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July 17, 2007

How to you like Harry Potter?

Ron Charles, Washington Post book critic and twat, is better than those "perfectly intelligent, mature people" who enjoy Harry Potter. So, what does a worthy enjoy by way of fiction - "the kind of contemplation, independence and solitude that real engagement with books demands -- and rewards."

My favorite was "The Law of Dreams," a first novel by a 56-year-old writer named Peter Behrens. It's the story of an orphaned boy who doesn't know why he survived the evil force that killed his parents -- and left him scarred. Set during the Irish potato famine of 1847, it's not a fantasy, and it's not for children, but there are plenty of monsters here, and Behrens writes in a style that's pure magic. As of this writing, it has sold 8,367 copies in the United States.

The tale of a boy orphaned by the Irish potato famine; no prizes for guessing who Behrens, and Charles, think the "evil force" might be (starts with the E and rhymes with Spinglish). Charming. Imagine being this guy's 10-year old daughter and having been forced to endure his contempt-ridden rendition of J.K. Rowling's work. I would asked him to stop well before book IV.

I could care less if people enjoy Harry Potter. What I cannot stand is an arch would be superiority that insists on distancing itself from the fun the rest of us are having. A long list of things I have little to no interest in includes Carabana, basketball and Bridle Path tours of the gardens of Toronto society. And yet somehow I manage to endure the passions of others without typing myself into a fit of Puritan ecstasy.

House Ravenclaw Update: The Tiger is Spartacus. "School stories are moral stories." Quite. And I suspect this is much of the reason for the contempt J.K. Rowling garners from the ersatz clever set. It would not do to teach children right from wrong, duty and obligation, honour and courage, etc. and so forth.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 17, 2007 06:53 AM


I am one of those guys who has given up on fiction works and imagines lit critics sit around all day on tufted pillows with a box of bonbons handy. =)

But if I met a literature critic in person, I wouldn't be asking them how they like Harry Potter. I'd be asking them why general fiction books have followed the execrable chick-lit trend of using obtuse titles that are not even meta-referential to the plot, characters, themes or locations in said book.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 17, 2007 10:33 AM

I wonder what the estimated critic thinks of W. E. B. Griffin or Tom Clancey.


Posted by: J.M. Heinrichs [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 17, 2007 11:20 PM