Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Muggle thoughts


I’m glad to read that Jamison has picked up the Harry Potter books. Number six is awesome! If you don’t know how it ends then trust me by saying it’s a real roller coaster.

I think Josh has read the books and I’m not sure about Brew or the Stubb’s . If you’ve not read these books I have to recommend that you take the time and commit to the wonders of a fantastic world.

I had thought about doing a six book write up but the whole thing escaped me really. One of the most wonderful things about these books is that they mature. The first book though dark at times is simple in its construction of the white and black of who appears to be good and who appears to be bad. Number two is a bit more complex with some more sinister themes and this trend continues into number six.

Each book represents a year of school at Hogwarts School of Magic a boarding school for young wizards. Where as many stories begin with a fully developed character this is not the case with young Harry Potter. Each story gives away more and more about this child but not so much that the next story line is given away. Not only is Harry three dimensional but the secondary characters evolve along with the plot twists.

As I plowed through these books I felt like I was a guest in their word inhabiting the world of a ten year old at his first year away from his awful aunt and uncle or a geeky fourteen year old who can hardly speak about a pretty girl.

I think this series of books is going to become something of a literary legend. C.S. Lewis and Tolkien paved the way for young readers to enter a world where mature themes and life decisions are made and dealt with through the youthful exuberance of inexperience. JKR has accepted this yoke and has given the reader characters that not only are relatable and fallible but also inhabitable.

On the flip side for as much as I love the books there is a girl at work who has taken them to the next level. We were discussing various theories about book seven and she asked me if I had begun annotating my books. I told her I didn’t think the library would appreciate it and said that I wasn’t that far into it all. Once again some people are taking this a bit too far.

Here is a question I will pose to you though. Another lady at work as stated several times that she doesn’t want her kids to read these books because it’s dealing with wizards and “occult” topics on top of being very dark and moody (Mad Eye that is) and she wants her kids to read Christian books. In the same discussion she discussed how much a line of fantasy books inspired her to read as a child. I don’t think she trusts her kids to make their own decisions and is removing a wonderful opportunity for her to read the books with her kids and figure out what the stories motivation is.

34 comments:

bigsip said...

Mullins, will you please ask a question?

See a question mark (?)...

I think you're asking whether or not we think it's sinful to read HP books.

My answer is "No."

I haven't read them yet, but plan to once they're all out.

I hate reading and waiting for the next book.

I look forward to reading them all!

bigsip said...

I do think that parents who don't alloww their kids to read some books (within reason) are disadvantaging their kids.

I can't wait to read HP with Luke and our new baby and discuss what they think! What fun! A real growth experience to be sure.

mullinz8 said...

That’s basically the question, if this woman’s faith blocking her children from a wonderful set of stories. Is this right? Poorly phrased question, sorry.

Here is another thought. Why are Christians so up in arm over these books? They deal with kids and dark subject matter and wizarding, which is very noble much in the way one might hope the study of scripture might be looked upon.

Why can Christians NOT draw a line between a work of fantasy and the exercise of ones imagination and real life?

I loved the movies and decided I would like Isaac and Caleb to see them someday sort of like the next generations Star Wars or LOTR and figured that I should read the books to see what the big deal is about. I love them and I don’t think any child would be able to figure out that the themes are scary and realistic in some aspects but not literally real.

i wish I had waited on book seven to come out to read them all because now I have to wait. The stories are wonderful and I think you'll really like them.

bigsip said...

Me too! I'm really looking forward to reading them all together, man!

Rachel said...

I have a suspicion that the people who won't let their kids read these books haven't read them themselves. There are some dangers that kids will get caught up in occult activities or the wicken (sp?) "religion". But the magic in these books is so clearly fictional!

The kids in these books don't have secret meetings where they worship the devil or even try to be deviant. I'm sure there are some books out there that encourage occult activities, but Harry Potter is not like that.

bigsip said...

Yeah, it's not at all about Wickan ideology from what I can tell.

It's just fantasy like Lewis or Tolkein...

bigsip said...

Sorry, I think the spelling is actually Wiccan...

Jamison said...

Sip hasnt read them, but has taken the time to look on the internet to see how they all end.. spoiler...

sip, will you read with them or just print out the spoiler pages? Sorry... Reading and waiting for the next book, and thinking about possible endings and such is half the fun to me...

I love the books, and am re-reading the series... on book 4 now. I intended on doing a full series review after reading the last book.... It has many twists that you can only appreciate if you read them... and dont ask people how they end (sorry, again).

Mulls, I am part of a Grown up harry potter forum. I have posted many possible endings in there and discussed it with some folks in there. I have been waiting for Rachel to read all 6 before I let her in on it... email me sometime and Ill forward the link, id like to know what you think...

oh, why wont parents let their kids read it? I dunno... ive talked to lots of parents about them and they say "If it gets my child excited about reading, im all for it."

Gobvlet of Fire DVD out March 7th!

bigsip said...

Hey, man...I don't believe in anything being spoiled...

You could tell me how the world is gonna end and I wouldn't care...

Oh, wait, God already let that one slip.

I just don't get into discussing them all that much. Reading's fun and educational. I can still enjoy the books and even enjoy them more if they are "spoiled".

The whole "discovery" thing's overrated in my opinion. But, hey, I'll refrain from spoiling stuff for y'all.

Anyway, I do look forward to reading them after they're all written.

When is the 7th one out?

Rachel said...

Hey, do any of you people ever have to, say, work at work? Just kidding.

Jamison said...

you are a very strange man Dr Sipper... very strange... hey, that sounds like a great soft drink... Dr Sipper...

Anyway, here is my take on the books...
Book 1: Good, but childish and short.

Book 2: Good, bit 'older', short, and spends TOO much space re-explaining things we learned in book 1. The re-explanation og quittich (sp?) is painful to read, she tries to slip it in, but it sticks out painfully hard.

Book 3: FULL of hardy-boy-esque twists. A TRUE test of reading comprehension. I know few adults who could follow this one. Not to say it isnt fun, but it isnt for 'dumb' people. Less space is sepnt on explaing old things.

Book 4: the movie had about 50% of the cool stuff that was in the book... maybe Sipper wasnt able to find out all the cool stuff via the internet. We have a child die, so it matures a great deal.

Book 5: Almost a different story altogether, things unravel, things fall apart, hope seems lost, pretty much, world-ending-esque.

Book 6: Lots of backstory and history that gives the reader an "ah HA!" sort of feeling throughout. Very hard to put down and very hard not to want to talk about with other HP.

If any of you met Sippers mom and wanna talk about HP books, go at it, she loves them.

What I hate about her books is only this one thing... and maybe writters of other series like this do it too, I dont know...

She Assumes idiots pick up book 4 or book 6 without having read any of the others... so she tries to explain EVERYTHING that the new reader missed. What sucks is that people DO this! And she caters to them. Wastes time if you ask me.

One good thing about book 7; Sip knows nothing about it. So as soon as it comes out, read it before he has a chance to look up stuff on it...

...oh, and Mulls... Snape is innocent.

Jamison said...

I kind of work Rach... i woke up at 11am this morning, over slept, rushed to town for a 11:15 haircut, got to work at 12-ish...

sadly, the thing that made me rush to town was not being late for work, but the haircut...

Jamboree is this weekend...

Ill take some pics and do a blog for yall

bigsip said...

Work schmork...

Hey, I'm not purposely going online to find spoilers, btw.

I just see an article every now and then on msn or something that says it's about HP and has spoilers. But, since I don't give a rip, I read it.

I don't report them to other people, but if someone wants to talk about it, I'm like, "Yeah, that's cool...tell me what you think or tell me more..."

No biggie, man...

Jamison said...

Still a strange man nonetheless...

will you agree to that at least?

bigsip said...

"When you're strange, People come out in the rain. When you're strange...

People are strange, When you're a stranger..."

Yes, I am...

Brewster said...

I skimmed a book once that had a very detailed discussion of why HP books were bad. It actually broke down why Star Wars and LOTR was ok, but HP was bad.

The gist was that in the other fantasies their worlds were no way a part of our own, but Harry Potter took place in the real world and its magic bore great resemblance to cults we really do have.

It made some strong arguments, but I still don't really buy it.

Now, admittedly I haven't read or watched anythign Harry Potter.

I think you have some persons of influence that see its about witches, get bent out of shape and start preaching and putting out articles on how awful it all is.

The people they influence hear this and freak out.

I would say you shouldn't just give your kids HP and let them on their own. But that goes for just about anything. Let them read it, read it with them and have discussions about it. Sit your kids down after reading a book and talk about what happened, talk about how witchcraft isn't real.

bigsip said...

Good point, Brew.

Something my parents always did with us was discuss what we read, watched, listened to, etc.

While HP is relatively harmless, it's really easy for kids with active imaginations to get too wrapped up in it.

Heck, it's easy for adults to get too wrapped up in it!

Being able to look at it as fun, but fantasy is important. Just like with LOTR or TCON or any other book or series.

Very well said, Brew!

mullinz8 said...

I loved the movies and decided I could give the books a spin and they were wonderful!

There are a lot of parents that won’t let their kids read Harry Potter but will give them internet access in their room, text messaging, weekly gossip rags, MTV and never discuss what they are doing during the day and worry about a little bit about Potter’s world crossing over into the deeply perverse world we live in. Sad, really sad.

Brew I think you should pick up a book and give it a once over, I mean you’re reading 15 at one time anyway.

Jamison do you know how six ends? I heard it on the radio and thought I’ve never read the books, once I picked up the first on I realized how ticked off I was knowing the ending. Once I hear that seven is heading to print I’m going to reread the whole series.

Also I’ve heard they are going to release a boxed set of the movies so far at the same time as GoF.

The geek factor is very high on this series with me. I could easily end up with a poster of those dang kids on the garage wall.

Brewster said...

I have every intention of reading them. I bought the first five for Amy for Christmas.

I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Reading Band of Brothers at the moment. It's flipping fantastic. It is absolutely amazing what those soldiers did.

Jamison said...

Yeah Mullins, I have read them all, so I know how 6 ends... maybe I shouldnt have made the snape comment if you havent read it yet.

I loved the LOTR movies and books, but this one is really high on my geek factor as well... When I head Sips brother in law had a griffendor scarf, I was jealous.

On a side note, the LOTR movies did a great justice to the books, but the HP movies butcher the HP books...

I will say this though, as in depth as Tolkein was in his story, there are less "twists and turns" and kind of less characters than in HP, so in that sense, the HP books are less movie friendly than LOTR.

Some kids in HP newsgroups liken JKR to Jesus almost, saying she is the greatest author of all time... she isnt. She is good, one of the best of this age perhaps, but is by no means a genius.

I sometimes think that writting a kids book series like this is harder than writting adult books...

Jamison said...

ALl you Harry Potter fans, take a gander at my dream blog site for my dream last night!

http://jamisonb.blogspot.com/

mullinz8 said...

Sorry Jamison, for some reason I thought you were on book four.

I’ve finished six and I think Snape is still good. I think he has to be and it’s part of the plan. I discussed this in depth with the girl here who is a complete nut over the books.

I came really close to getting a Gryffindor scarf this fall. I think I will have to get one next year because I do think they are cool. A lot of folks would just think it’s an ugly scarf but I know its meaning and that’s enough.

There is a girl at the public library who has a Slytherin shirt with Snape and Draco all over that was pretty cool but who wants to be known for being bad and corruptible.

Here is the problem with the book to movie adaptations. No one knew where they were going. production would start before the next book came out so the creative liberties that were used were done so without knowledge as to how the characters would be used down the line.
All the LOTR books were finished when the movies were made so it’s easy to condense the content into the films. Shelob was originally in book two, not the start of three and the whole scourging of the shire was dropped not to mention good old Tom B which I would have loved to see.

As for the over or under use of characters I think that has to be altered because there is the length of the movie that has to be considered. P. Jackson came under a lot of fire for movies that ran almost three hours without the added scenes. The majority of HP fans are not known for their attention spans and hearty bladders. Dobby and the chick house elf are characters that have key parts but not so key that their importance couldn’t be altered to keep the key players involved being HP, HG, RW, Neville, Profs Dum, SS, ME Moody and others. I wish there could have been a way to re release the movies with all the added stuff but it does cost a lot of money.

They have begun production of movie five and I can’t wait to see what it looks like. The casting of Luna was done from a London school, just some girl off the street who had the look.

There are things that you take with you from a book that are difficult to translate like what Luna will look like. When I started reading the books, as with LOTR I saw the movie characters and they fit perfectly. Luna will be my chance to judge the look of a character from my imagination. There is no way to make everyone happy some things just have to be made to fit.

bigsip said...

Here's a possible release Date or two for book 7 from some of the rumor mills:

With the number 7 being very important in the Wizarding World, she may release the 7th book on the 7th day of the 7th month in 2007.
So, 7/7/2007 for the 7th book. Woot.

no, i think it'll be released on july 31st, harry's birthday. i also read an artical this past month indicating it will come out this july.

Jamison said...

I had luna as a geeky Reese Witherspoon in my head...

Jamison said...

That is really sad that your spoiler sources are so good that you even Know Harry Potter's birthday because of them...

Pick up the boosk man, you are missing out.

bigsip said...

I didn't know his Bday till I saw them in this forum that popped up when I googled "release date Harry Potter book 7" today.

I' m just curious as to when the seventh one will come out so I can read them all.

I just don't want to read them so I can avoid all the craziness and waiting.

I'm patient...

Jamison said...

patient man hurries up to see how each book ends before he reads them...

ah yes...?

bigsip said...

I just happen to come across stuff and if someone is talking about them around me, I don't yell, "Shut up!" and freak out like a spastic teenage girl...

You know as well as I that stuff is out there and you'll see it whether you're looking for it or not. I'd rather not deal with the stress of worrying myself to death over "spoilers" when stuff will probably get spoiled anyway.

But, I am looking forward to reading them, eventually.

Diana said...

I have not read any of the books, but I've seen the movies and love them. I just don't have time to read. When I have some free time (when pigs fly) I will.

I have mixed feelings about the topic. As long as the parent discusses the difference between fiction and reality and that some form of witchcraft exists, but it's not in God's plan, reading books like Harry Potter is not wrong. If your good enough parents, what they read won't matter.

My parents did not take the time to say that Samantha on Bewitched was a fictional character. So when I became a teenager, I tried to be just like Samantha on Bewitched, but, guess what, that was a wrong kind of witchcraft. So I'm a good example of what these parents who don't let their children read Harry potter don't want.

Again, If you talk with your children about what they read/see/listen too, everything will be fine.

mullinz8 said...

Why did you just call me a spastic teenage girl?

I saw Goblet of Fire on opening night and was totally geeked to be standing in line with a bunch of kids talking about homework, passing notes and substitute teachers while still discussing the finer point of how to cast a spell.

I was sad to only see a few kids in costume though. I wanted to hug each one and tell them that I was proud of them for getting into something neat and fun.

Brewster said...

So, I'm a spastic girl, big deal.

I just like to into a movie/book/whatever knowing as little as possible about it. That makes the experience for me better.

And before we all start throwing out names here, let's remember who actually set through all three LOTR films in a row.

Jamison said...

...and brought his Gandalf hat... (raising hand)

tnmommieof2 said...

hey i would have but i was with child and slowly getting the flu

ended up in the ER that nite....

Rachel said...

Yay! My brother brought me his copy of Half-Blood Prince and I have finally started reading it!