What is the allure of Harry Potter for adults?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Dewitte, Feb 9, 2003.

  1. Dewitte

    Dewitte Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been told time and again that the books are well-written children's tales but I constantly see adults raving over the books and the films. What's the deal? I love fantasy as much as the next guy, but I'd prefer to read Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman for a fantasy fix. Am I totally out of it?

    De
     
  2. Marshall Alsup

    Marshall Alsup Second Unit

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    I avoided these books for a long time. Why would I ever want to read kids books? But after enough badgering by friends I finally read the first one. I loved it. I had truly been missing out on some good stories. I immediately read the rest of the books as well, and eagerly await the 5th. Its not as serious as a lot of fantasy, in fact its VERY humorous, but its also VERY good. I'm glad I broke down and read them!

    You should just give the first book a try. Its very short, and you could probably read it in a couple days. If you don't like it you wouldn't have lost much, but if you do like it, as I suspect you will (as a fantasy fan), you'll be hooked like the rest of us. [​IMG]

    -Marshall
     
  3. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    I took the same route as you Marshall and avoided them for the first two books simply because I assumed I wouldn't like them since they were kid' book's. I was totally wrong! They aren't kids books, just well written boooks that are a lot of fun for readers of all ages. If you're avoiding them just based on the premise that they are books for kids, you're doing yourself an injustice.
     
  4. Allen_Appel

    Allen_Appel Second Unit

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    One great thing about the books is you can really see the evolution of JK Rowling as a writer. The first book IS a kid's book, with kid themes and written on a kid's level. While it's arguable this is due to its intended audience, I think it reflects Rowling's immaturity as a debuting writer. The first book ends with a laughable deus ex machina (but is overall a fun read). By the third book, Rowling has clearly matured in her craft and embraces larger, more fantastical themes and explores big, dark issues. This presents a problem for her younger readers who might have loved the fun adventures of the first book but are not yet emotionally ready for the darker themes of the later volumes.

    Another set of "children's" fantasy books that adults will enjoy is the "His Dark Materials" series by Phillip Pullman.
     
  5. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    It is entertaining, and rather timeless,
    as with THE WIZARD OF OZ.
    And,I always like to think of the Rowling books as progressing with Harry's schooling, and what level he would be reading.
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  7. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    I was a child once, and when I saw a fantasy movie I'd get quite involved.

    This type of movie brings me back to those days.

    Brent
     
  8. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I think they give people an excuse to read science fiction/fantasy without the whole "geek" stigma.

    My wife is a big fan of the books and was trying to get me to read them... I read the first few chapters and thought they were average. I kept comparing it to some of the other sci-fi/fantasy books I've read. Then I told her: "I'll wait for the movie" [​IMG]
     
  9. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    Harry Potter is a children's book in the same sense that The Hobbit is.

    Just because something is readable by kids doesn't mean it doesn't also carry additional meaning that can entertain adults. After all Toy Story and Monsters Inc are just kid flicks right?
     
  10. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    I think Danny hit it on the head, just calling something a children's book doesn't neccessarily make it that. In essence, the publishing and distribution companies sell it as a children's book, but JKR seems to write for any audience.

    Also, I think it's one of those deals where if it was billed as an adult read, it wouldn't be nearly as successful (and held to a different standard.) Sort of like the Wizard of Oz, it slips in huge amounts of social commentary and can tackle very sensitive issues under the guise of a 'kids' story. Or any book by Terry Pratchet, he couldn't get away with half that material if it wasn't under the the magic veil of a 'comedy' book.
     
  11. Allen_Appel

    Allen_Appel Second Unit

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  12. Brian Kleinke

    Brian Kleinke Supporting Actor

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    I've found that lots of so called Children's books are far more deep and insteresting to read as adult, there are a lot of symbolish that most children will just pass over.
     
  13. Dewitte

    Dewitte Stunt Coordinator

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  14. Allen_Appel

    Allen_Appel Second Unit

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    I'm really trying, but I can't think of a movie that was better than the book it was based on. The resultant movie can certainly be enjoyed in its own right, but the book is invariably a more rewarding experience. The reason the Harry Potter movies ultimately fail is they include EVERYTHING in the book, and the movie becomes bloated and boring.
     
  15. Jeff Pryor

    Jeff Pryor Supporting Actor

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    I read like the world's coming to an end, but I'm also one of the people that won't pick up a Harry Potter book. My 14-year-old son has read 'em all. We have this understanding: If he'll read Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' then I'll read the first Potter book. To this day he refuses.
     
  16. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  17. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Dewitte, the movie underwhelmed a lot of the book's fans. Sounds like you have a problem with that and using that to question people's enjoyment of the books is unfair. Read the books, forget about the movies.
     
  18. Ray Chuang

    Ray Chuang Screenwriter

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    I can say this about the Harry Potter books--they are excellent reads. I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (the original Bloomsbury edition) a number of months before Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire came out just to find out the allure of these books; I was hooked instantly and have read all four published novels since then. I have the fifth novel on pre-order from Amazon.com, too. [​IMG]

    The books are excellent reads because Rowling creates wonderful descriptions in almost every scene, something that really fires your imagination. [​IMG]
     
  19. Brian Ford

    Brian Ford Stunt Coordinator

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    Why read the Harry Potter books?

    Because you owe it to yourself.

    None of my friends or family thought the Potter books would be any good, yet I have borrowed out my copies to around a dozen of them, as of this writing, and they all agreed... Once you finish one book, you pick up the next in the series without another thought. Easy reading, good writing, excellent development.
     
  20. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Careful folks. I used to make fun of people who read kid's books. I've read the first four, and I can't stop. [​IMG]
     

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