What's the deal with Harry Potter

What other authors do Tolkien fans enjoy? Come on in and enter into a broadened conversation on the great literature of this and other times.

Postby peregin2k » Sat Jul 08, 2000 9:36 am

Am I from another planet or what? I haven't read those books yet and I was just wondering what is it all about? Why are people lining up outside of the Indigo bookstore here just to get a copy? Is it that good? I've heard it's a children book would I be able to appreciate it as an adult? Let me know.
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Postby Kyra'taryn » Sat Jul 08, 2000 12:09 pm

I haven't read any of them either P2K, but my brother is in the age group that seems to be going nuts for them. He has the first one and he said its boring but now he's all excited about this new one that's just come out. Not that he's any expert on literature; it's very rare to see him with a book in hand. I was watching CNN this morning between cartoons and they actually had the nerve to compare Rowling to Tolkien!!! Can you believe that?! I don't care how good these books are supposed to be. I highly doubt that they even approach being same caliber as LOTR. And did I hear that there is going to be a Harry Potter movie coming out next Thanksgiving? Hmm, seems awfully close to FOTR... riding the coattails maybe? Anyway, from what I've heard about the Rowling's books, they seem like the same camp fantasy stories/soap operas that are typical for the preteen age group. I haven't been impressed enough by summaries, etc, to actually read them, but I'm sure I'll have to give them a try sooner or later just to see if my opinions hold water...
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Postby Pallando » Sat Jul 08, 2000 1:20 pm

I read the first one to see what the deal was, and it was an enjoyable story, but it did not have the depth and the history that Tolkien's stories had. Nowhere near, in fact. <BR><BR>To me, this is more whimsical fantasy. There are four groups of wizards in the wizard school, and their names are Mugglewort, Slytherin, and two other equally rediculous names, although I'm not sure on the spelling of any. <BR><BR>Potter rides around on a broom, and plays some game with a couple of balls while he rides. There is actually a team for it.<BR><BR>But don't get me wrong; it was a good story, and a good introduction to the fantasy world, but Rowlings and Tolkien? Tolkien had at least three working languages and a complete mythology to back up his entirely created Middle-Earth. Rowlings, however, has nothing of that sort, and her world is in England, just in some invisible area or something, I don't really know. Well, that's what I know on the subject.<BR><BR>Pallando
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Postby PingUnderTheMountain » Sun Jul 09, 2000 8:47 pm

I have read and greatly enjoyed all four of the Harry Potter stories. Yes, they are mostly for children, but I believe adults can appreciate them. (I certainly did!) You must, though, be willing to suspend your disbelief, to give in to an author's dreams, to let go of your perceptions. (Boy, I sound silly!) No, the books are not really in the same league as Tolkien, although I think it is perhaps the first time a "fantasy" story has had such remarkable success since LOTR made it big. <BR><BR>I would advise reading them, just to give them a try. I'll give my own summary, hopefully more accurate than the one given above.<BR><BR>Harry Potter has grown up rather miserably with his aunt, uncle, and cousin, his parents having died when he was a baby. On his 11th birthday, a surprise awaits him, for he has been admitted to Hogwarts, a school of wizardry. (Hogwarts has four different houses, being Griffyndor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw.) There, he will learn about the world of magic that most Muggles (non-magicians) don't even know exists. This includes Quidditch, a sport played on broomsticks that is as popular in the wizarding world as football (soccer) is for the Muggles. And he will also learn more about his past and the evil Lord Voldemort, dark wizard who slew his parents. Can't say more than that for fear of spoiling it! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I finished the fourth book yesterday, and it was sooooo goooood!!! <BR><BR>I know that for me, if something is popular, I usually assume that it is not something I would enjoy, because a lot of people don't like the things I do. If you feel this way, ignore it for these books. <BR><BR>I think part of the reason I like them is because I know that I would have loved them as a child, and when I read them, I can be a kid again, can remember what it is like to be young.<BR><BR>As for the movie, I seriously doubt they're riding on LOTR's coattails. The movies will be direct to two different age groups. LOTR is going to be an adult movie, and reportedly at least PG-13 in America. Any movie based on Harry Potter would be PG at the most, so that all kids could see it. ('Course, I suspect there will be a lot of "copycat" movies, but if LOTR gives fantasy movies a second chance in Hollywood, so much the better, imnsho.) <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Pallando » Sun Jul 09, 2000 9:25 pm

Ok, Ok, so my description of Harry Potter wasn't too accurate. (Mugglewort? Derrrrr...) I did like the story though.<BR><BR>By the way; does anyone else think the cover painting for the newest Harry Potter book is just plain ugly?<BR><BR>Pallando
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Postby MagicFlea » Sun Jul 09, 2000 11:09 pm

Well, I was going to write a real reply until I read Ping's, which is pretty much what I was going to say. I cant say I loved them, because I pretty much forgot about them a few days after reading, but if you ever need something to read they are highly enjoyable. And a question: Are they going to be 1000 pages long by the end of the series? 730 pages seems a bit excessive for a childrens book to me.
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Postby Durin VIII » Mon Jul 10, 2000 8:00 am

Do these books deserve all the hype they are getting? The answer is no, but it is great that it is a book getting all the hype. The Harry Potter books are better then most of the stuff available and a lot of fun to read.<BR><BR>I think they should be compared to Tolkien in that they are getting a lot of kids to read books. How many of us discovered the joy of reading because of Tolkien's work? I know I read some, but not a lot before 6th grade when I was introduced to the magical land of Middle Earth. There will be some kids who will get in the habit of reading because of these books. Perhaps because of Tolkien nobody asks me if I am reading, but what I am reading right now.<BR><BR>I anxiously await reading the 4th Harry Potter book.<BR>
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Postby Arish » Mon Jul 10, 2000 10:26 am

I also enjoy reading the Harry Potter series. You guys are right, it is alot different from Tolkien, but it is still very enjoyable. I'm about half way through the fourth book and can't put it down. But I still like Tolkien better. Tolkien deals with magic in a more elusive it's-there-but-not-really kinda way. Rowling on the other hand, has her characters saying incantations, flying on broom sticks, and making potions. Her's is the typical picture of witches and wizards. Tolkeins version of , well just about everything in his books, is pretty much completely his own. Gandalf doesn't have a caldron or make potions (that I know of) and his elves aren't like the kind that people normaly think of. Now that I'm done comparing the two, both are good, but very different and hard to compare to each other.
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Postby Witch_King_of_Angmar » Tue Jul 11, 2000 2:03 pm

Mugglewort? hmm the whitch has never heard of this house could it be the wizard Pallando is a idiot read the books their close to tolkien but not quite
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Postby Waxwing » Tue Jul 11, 2000 3:45 pm

To preface, I have to say I enjoyed the first Harry Potter book; it was fun. I haven't read the rest of them but I probably will eventually.<BR><BR>However, I have this theory... (begin gripe on media...) a book does about as well as it is marketed to do. They have marketed these Harry Potter books for all they're worth, and it's blown them up to be bigger than life. People see Harry's face everywhere. Everyone has to rush out and buy the book the first day it's out because, hey, CNN says there's going to be a rush on the bookstores for them. Everyone thinks they have to get their copy now. It's more media than anything else. I think that any book, no matter what the quality, that's marketed as much as the Potter books have been would be a hit. Until people realized how terrible the actual book was. (end gripe on media...)
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Postby Pallando » Tue Jul 11, 2000 6:07 pm

a ididot? Heh Heh.<BR><BR>Pallando (a idiot, or an idiot)
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Postby Durin VIII » Wed Jul 12, 2000 7:11 am

Waxwing, while I agree with part of what you say about the media hyping the new book I must say Harry Potters popularity did not start in the last few months. I first heard about the Harry Potter books two years ago when some friends were so excited when the 2nd book came out in the US. Last year people discovered that from Amazon.com.uk you could get #3 months before it came out in the US. These books have been very popular for a few years now. That sort of popularity cannot be generated from the media. Sure from marketing you can hype something out, but for it to last more then a short period of time there must be something behind it. So any book with the amount of hype this one got would be successful, but if it is not real good it would be on the discount table within a few months, and so far none of the Harry Potter books have been sitting on the discount table.<BR><BR>Just because the Harry Potter books do not have the same literary qualities of Tolkien does not make them bad. Star Wars is a cowboy film set in space with nowhere near the depth of the Akira Kurosawa’s movies that it borrowed from, but Star Wars seems to be pretty popular and regarded as good. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Harry Potter is most of all a great childhood fantasy. For many kids to discover you are heir to magical powers is the ultimate dream. When I was young I would fantasize about being an heir to the kings of Middle Earth and Gandalf would come and return me to my rightful position. I bet many kids are dreaming of being invited to Hogwarts to learn magic.<BR><BR>I also think that the Harry Potter books are more like Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, etc) then Tolkien.<BR><BR>
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Postby Waxwing » Wed Jul 12, 2000 9:46 am

I understand your point, Durin. And when I talk about hype, I refer to the media push that started before the second book was published; it was getting hype even then. Maybe I'm just stubbornly anti-conformist, but I have this tendency to avoid things that are popularized by the media.<BR><BR>However, like I said, I read and enjoyed the first book, and I'll probably read the rest. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> I'd compare them to Roald Dahl, too; they have that sort of whimsical tone. What I like best about them is that they're getting kids to read, and I'll always support that. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Witch_King_of_Angmar » Wed Jul 12, 2000 10:54 am

the great witch king should not be bothered by things like spelling and grammer when he should be out stabbing ring bearers
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Postby Witch_King_of_Angmar » Wed Jul 12, 2000 11:00 am

Potter is a great 4 books unforetunatly its the new fad so they are making movies of it my opinion is anyone trying to make a book into a movie should be given an axe and dropped in to the middle of Fangorn or sent as solo recon to Saurons bedroom and back or maybe take an greek ideah and let his intestines be ripped out every day by eagles<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>Does anyone know where I can get some eagles?
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Postby Arish » Wed Jul 12, 2000 11:21 am

If I understood that right, you said they were making a movie of the Harry Potter books? If I misunderstood, sorry.
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Postby Waxwing » Wed Jul 12, 2000 11:33 am

Arish, yes, you understood correctly. They ARE making movies of the Harry Potter books.
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Postby Pallando » Wed Jul 12, 2000 12:33 pm

Hey Witch_King; have you ever thought of writing a stream of conciousness novel? It seems you were born for such an endeavor.<BR><BR>Pallando
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Postby Círdan » Wed Jul 12, 2000 1:24 pm

From what I've heard the Harry Potter movie (the first one anyway) is to be released alongside Fellowship of the Rings, that is going to be an interesting month. Who will win the movie goers? Will Tolkien show he's greater than an upstart novelist? So many questions. Also the movie itself is in ruins over wheather or not the boy casted as Harry is to be British or American, a casting director quit over that! I can see that film may have just as much controversy as the LOTR adaption. Kids won't be seeing the Harry Potter they knew, it most likely will be changed some. There isn't anything to compare between the two franchises but; it's interesting.
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Postby peregin2k » Thu Jul 13, 2000 11:03 am

I read the author doesn't want it to become a movie in the first place, that's why they are going to shoot it in the USA. Interesting question, Cirdan, that's why I have suggested in another forum that they should do a research on how many people actually knew what the book is all about esp. with the younger set or else they will have a tough competition here.
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Postby Shelrond » Thu Jul 13, 2000 2:04 pm

Just to put in my 2 cents:<BR>Read 'em all; loved 'em all!<BR>I'm even looking forward to the movie!<BR><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Witch_King_of_Angmar » Thu Jul 13, 2000 4:16 pm

hey Cirdan its not who is a better writer but who can butcher a story worse my bets with the potter directer oh and Pallando Stream of conscios novel please explain I don't seem to follow to many hobbit stabbings are getting on my nerves and my leg is a little sore
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Postby Pallando » Thu Jul 13, 2000 6:40 pm

its where someone just writes down what comes into their head or sometimes what a character is thinking it all comes out on the paper and some people actually like the stuff imagine that oh well there you go i don't know if you were joking about it or not but theres your explanation good day<BR><BR>Pallando
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Postby mer » Thu Jul 13, 2000 7:30 pm

I'm 35 and I love Harry Potter. Of course it's not anywhere near LOTR- it's meant for kids, but I find it fun.<BR><BR>A question-<BR><BR>is the movie going to be live action or cartoon?<BR><BR>
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Postby PingUnderTheMountain » Thu Jul 13, 2000 10:03 pm

The movies are supposed to be live-action, from everything I've heard. *sigh* I am sooo nervous about all the rumors flying about them. DON'T Americanize it, darn it! That's what'll ruin them! It's a great story and a great setting as it stands, and putting in American accents won't make it any more accessible to American kids. The kids have read books, which are usually harder to understand than a movie, so having it American WON'T "help." *sigh*<BR><BR>Oh, and I wanted to apologize in case I offended anyone with my last post here. I realized only later that it could be quite offensive to a sensitive person, and I'm terribly sorry!<BR><BR>****<BR>*sheepish grin* When will I laern to read over my posts?!?!? <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Arish » Fri Jul 14, 2000 10:26 am

This is insane! The books have only been out for like what? a couple years? And they're making movies? The insanity of it all! Most other books that have been made in to movies have been around alot longer. Like Romeo and Juliet, The LOTR, ect.
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Postby Durin VIII » Fri Jul 14, 2000 11:41 am

Arish, In the last ten years it has been common for authors to already have movie deals in place before the book comes out. Both John Grisham and Michael Crichton only have to think of an idea and they have already sold the movie rights. I bet most of the best sellers in the last 5 years have the movie rights sold, and only a few will actually be made into a film. <BR><BR>Right now Perfect Storm is a popular (and good) movie and that book is only a few years old. Last year Cider House Rules (published 1994) and Snow Falling on Cedars (pub 1995) were good movies made from popular novels.<BR><BR>The Harry Potter movie is being rushed to take advantage of the popularity. I bet there will be even more "controversy" over how they do it then LotR is getting.<BR><BR>Another author that you will be seeing several movies out in the next few years is Asimov. I sure hope they do better job with those movies (including Foundation) then Bicentennial Man,<BR>
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Postby Witch_King_of_Angmar » Fri Jul 14, 2000 5:37 pm

As an Americanized American I wont take offense the only movie that is remoteley like the book is the Princess Bride everything else is bad! Books are for reading not watching can't those ^&^\%(^s get that! Then there are those that think Harrys scar is a Satanic ritual scar and Harry is polluting our soles so lets be like nazis and burn the books PEOPLE= Insane I'm glad to be a Ring wraith
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Postby Elmtree » Fri Jul 14, 2000 7:29 pm

I'm 40 and I love Harry Potter! I agree with the one poster who said the books are more akin to Roald Dahl than Tolkien, although they have more depth than Dahl, characterwise.<BR><BR>Harry is growing up in the books, and he's learning to trust (something he did not do at the beginning). There is loyalty to friends, bravery, sacrifice-- all in a very well told children's story.<BR><BR>I say "children's story" tho' I don't really think it is. It's a good fantasy story (tho' not the same sort of Fantasy as LOTR). The fourth book is much darker, and I would not allow a younger child to read it. The darkness is not glamourized, but it is terrifying (as parts of LOTR were!). I'd say it's for the older kids (and the grownups).<BR><BR>This is not LOTR, but I think Harry is here to stay. Of course, it depends on how the last three books come out.
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