. But this has developed over time, in the first book he isn't too annoying. But yes, he's able to defeat 'the dark lord' on his own when he's like 11 years old. Realistic? not very, but a lot of childrens books have a young main character who achieves great things.. :)
     
  25. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I can understand that. But it's so eye-rollingly annoying that Ron and Hermione are both accomplished witches/wizards by the end, along with the rest of the school, and yet Harry is still indefeatable. They could easily die, but he'd always win, even though he's supposed to be learning magic like the rest of them.

    I don't know, it may even just be the rubbish acting in the films that has put me off believing in the characters :p
     

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