Tag Archives: JK Rowling

The “Harry Potter” Books

U.S. "Harry Potter" Book Covers

(1) Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, (2) The Chamber of Secrets, (3) The Prisoner of Azkaban, (4) The Goblet of Fire, (5) The Order of the Phoenix, (6) The Half-Blood Prince, and (7) The Deathly Hallows

So, how do I rank the books in comparison to each other?  For the most part I have liked each one more than the next, but I would say The Order of the Phoenix is the best.

The curious thing about the series is that you can tell when the editors started to back-off with their comments, or JK just didn’t listen to them as much.  The Goblet of Fire is significantly longer than the previous three books, and all the later books kept growing from there.  Did all that added length diminish the books?  Obviously not based on book sales.  Was all that added detail necessary?  It’s a matter of opinion.  For the most part I liked the added details, but there were certain tangents that should have been excised.  One example is all the Dumblebore history.  That could have easily been its own book, and its exclusion from the final one would not have harmed the story.

How do the films compare to the books?  They compare favorably.  The challenge of movies based on books is to find the main point of the story and focus on that.  The films have done this very well.  I also have no problems when the film veers from the book.  These are two different art forms; what works on the page may not work on the screen.  That being said, I am looking forward to seeing how the film deals with the final battle between Harry and Voldermort.  Frankly, I thought the book’s resolution was overly convoluted and weak.  I’m expecting the film to be much better.  We shall see.

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Why “Harry Potter”?

This Friday is the release of the last Harry Potter film.  And the question is why do we care?  Why do we care about this movie, this series of books, and these characters?  The short answer is J.K. Rowling.

J.K. Rowling

Quick facts:  J.K. Rowling is a pen name.  The J is for Joeanne, but the K means nothing and is in homage to her paternal grandmother, Kathleen.  Her publishers insisted on initials for the release of the first book since the target audience was young boys, and they feared that boys would not buy the book written by a female author.  Also, she wrote the book while on welfare.  Her personal story is one of rags to riches.

But what about the long answer to the question?  JK wrote a series of books that work on two levels, and also evolved as the characters evolved.  Like a Pixar film, the surface of the books are intendend for kids but the meat of it for adults.  Also, the target age of the audience grew up with the characters.  Whereas you can give the first book in the series to a ten year old, you would not do so for the last book.  The same applies for the films.  The first is filled with innocence and wonder, the last is dark an dangerous.

In anticipation of the final film, this week I will be releasing daily posts with Harry Potter as the theme.