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Re: [mythsoc] My two bits on HPV

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  • Berni Phillips
    From: Kevin Bowring ... others, ... I just finished it as well. Yes, it had a hefty page count, but it never bored me and I zipped through
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 30, 2003
      From: "Kevin Bowring" <bowring@...>


      > Well, I just finish HPV. I am afraid I didn't enjoy it as much as the
      others,
      > and I agree that it was too long.

      I just finished it as well. Yes, it had a hefty page count, but it never
      bored me and I zipped through it in two days, so I would say it didn't feel
      too long to me.

      From here on, I'm going to go into spoiler territory, so

      SPOILER SPACE

      S

      P

      O

      I

      L

      E

      R


      S

      P

      A

      C

      E



      >During this book I kept re-imagining scenes in
      > forms that I would have liked better. Coleridge made a distinction
      between
      > fantasy and imagination: Rowling seems to operate from the former more
      than the
      > latter--she doesn't really seem to reach the "mythic" very often, and I
      keep
      > wanting to sense something deeper going on beneath the story surface.

      I felt this was a transitional book. Harry is so moody, he is much less
      likeable. It was kind of a shock to find out that his father tormented
      Snape when they were students. James Potter and Sirius were likened to Fred
      and George, but their bullying behavior was more like Malfoy and his
      cronies. It was inexcusable at any age. So maybe James wasn't the shining
      hero we've been led to believe. And Aunt Petunia is shown in a slightly
      more favorable light.

      I see the whole series as light fantasy -- not much of the mythic except in
      the creation of a hidden world of magic and her use of mythological
      creatures -- including the original ones which Hagrid brings into class.

      >I felt
      > this from the beginning, but the earlier book were enjoyable for their
      shear
      > inventiveness.

      I agree, this is one of the series' strongest charms. There was not much
      new except for Fred's and George's joke-shop inventions, which weren't
      terribly amusing to the reader.

      >Also, I want Harry to
      > grow as a character, but he seems much the same at the end of HPV as he
      does at
      > the beginning, despite everything that has happened.

      No, he doesn't really grow. He's stuck in an adolescent state of hormones
      and rebelliousness that isn't terribly attractive.

      Ginny Weasley, though -- keep your eye on that girl! Note how smoothly
      she's going through puberty, socially-speaking. She's picking and choosing
      which guys she wants to date, she's good at Quidditch, and she's showing
      strong skills as a wizard already.

      Another one who grew in this book was Neville. I was afraid that he was to
      be the one killed off, which would have been a pity as he is just now
      blossoming. Wouldn't it be a hoot if he were the one who kills Voldemort in
      the end after all?

      I found the death of Sirius didn't really touch me that much. He, too, was
      much less appealing in this book. We saw him as a teen, egging on James to
      torment Snape. He tries to live vicariously through Harry, egging him on to
      what he shouldn't. His death was nowhere near as touching as the torment
      Mrs. Weasley went through with the boggart showing her all her loved ones
      dead.

      It was good to get a good reason why Harry has to return to Privet Drive
      each summer and also that the Sorting Hat had wanted to put Hermione in
      Ravenclaw, where she so clearly belongs.

      Berni
    • Kevin Bowring
      ... I agree--I thought they were positively tedious, despite their usefulness against Umbridge. ... This was part of the problem with the book: over the course
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 30, 2003
        Berni Phillips wrote:

        > There was not much new except for Fred's and George's joke-shop inventions,
        > which weren't terribly amusing to the reader.

        I agree--I thought they were positively tedious, despite their usefulness against
        Umbridge.

        > No, he doesn't really grow. He's stuck in an adolescent state of hormones
        > and rebelliousness that isn't terribly attractive.

        This was part of the problem with the book: over the course of some 870 pages, a
        little growth would be good, even if as you rightly say this is a "transitional
        book".

        Also, I entirely agree with you about Ginny and Neville, although Ron and
        Hermione seemed a little flatter as characters.

        > I found the death of Sirius didn't really touch me that much. He, too, was
        > much less appealing in this book. We saw him as a teen, egging on James to
        > torment Snape. He tries to live vicariously through Harry, egging him on to
        > what he shouldn't. His death was nowhere near as touching as the torment
        > Mrs. Weasley went through with the boggart showing her all her loved ones
        > dead.

        This is exactly the kind of thing that was problematic to me. And because you
        don't feel strongly about the death of Sirius--a character I had really liked in
        the previous books--Harry's anger at Dumbledore seems forced and too peevish.
        Also, the confrontation between Harry and Dumbledore opened up enormous
        imaginative possibilities that, it seemed to me, never came to fruition. I hate
        it when I am imagining something better than what is in the book! I also found
        myself circling clunky phraseology. (Maybe I was just getting cranky from doing
        so much writing of my own.)

        > It was good to get a good reason why Harry has to return to Privet Drive
        > each summer and also that the Sorting Hat had wanted to put Hermione in
        > Ravenclaw, where she so clearly belongs.

        Again, couldn't agree more--but more could have been, should have been, done with
        it.

        Berni, I appreciated all your comments

        Kevin
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