1. Stephen1974

    Stephen1974 Member

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    Anyone else hate Harry Potter?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Stephen1974, Jun 25, 2017.

    A bit of background. I had never heard of Harry Potter until the films came out and even then it tooks months for me to go watch a film. I only watched it because I was bored and there was no one else in the cinema, it had been out that long.

    I thought the film was brilliant. The world JK Rowling had created was first class and even when I watch the philosophers stone now I still look at and think wow, great world.

    I watched all the films before I got near a book and I remember thinking in the early films that Harry and Ron were actually two really irritating characters, but (apart from malfoy) pretty mush every other main character was oustanding and made for great films.

    So I finally got around to the books, well, no I didn't. I got round to audiobooks, and have been listening to them for the last month or so. Currently just started Half Blood Prince.

    Through all this I found myself thinking, no wonder so many people turned this book down at the start. Harry Potter is an annoying little expletive. All the other characters, even Ron and Malfoy, in the books are great. I really like them all, but Harry has to be the most dislikable leading character I have ever come across. He's not badly written, its simply the character that's been created for him. I sometimes wish someone would just backhand the whiny sniveling git out the window and be done with it.

    Are there any other books out there where the main character is an obnoxious cretin?
     
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  2. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Dudley Dursley, is that you? ;)
     
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  3. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The bastards hung me in the spring of '25.... Contributor

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    Yeah, Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye. Your reaction to Harry is nearly identical to the one I had of Holden... and I was probably 12 at the time.
     
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  4. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Agreed. I read that book in my teens, and you'd think that would help me relate to Holden a little. But nope. He was annoying as hell at times.
     
  5. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView Supporter

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    That's how I feel about Snape. Or maybe his fan club. They're all, "Aww, he's so romantic and tortured!" Uh, no. He's a mentally stunted bully who needs a good wash.

    Harry is unbearable in Book 5 - it's the only one I could never re-read. Apart from that, I don't get how anyone could feel so strongly about him. He's an extraordinarily bland character with hardly any personality, especially in the early books.

    And the films are utter shite. None of the kids can act.
     
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  6. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    I always thought Snape was a little bit two faced. In book six
    the one where he kills Dumbledore
    I was under the impression that he did so because he was part of an unbreakable vow with Narcissa Malfoy and he'd done it to protect himself. Then in book seven
    he supposedly done it because Dumbledore ordered him to
    . He's really shifty and you never know who's side he's really on.
    He took an unbreakable vow! It was either kill Dumbledore or die!
    I didn't mind him until book six. After that, he got really irritating. :meh:
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  7. JPClyde

    JPClyde Senior Member

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    See and me and a friend were talking. But Harry Potter has the same issue as a lot of chosen one novels do. I love the Harry Potter books, one of the books Prisoner of Askaban I have read over and over again to the point the spine fell out.

    But Harry, I don't associate myself with Harry. He's popular, people help him, and how much of a chosen one is he when others help him out all the time?

    But all the secondary characters are great, real interesting. I connect very well with Remus Lupin a lot. And would love to actually see a novel that followed the Mauraders as they grew up and then become Dumbledores spies. But Harry, he's a background foreground character in his own story.

    Harry has the same issue as Bella or really any story like that. Where the main character is just not as interesting as some of the secondary characters. I do no get writers who can write some amazing well crafted, well developed, three dimensional secondary characters, but cannot grasp the same concept with their main characters.
     
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  8. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The bastards hung me in the spring of '25.... Contributor

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    It happens a lot. My theory is that because the MC has to carry the full weight of the novel and hold the reader's hand for 100k words they have to be steady and even-keeled. The secondary characters get to come in and out whenever they choose, do their thing, and then step aside until they're needed for the next gag. It's kind of how a fun, kooky aunt can deal with a child (the reader) versus a mother. The mother has to be consistent, measured, and somewhat muted to handle the full range of behaviors whereas the kooky aunt gets to pick the child up, stuff em full of ice cream, and let them stay up late without having to worry about the upset stomach and crankiness the next day.
     
  9. FourPointedStar

    FourPointedStar Member

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    I've always enjoyed the plots, but struggled to enjoy the writing. I've never particularly had a problem with Harry (probably because he's too bland), but his father & his father's cronies, i really took a dislike too. Remus, not so much, possibly because of his affliction. These days, i'd much rather watch the later films than read the books, which is a rarity for me.
     
  10. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Senior Member

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    Try reading HPMOR. You can say a lot about it, but that Harry isn't what anyone would call 'bland.' Even Voldemort is a lot more likable.

    Thank you.
     
  11. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    I neither really like nor dislike Harry Potter with any intensity. They're better than a lot of books I've read but they're still not my favourite. I think the best one of the series was Prisoner of Azkaban just because its darker tone seemed to work best with the environment and unlike the darker ones after it, it seemed to stand better on it's own. The constant need to retread old plots in the later books just so new readers could keep up bored me to the point that I never even finished the last book. I do enjoy the references/intertextuality(?) in the books. For example, if you spell "Voldemort" as "Vol de mort," it means "flock of death" in French.
    However, even if I didn't really enjoy the books, they still inspired hundreds of thousands, if not millions of kids to start reading and writing and using their imagination which is something I've never been able to do. So, respect to that.
     
  12. animagus_kitty

    animagus_kitty Active Member

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    Also, in order to preserve the 'I am Lord Voldemort' anagram, his original name in french had to be Tom Elvis Jedusor. Just a fun fact.

    Speaking as a big HP fan, I can see why people might not like Harry. Especially (as someone mentioned) in the 5th book. He did need to get the snot beat out of him. I've heard people defend his irritating personality by saying 'Well, what would you be like if your life was (x)?' Which, to be fair, is perfectly rational. HOWEVER, I don't want to read a book about an irritating little snot. I want to slap some sense into him. If your friend was behaving like a jerk, would you say, "Well, the Dark Lord does kind of want him dead, I guess it makes sense" or would you tell your friend to not be such a jerk?
     
  13. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    They were children's books. I read them to my own children, I think at aged 4 and 6, or something like 9 years old? Best way was to skip eighty pages, embellish, spice a little peril, and then draw to an exciting conclusion in under half an hour. Then we got cosy watched a war film. I always brought him back to life if the wife bought the next installment.
     
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  14. Kingtype

    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Eh, never read it.

    I may try at some point, but considering it is, probably, the second most popular fantasy ever written it is bound to have a fairly large portion of people who dislike it.
     
  15. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Senior Member

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    What are you doing on a writing forum if you haven't read Harry Potter?
     
  16. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Writing ?

    I started reading the first one, got bored and gave up .... Ive seen a couple of films but teenage wizarding isn't really my bag ( I like the detective books Rowling wrote as Robert Galbraith though)
     
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  17. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    What about Michael Morpurgo, or Commando comics crammed with men and weaponry? I like those a lot.
     
  18. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Maybe I'm just spoiled by how much I've read about PTSD in research for my own work, but I don't have a problem with Harry Potter being an unpleasant person for his friends to be around.
     
  19. Trish

    Trish Damned if I do and damned if I don't Contributor

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    Sorry, this amused me. I have never read Harry Potter. I have also never watched Harry Potter. I don't feel bad about it at all, as it simply doesn't interest me. It certainly doesn't mean that I don't get to go in the back room of the writing club house. Just saying.
     
  20. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    I agree. I kind of figured the requisite for being on a writers forum was writing, not having read Harry Potter. I'm pretty sure that there are tons of Harry Potter Forums out there for that already. "But," the straw man version of you says in my head, "It's, like, one of the most popular books there is!" True, but being popular doesn't make it good. Look at Twilight, both incredibly popular and not very good at all. And yes, I have read Twilight. This is not just me rehashing popular opinion.
     
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  21. Trish

    Trish Damned if I do and damned if I don't Contributor

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    :superagree: I did read Twilight - all of them. I shall never get that time back. I choose not to repeat the past (and HP is a lot longer:eek:).
     
  22. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I'm 96.4 percent sure that she was joking.
     
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  23. Trish

    Trish Damned if I do and damned if I don't Contributor

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    Did I sound snarky? I didn't mean to. I legitimately thought it was funny (hence the 'this amused me')
     
  24. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Senior Member

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    If I was a priest, I wouldn't forget read the Book of Exodus, would I? Harry Potter is the literary hallmark of an entire generation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  25. Trish

    Trish Damned if I do and damned if I don't Contributor

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    Oh. So you weren't joking?

    Okay then - no if you were a priest I guess you wouldn't, though I'm not a priest (and I'm guessing neither are you) so I don't really know what required reading is for them. What I do know is that being a writer doesn't mean you have to jump on every bandwagon that rolls by. If your goal in life is to write the next Harry Potter, then yes, you should definitely do that. If you have no interest in writing magical children's books, I'm pretty sure it's safe to skip it.
     

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