21 July 2007

Attention Muggles


Attn muggles, originally uploaded by framboise.

The latest tome took nearly 6 hours (and interruptions) to read, nearly a whole extra hour more than the last1. And while I give out no spoilers2, my succinct review is that if you loved the previous six, you'll not be disappointed with this one. And if you hate the whole shebang, your mind won't be changed either. I say to all the critics of Ms Rowling: nay-say what you will about the custard-lightness of the early three, the darkness of the latter four, and the ever-increasing need for more judicious editing. It's a very life-affirming series.

I would place the entire series in the genre that Enid Blyton wrote so well. Gripping adventures, one after the other. There are many better-written children's fantasy books out there (CS Lewis, Dianna Wynne Jones, JRR Tolkien, Philip Pullman, amongst several others), but this one seems to have captured the hearts of the reading public. Scholars may debate this for years, some perplexed at the simplicity of the writing, the obviousness of the motifs, the sheer weight of the later books. And most will have to secretly admit being spellbound by JK Rowling's tale spinning.

1 I feel for all you parents out there who will be reading this one at bedtime for months yet. I really do. And I hope the audio tape/CD comes out soon. And that you have invested in lozenges and cough syrup.

2 And never will...

3 comments:

Gunnella said...

Aww haven`t even had the chance to read mine yet, too busy with school and then travelling....but avast! next week ;-) Kinda shame as well after the poor postman bowed so profusely upon delivering the book over the atrociousness of being half an hour later than had been promiced ;-) gotta love Japan!

santos. said...

the first fifteen pages of the first book were some of the least compelling literature i have ever read. obvs i have not progressed. would it be better to jump straight to the 'dark' book in hopes that it will make me want to read the first three dozen or whatever?

bramble said...

gunnella: surely you're kidding about the postman's apology! wow, they really take punctuality seriously in japan.

santos: if the prose of the earlier books didn't appeal, the shocking lack of editing in the later ones will put you off even more. and i can't even recommend the movies as an alternative. the mix of action and exposition has been clunky for the recent ones. the whole series is a sound idea (think mallory towers with even more melodrama), but the execution leaves something to be desired.