Aug 9, 2007

The reader who lived

If you haven’t been stuck beneath a stone for the past decade, you’ve at least heard about a little series called Harry Potter. It turns out that so have I. A couple of weeks back I had the pleasure of pretty much devouring the final book in the long standing series created by an English woman who had no idea of how much she would find out first hand the meaning of what a snowball effect really is, and by snowball I do not in any way refer to the passing of semen from the recipient to the donor.

As an ever hungrier reader, I take time to read fantasy, science fiction, suspense, comedy, philosophy, some politics and a whole lot of fiction and I can genuinely put the Harry Potter series in my top five favorite lists any day because the experience has been so gratifying. True, some people might write off said interest as childish, immature, stupid or any of a variety of put-downs, but of course, those people can deepthroat my wand any day of the week because the fact of the matter is that I’ve had a blast reading Ms. Rowling’s creation and as an aspiring writer, I look at her success as stuff that writers’ marmalade dreams are made of.

Let’s take a look at her track record. She went from being quite financially out of sorts to becoming the richest woman in England. She’s sold millions of copies of all of her seven books in a series and though fans will debate endlessly and dorkfully (myself included) as to which book is better, you can’t deny that every book is excellent if the style and genre is to your liking. There have been five movies made of her series so far and all have been massive box office hits not to mention producing two sex symbols for either genre prompting soaring confession rates of pedophilia desires felt towards a particular young witch and young wizard who appear in the movie. Add to this the little detail that the world she’s concocted is going to get a real time representation via a theme park (that’s right, there’s a bloody Harry Potter theme park on its way via Universal Studios) and you can’t WRITE a better ending.

What’s the point of all these accomplishments? The best part is not that she’s filthy rich and is going to keep getting richer, it’s that a writer has had her creation lauded so massively that she could be blamed in large part for kids taking a break from looking for porn on the web and playing Wii and Xbox to READ. Hell even having a few dozen people read my rants and ravings on this blog is humbling, try to imagine being read and adored by millions, being thanked for the good times you made up, and having fans invest emotionally to the point of consistently crying with the death of every character that meets their demise within the series.

What’s the best part? When she took her book to publishing houses, she was written off and denied by various companies… Oh the sweetness of victory. Really, how many people are still pulling out their hair by the roots after said fuckup? Which really isn’t a fuckup to be honest, it’s the overlooking of potential and misunderstanding an audience, which happens every single day in advertising. But I’m not going to even go into some half assed tie in on advertising because it’s not worth it.

True though, some Potter fans scare the shit out of me because any person THAT obsessed with anything is someone to worry about and Quidditch teams are high candidates for medication. But alas, some people will probably say that she ripped off the concept off another writer. To be honest, if she was to be sued even the creators of the original Troll movie could give her shit because the protagonist of that poor excuse for a film is called? Harry Potter…. Wtf…. Regardless though, there are still people who deny she has talent or that the series has any type of merit, and that it’s kiddy rubbish etc etc. So tell me one thing, if something is kiddy, and I like it, and I feel like a kid while reading it? Who’s to say that’s wrong? Who’s to say that’s a waste of time? Hell if it isn’t your mug of butterbeer, don’t read the books, don’t watch the movies, but don’t put down fans for being as ridiculously involved as we are. You don’t see me bashing Cubs fans for not missing a game and praying for their teams, you don’t see me slapping someone for crying when their boxer got knocked out. Hell you don’t even see me bashing people for liking golden showers and sheizer flicks. Read the Secret and believe it, debate endlessly about Da Vinci’s Code. To each their own I say.

But what now for Potter fans? Will they stop reading? Will they give up on literature now that their favorite series has been finished? From one committed muggle fan to the rest of the world, I sincerely hope this was simply the beginning of a long string of good reads.



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