I’m Missing the Harry Potter Chromosome

I find it entirely amusing that this past weekend kids were waking up with Harry Potter hangovers because they couldn’t put the book down.

It’s an absolute frenzy and everyone seems to be infected. Well, everyone but Pope and me. I tried to read one once while on vacation. I’m not even sure which book. But later, when I described its cover to an avid fan they told me I picked up the “least favorite”. Either way, I got about 20 pages into the “least favorite” and I just wasn’t feeling it. This, coming from someone who tried to watch Lord of the Rings 3 times and was bored to tears.

What’s the deal with these books? EVERYONE is reading them. The subways have turned from shit rags like The New York Post to green book jackets with wizards. I just don’t get it.

39 Comments

  1. Not just kids with hangovers- adults too. (One blogger I read bought it at midnight & read it ‘til about 6 am. Then re-read it again the next day.)

    I read about 1/3 of he first HP book and was bored. I never got into fantasy-type books anyway.

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  2. But in case I sound like I’ve been trotting around on my high horse, let me add that I read the Sweet Valley High series when I was a kid.

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  3. Wait, an adult read it twice in 24 hours? The hell? Come on now, what the hell am I not getting? Harry Potter fans, are they that good?

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  4. I don’t like fantasy books, and I love these. I think I like them because JK Rowling has this way of describing things so vividly and creating such a complicated world of characters that you just get sucked in. I love seeing the movies after I read the books, because she describes things so well, that the movies look exactly like you think they would. I think the 4th book is the best, if you want to get sucked in. The twist at the end is awesome.

    The books ARE that good, but they aren’t for everyone, obviously. I just think it’s great that it gets kids reading at ALL, and then they are reading these huge books over and over instead of numbing brain cells on tv and stuff. It’s an amazing thing JK has done for kids, no matter what the pope thinks, IMO.

    I’m always late in catching on to the fads…I started reading the books after the 2nd movie was out, and loved them. I hated Lord of the Rings FOREVER until I watched the 3rd movie, and now love the whole thing. Weird.

    My mom bought me this new HP book as a suprise and is mailing it to me. Can’t wait to get it.

    Ok…I think I’ve talked dorky enough for one day. :)

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  5. No way. Dork away. I did catch the Katie Curic interview on Dateline this Sunday. She interviewed Ms. Rowling. It was a great interview and I left the TV thinking, “that woman is spectacular. What a great success story!” But I wanted to sit down and talk to her more, not necessarily read her book. Maybe I need to give it one more go.

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  6. I think she’s fantastic. Single mother, turning the bedtime stories that she created for her daughter into books that sell millions and movies that she has complete say over? Totally great.

    Well, while I’m on this dork roll, I’m tellin ya, its worth getting to the 4th book. (Goblet of Fire) It’s the first book that I read in a long time that I could not put down because it held my attention so well. I’m dyyying to see the movie in Nov.

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  7. Also, I think the later books will keep an adult’s attention more, because they are darker and more grown up.

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  8. It certainly held the Pope’s attention! But that’s because the Devil has a tendency to do that.

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  9. Heh…promoting literacy isn’t ever as important as pointing out the evilness in things. Gah.

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  10. i find stomaching through the first 25-50 pages of a good book is tough….it’s even harder for a bad book. i’ve been a closet fan of hers from the beginning. once i got into it, i was hooked.i’ve read them all and have the new one already but haven’t started yet. JKR is amazing, personally, and in her writing. granted, it’s not for everyone, but it is great that kids are reading because these books. she’s recharged their imagination and pulled them from the TV and video games even if it’s briefly

    lord of the rings is probably why i like JKR’s stuff, i read them all again after i heard they were to be made into a movie(3 movies) great stuff! and the movies are, IMHO, top notch when you campare them to the books. sure their are discrepencies, but not disapointing in any sense of the word.

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  11. The only things I’ve noticed that were left out of the HP movies are extra storylines, some characters that are more involved in the books aren’t so much in the movies…she just puts SO much detail and so many rich characters that each movie would be 4 hours long if they left everything in. I think they’ve done a great job in picking screenwriters and directors to do the books justice.

    It’s like when I heard that the powers that be wanted to make the LoTR books into 1 movie. That would have been crappy, to say the least. I think because Peter Jackson had so much freedom to do 3 movies and be true to the whole story – it made such rich movies.

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  12. Are there gelflings?
    I imagine seeing the movies without reading the books is a bad idea, right?

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  13. Speaking of closet fans, and sort of my inspiration behind this post, I saw a woman on the elevator today who removed the book jacket. I think she was a closet fan, too. Because everyone else is all I WANT THE WORLD TO SEE I READ HARRY POTTER! But not her. Or maybe she is a huge fan and is just embarrassed she’s not done with it yet. Hmmmmm

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  14. well, i’d guess that she’s probably like me, part closet fan and also more likely, a hater of “paper covers on hardback books!” i take mine off because it’s such a pain and it keeps it nice. : )

    michele, which movies? HP or lord-o-da-rings?

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  15. HP. I flat out refuse to attempt to watch Bored of the Rings again.

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  16. I gotta say that I jumped on the bandwagon when this last one came out. I have read the previous 5 books. When the last one came out I didn’t reserve one and had to wait forever to get one. This year I put my name on the list at a book store in Noe and then decided to go ahead and order one on amazon too. (I ended up canceling the one from the Noe Store b/c my one from Amazon was on my door step when I arrived back from D.C.)
    I really enjoy the books however there are a parts that do get a bit tedious but once you get through them it really picks up.
    It might be kinda weird to say but I can’t wait until Belly is older so I can share them with her. She saw a huge display at the Scholastic store in SOHO and was mesmerized by it and now wants to know all about Harry Potter.
    Give them another try, you might like it. I can say that the movies really do follow the story, so maybe you can check them out first…..

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  17. you don’t need to read them. the first movie actually makes it a little easier to follow the characters, but for me, after that, reading them is the way to go.

    i think that the thing that pisses people off from the lord of the rings is how they just lop it off with no ending. we are victims of hollywood wether we want to believe it or not. when we see a production like that, people seem want things wrapped up in a bow at the end of 3 1/2 hours! to get it, one really has to take the time to watch each movie back to back, but who has that kind of time, other than me!? not too many people…….in your case, it’s the “25-50 page rule” on whether to continue or drop it where it lies.

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  18. I’m still waiting for The Dark Crystal, Part Duex to come out.

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  19. oooooh. Dark Crystal. I rememeber that one!

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  20. the lion the witch and the wardrobe

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  21. Remember it? That would mean you forgot it.
    Now that’s blasphemy.

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  22. ah, greg, that was a wonderful book. didn’t do much help with my fear of closets, but that’s OK.

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  23. No gelflings. There are house elves and hippogriffs though. :)

    I think what makes these stories so good is that they are just regular kids that happen to have been born into witch/wizard abilities. They have problems like all other kids – siblings, parents, puberty, etc. – I think that’s why kids that read these can relate and love the characters so much.

    Here’s where my nerdness comes out ~ my friend Jason and I watched all 3 LoTR movies (extended dvd versions – which are the way Peter Jackson wanted them anyway) on New Year’s Eve this past year, and only stopped for pizza ordering. We hope to do the same for Star Wars, when they release all 6 in a dvd set which I am so getting.

    Did you like Labyrinth, mihow? The Dark Crystal reminds me of that.

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  24. I haven’t seen Labyrinth. I must.
    I REALLY wanted to like LoTR. I really tried. I mean we tried three times. We even paid for it twice. (I’m talking about numeral uno, of course). Had I been captive and in a theater, perhaps things would have been different. But what’s his face – the weird little hobbit – he scared me with those sausage fingers. Creepy, he was.

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  25. labyrinth?!!? and you claim to have worked at Mike’s Video! i’m amazaed (you did work there right? my memory is fading)

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  26. How soon you forget the number of times I rented you movies to listen to while doing that architecture stuff. NO MORE MOVIES OR DEEP FRIED DOUGH BALLS FOR YOU, GREGORY!!

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  27. i’m so sorry………..i think i’m growing much more stupiderest on a daily basis. i think it’s my environment. well, i gotta blame it on something, it’s always someone else’s fault right?!!!!! never your own fault!

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  28. Mihow – I thought 1 and 2 of LoTR were sooooooo boring before I was captive in a theater for #3, which I loved. (and I love movies. Being bored is rare for me) After seeing 3, the others made much more sense and were more interesting because they tied the whole story together.

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  29. Weird little hobbit – do you mean Gollum? Three is cool too because you get to see how and why he became so weird.
    I’m not trying to convince anyone to see LoTR and like it…my friend tried for years before I would even watch the first.

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  30. I saw all three LotR in the theater-no way I would have sat through them on my own. Honestly, the plots have completely slipped from memory, save for the first one and, even then, I’d be hard pressed to recount what happened in that one (particularly since I didn’t really understand much of it at the time-never read the books).
    I mean, except for Orlando Bloom as Legolas. (He’s so much dreamier as a blond with pointy ears.)

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  31. (He’s so much dreamier as a blond with pointy ears.)

    Isn’t that the truth. That’s odd that someone looks better as a pointy-eared, bow and arrow wielding immortal elf. Hm. The blond does help.

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  32. My first girl-crush was over a blond with pointy ears. Jim Henson created her. Her name was Kira. She was a Gelfling. I wanted her little dog, Fizgig, too.

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  33. I look like one of those things.

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  34. omg – I had totally forgotten Sweet Valley High

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  35. I’m hoping that the olsen twins will play gelflings

    they wouldn’t even need makeup

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  36. Jon, how dare you insult Gelfings like that.

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  37. ps: I’ve never even picked up a Harry Potter book.

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  38. I just bet that SOMEONE on those trains is hiding porn behind the book jacket…

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