John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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Harry Madness

No, not Prince Harry.

Harry Potter madness. It began last night for those who are addicted to the Harry Potter novels, and those who suffer from this malady will be afflicted with terrible withdrawal symptoms after they read the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And for all of that, be that as it may, I didn't buy the new book last night, and I don't intend to do so for some time.

While I like the Harry Potter books, and appreciate what they have done for children and teenagers and reading and all that, it hasn't been a series of books that I've felt I had to dash out and buy as each book came out. See, the problem for me has been that Harry Potter is not all that likeable as characters go, but I've never been able to nail down the reason for saying so - until now.

You see, Harry Potter's emotional growth in the books has been stunted. While he's managed to snog a few of his female classmates and attend dances and deal with some of the adult stuff (for lack of a better term), he has failed to become a three-dimensional character. Harry seems to be going wherever the plot leads him, being a puppet who reacts according to the needs of the story and plotlines. That said, I don't think it is Harry's fault; it has more to do with J.K. Rowling's clichéed plots which tend to be shallow and that seem to have an insidious sense of immaturity.

However, when all is said and done, the Harry Potter books have been good for the book industry, and have done one other thing that has been absent for far too long in some respects: they've got the kids reading books again. Whether the same kids will continue to devour books now that the series is supposedly finished is another matter entirely that remains to be seen.

So, no, I wasn't at a bookstore at 12:01 am this morning buying the last Harry Potter book. I'll get to buying a copy and reading it eventually, but for now, I'll just bury my head back in my copy of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, or C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, or Phillip Pullman's The Golden Compass, or Emily Drake's The Magickers, or...well, you get the idea.
Tags: books, children's literature, kid lit, peeves

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