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The Wild Swans and Harry Potter

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  • Joan Marie Verba
    I just finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer s Stone, and I must say that I agree with Dave Lenander: it isn t that great. Part of it may be because I read it
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 20, 1999
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      I just finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and I must say that
      I agree with Dave Lenander: it isn't that great. Part of it may be because
      I read it directly after The Wild Swans, which was superb, and it suffered
      in comparison. Even so, I don't think that the Harry Potter novel is
      anywhere near as well-written as The Hobbit, or Wizard of Earthsea, or any
      of a number of other works regarded as children's or young adult classics.

      The Harry Potter novel I read suffered from having a middle that dragged a
      lot. It didn't really get going until after the story was halfway done.
      Then, it did get interesting. Hagrid was a wonderful, memorable character,
      and as far as I'm concerned, is more rounded and interesting than Harry.

      The Wild Swans, on the other hand, is going on my list of Mythopoeic
      Fantasy Award nominees. And I wasn't that easy to impress, since I haven't
      been very enthusiastic about Peg Kerr's earlier works. This one, however,
      is excellent. I must confess I did not guess the Reverend's secret until it
      was right in front of me, although given the nature of the issues
      discussed, I might have seen it long before. The novel was very hard for me
      to put down, though I did, since I couldn't read it all at once. I highly
      recommend this.

      Joan

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      Joan Marie Verba verba001@...
      Secretary for the Mythopoeic Press, Mythopoeic Society
      List administrator for DocEx, MythSoc, MNSCBWI, and MNSCREENW lists
      Member of GASP, Keeper of Giles's Writing Desk
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    • Mary Kay Kare
      ... I also just read and wasn t all that crazy about it. In my case, I read it immediately after reading Peter Beagle s new novel _Tamsin_ which I recommend
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 20, 1999
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        Joan Marie Verba wrote:

        > From: "Joan Marie Verba" <verba001@...>
        >
        > I just finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and I must say that
        > I agree with Dave Lenander: it isn't that great. Part of it may be because
        > I read it directly after The Wild Swans, which was superb, and it suffered
        > in comparison. Even so, I don't think that the Harry Potter novel is
        > anywhere near as well-written as The Hobbit, or Wizard of Earthsea, or any
        > of a number of other works regarded as children's or young adult classics.

        I also just read and wasn't all that crazy about it. In my case, I read it
        immediately after reading Peter Beagle's new novel _Tamsin_ which I recommend
        highly to you all, so it may have suffered from that.

        One of my first reactions was, "Oh, good. Now we can also teach our boys to
        merely wait passively to be rescued from unpleasant situations as well as our
        girls.:" I am also disturbed by the underlying implication that if you are
        special you *will* get rescued and therefore, if you didn't you aren't.

        I found the writing somewhat clumsy but this is, after all, her first novel.
        Tolkien and LeGuin had had rather a lot of practice. I must admit to a mild
        curiosity as to what happens next in the books, but I'm willing to wait until
        I run across them at used book stores and libraries. I feel no compulsion to
        buy.

        MK
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