Well- I have no answer -- except to say that this isn't the only group
of writer/reader/fantasists I engage in conversation with. I also hear
many of the same things said about other extremely successful
novelists. ("IF you like cotten-candy..." "Little substance..."
"Derivative...") Pardon me if I've become suspicious...
1. Rowling shows every sign of having several more "sequels" ahead
following the Harry-and-friends-coming-of-age theme. The real question
is, will she follow him into adulthood? (Well-- it is a series meant
for the nine-year-old crowd.) (Critique from one regarding the
current offering: "Too much mushy-stuff".) (And, there you have it.)
2. They do remind me of Robert Jordan, a couple of "fillers" in
between the action. Robert Jordan ... now there's an author who
produces a really plotless novel to further his series.
Unfortunately, I, too, got sucked into them and wish he'd write the
next one. Or, maybe end the series (now *that's* a thought...) and my
3. Youth books are interesting, but I don't think they should be
compared to adult novels. For a whole bunch of reasons that there is
too little time & space to go into here.
4. Only time will tell if "Harry" takes his place -- or not-- beside
the classics of youth fantasies. (Barrie, Baum, Beagle, Lewis...)
5. I see Rowling's success as "Hey, one of *us* made good!" (Writer,
fantasy writer, woman writer, youth writer...take your pick.) In the
lingo of my generation: groovy. Right on. And, that of the double 00
generation: You go, girl!
6. I found them a "fast read", and, with their modern-day settings,
like Charles de Lint, not really my cup of tea (pun intended). This is
not a critique of either writer's ability, just my own reaction.
I appreciate Harry Potter, it has the remarkable effect of completely
engaging a crew of street-wise inner city
I'd-rather-be-doing-*anything*-else-but-read third graders. I gave
copies to all of my literacy workers in the program(s) I developed
because -- golly! The kids are reading and enjoying it! Who knows what
revolutionary thing could come of that??? KUDOS to Rowling, I say, and
let's have the next ten!! (BTW: the kids in my program seemed to go on
to "A Series of Unfortunate Events" from Rowling. Just thought you
like to know.)
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, WendellWag@a... wrote:
> In an email dated 1/8/2005 5:56:24 pm GMT Daylight time, "Lezlie"
> > I think the
> > real issue here is that it's so very popular, and the author is making
> > bundle off it. I think I have witnessed more than a few "Green-eyed
> > Dragons" amongst writers of fantasyeh? Maybe we should all just get
> > over it and write our own stories. To each generation its own.
> Oh, please, no one here has made an argument anything like that. I know
> perfectly well that I'm not even going to write a good fantasy
> alone a great one. I don't begrudge Rowling the money she has made
> least. My only argument is that the Harry Potter books aren't as
> they're claimed to be. I'm not saying that they're bad books. They're
> passibly good books with some significant flaws in my opinion. They're
> just not in my list of the top ten children's fantasy series of all
> The fact that I'm not a writer doesn't prevent me from critizing the
> books. I'm tired of hearing certain other arguments about why I
> absolutely have to like the books. The fact that the books have got a
> lot of children to read books (if that's really true) doesn't mean that
> I'm stopping them from reading the books if I say that I'm not greatly
> impressed by them. I feel at times like I'm confronted by a religious
> cult if I criticize the books.
> Wendell Wagner