7.21.2007

Harry fucking Potter.

First of all, yes i have read the Harry Potter books, and yes i did enjoy them. But no, i did not wait in line to read any of them. Actually, come to think of it i didn't actually buy any of them, but instead borrowed them. And i didn't see any of the movies in the theatre, let alone buy a VHS or DVD -- and i don't plan on changing that anytime soon.

Regardless of whether or not i enjoyed them though, can't people get off this damn boat and realize that there are hundreds -- no, thousands -- of other authors out there who have written books that are just as good [hell, probably better] than the Harry Potter series? I wouldn't say i'm a serious fantasy enthusiast, but i have read my fair share of it - and i can safely say that Harry Potter is far from my favorite series.

Somehow though, this damn series has blown up across the country, from what i understand. There is a girl in my humanities class who was bragging about how long it would take her to finish the book after waiting in line and getting it at midnight.

Today, at my preferred cafe i was enjoying some espresso before going to work, but the sheer pleasure of the moment was lost because of some damn couple sitting in the corner loudly discussing every aspect of the characters in Harry Potter -- down to the sex appeal of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Finally i got frustrated with not only with the subject matter, but also how loud they were being so i put on my headphones.

As i was trying to get my espresso Zen back, i started noticing the other customers around me. Right at that moment, a woman of about 35 came in and sat down on a nearby couch with a smug look on her face. She put down her latte, and quickly surveyed the room before opening her book -- yup, you guessed it: Harry Potter.

The smug look on this womans face was what finally reminded me that it must have come out last night, so she was proud to have one of the first copies -- which for the record, she was nearly finished with. Noticing that, i looked around mildly curious about how many people in the cafe may also have such a prized possession.

Much to my dismay, my brief glance proved the situation to be much worse than i expected: of the nearly 30 people in the cafe, there was a good 10 people with their nose shoved into the book -- not to mention the vocal couple discussing it.

Now maybe i'm just not aware of it, or am to young or something, but has there ever been such hype over the release of a freakin book? I know that when the last one came out before this weekend, the girl i was dating who worked at a book store had to not only work until 3:00am, but had to dress up for the release party they were throwing. Hell, i colleague today was telling how he stumbled into Barnes & Nobles last night stoned and half asleep, only to be offered some cake by an overly-enthusiastic witch.

In the long run i guess it's good that people have such a passion. It's good to get worked up about things, to get excited enough so that you're willing to wait in line to get it. It gives everyone something to discuss with strangers, and it's a welcome relief from all the shit going on in the world around us.

As for me, i want nothing to do with it. Sure, i'll read it eventually and probably borrow (*cough cough*) a copy of the movie too. But not for a long time. At about the time that these overly enthusiastic people are latching onto their next little thing (Paris Hilton, the iPhone, etc) maybe i'll be asking for a copy to borrow. Until then though, don't ask me if i've read the damn book or seen the damn movie -- i've seen more than enough strangers freaking out over it to last a long time; i'll be fine without reading it.

If you're looking for some other good fantasy authors who (in my humble opinion) blow J.K. Rowling out of the water, check out Tad Williams or Melanie Rawn. Sure, they probably can't say that their first published book was barely afforded, but at least you won't have to worry about a rabid fan-base that will drive you up the frigging wall. And [again, in my humble opinion] the character development blows that of Harry Potter & Co. out of the freaking water.

4 comments:

Lauren said...

Melanie Rawn is wonderful. She deserves more praise than she gets -.-

Musing cynic said...

Hi Lauren,

Yeah i completely fell in love with her work a while back, and can't seem to get enough of her! If you get the chance, i'd highly recommend the "Otherland" series by Tad Williams if you're looking for some scifi crossed with fantasy, or "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn" if you're looking for a strictly fantasy series :)

cooper said...

I heard the most horrible thin in the background this evening.

Something about her writing another Harry Potter book.

She promised she wouldn't so I hope I heard wrong.

Musing cynic said...

Say it ain't so!
I really hope heard wrong about that Cooper. Sure, I respect the books: they are great simple reads and enjoyable for people from all age ranges -- but i hate the hype surrounding them.