Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why I Can't Read Harry Potter

I like Harry Potter a lot.

I thought I should get that out there up front. I'm not one of those people who thinks he's lame, or that he's a devil worshiper, or any other extreme opinion that exists out there. I'm greatly entertained by Harry Potter and his magical adventures. Wizards fighting impossible foes and dealing with teenage angst at the same time? That's my shit. No sarcasm whatsoever.

And yet, I gave up on reading the series four books in. I thought to myself "yeah, J.K. Rowling can certainly spin herself a yarn, but it's always the same." Let's break it down: New year at Hogwarts, new red herring professor, or new evil professor that we could never suspect until it's all neatly laid out for us at the end. And again, she manages to do it very well every time.

But seriously, have you seen how thick those books are? That's some Moby Dick action, some Ivanhoe girth goin' on. It's a pretty hefty commitment to a formula I've already seen four times in a row. I don't really care enough to invest that much reading time, but I do want to know what happens to these (again, very well written) characters. What to do?

Enter the film adaptation. I know, I'm supporting the films and not the books, and therefore destroying western literature as we know it. I won't plead ignorance to such elitist ideals, I can't just bury that B.A. in English I worked so hard for. I know what I'm doing is wrong and discreditable. And yet here I go, living my life.

The trailer just came out for the newest film installment (watch it here), and I'm pumped. Come June I'll go to the theater, get my fill of British folks defending their realm from mystical evils, and leave content. For those of you who have read the hundreds of pages that make up the entire Harry Potter saga, feel free to shun my actions. You've earned it. Regardless, I'm going to enjoy this piece of pop culture however I want.

Just tell me it doesn't end with some heavy-handed martyrdom or anything.


  1. To be honest, this is all you need to know.

    The last two books stray away from the cookie cutter style. And I read each book in less than two days. Glean what you can from that tid bit; either I read fast, or I was actually reading a Harry Potter DVD back cover.

  2. Hmmm...it's too bad you stopped at four because that's where the formula kind of broke down and the series started getting a little darker and things started to build for the great, big earth-shattering confrontation in the last book.