July 12, 2005

A Bit of Magic A Dose of Morality

Apparently the naysayers are starting to gather and spread their gloom. Alex Knapp properly nails Joel Stein the author of the above linked drivel:

All of this, of course, just goes to show that Joel Stein doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. The Harry Potter books are, in the guise of children’s literature, serious examinations of character, morality, politics, and culture.
This, of course, highlights the genius of J.K. Rowling. In the guise of a fairy tale, she is telling wise, complex stories about human morality. And she manages to do so in a storytelling style that is clear, entertaining, and accessible. Let’s see–a clearly written, intelligent story about morality. Well, there are lots of books that fit in that mold–but Mr. Stein, Ulysses ain’t one of ‘em.
Now, I am a fan of Ulysses but I am not reading it for the 3rd-4th time at the moment. I am thoroughly enjoying reading through the first 5 volumes (one for the 5th time) in preparation for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (no, I won't be quite ready to read it this weekend).

Here are some earlier posts on the themes of Harry Potter. The first one emphasized the libertarian themes.

Oh, I am a little disappointed that Volume 6 will be the first volume that is shorter than the previous one. I had been looking forward to 900-1000 pages and was already excited about a 1200 page Volume 7.


Posted by Steve on July 12, 2005

Aha, another addict.

Yes, I to re-read the series before reading the current installment. It is an alternate world and it helps to re-immerse yourself into that world before you extend it.

Like the best of "juvenile" fiction, there are layers that can be appreciated by various audiences. The surface layer is a good story, but beneath that are puns for comic relief, and then the core morality tale.

Posted by Bryan at July 13, 2005 9:07 AM

Actually, I'm sort of glad that it's shorter than the last one--she was in danger of making the whole series a little unwieldy if she had kept that growth trend up.

Good books, pretty well written, very imaginative, and yet I still prefer CS Lewis with his Narnia and Perelandra books.

But that's just me.

Posted by zombyboy at July 13, 2005 12:07 PM

I've always thought the Narnia books were too short! I don't like a good thing to end and I've always enjoyed some of the particularly long winded novelists: Dickens, Grass, Dostoyevsky, Mann, Tolstoy, Wolfe,Stephensen, etc.....to name a few.

Posted by Steve at July 13, 2005 1:23 PM

I love the brevity. Sketch a picture and let my mind make a painting from the words. That isn't to say that I don't enjoy a long book if it's a worthwhile read, just that it's harder for me to fiind authors that are compelling who write long.

Posted by zombyboy at July 13, 2005 9:56 PM
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