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BS: Harry Potter

11 Nov 01 - 01:49 PM (#590299)
Subject: Harry Potter
From: selby

If you are not intrested in the new Harry Potter film then read no further. IT WAS BRILLIANT. We went to see it yesterday 2.5 hours of pure enjoyment. For the experts it sits very close to the book and is well worth watching. Keith


11 Nov 01 - 02:01 PM (#590308)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Please, UK 'Catters, don't tell too much! We in the US have to wait another week before we can see it! I have a crazy friend who's going to stake out a spot in line for her kids and mine on Friday night- we've been looking forward to this for ages!


11 Nov 01 - 02:05 PM (#590310)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Deda

I can't wait. I loved the books, all of them. There's a lovely HP poster in the Boulder bookstore which says something like "Draco dormiens non excitandum" -- perfect Latin for "Sleeping dragon should not be awoken." And there is a lot of Latin in the books, as well as many classical references. The Latin teachers of the world are thrilled about Harry, as are the children, parents and childrens-lit-lovers of the world. There are a very few dusty academic curmudgeons who don't think the books are of a high enough caliber -- but that's exactly what everyone dislikes about academics.


11 Nov 01 - 02:23 PM (#590314)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Bat Goddess

I usually wait to see things (sometimes til they come out on video), but for this I'm willing to battle the early crowds (and a theater full of ankle biters and knee grabbers). Been looking forward to it for ages, especially since the photo layout in Vanity Fair a couple months ago.

Bat Goddess


11 Nov 01 - 02:27 PM (#590317)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: alanww

I agree with selby - its great escapism for children of whatever age. Just shows that I'm just a big kid really!

Oh! I've got a friend in Yellowstone, Yogi, Yogi ...
Alan


11 Nov 01 - 02:27 PM (#590318)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: DougR

"Ankle biters and knee grabbers," Bat Goddess?

What kind of movie theaters do you attend? :>)

DougR


11 Nov 01 - 02:35 PM (#590321)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Eric the Viking

We booked for advance tickets-worth every penny and every moment, probably will go to see it again, maybe after we've seen Lord of the rings (which I can't wait for) Absolutely excellent. Go se it, it is very close to the books-me and the kids have read/and are reading them.

If you are not a big enough kid, don't waste your time-I am and I think it's the best film I've seen in ages, especially bearing in mind that I like wide variety of films. But great family entertainment. As for most academics-well they sit with their thumbs up their arses most times!


11 Nov 01 - 03:01 PM (#590328)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: SINSULL

OK. I will be the one! I just bought my first Harry Potter book and I just don't get it. Interesting use of classical "hero" themes. Cute. But not "Alice In Wonderland". What is wrong with me? Keep in mind - I have a MA in Ancient Languages. I "get" all the Latin references. I can't be getting old - that is not in my plan.


11 Nov 01 - 03:20 PM (#590332)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Mrs.Duck

I got all the Latin references too, Sinsull but that only added to my enjoyment of every page of the four books! We haven't seen the film yet but I have promised to take Alec for his birthday in a couple of weeks. To the best of my knowledge he hasn'r read a book that wasn't a school text for ages but just couldn't put the Harry Potter books down! Personally I would not allow any child under the age of ten to read them and will not be taking Maddie (Little Duckling) to see the film as she is only 7. Just waiting for Ms Rowling to finish number 5 now!


11 Nov 01 - 04:03 PM (#590355)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Clinton Hammond

While I'm not so enthusiastic about Lord of The Rings (been following the development for almost 3 years now... Peter Jackson loves LOTR the was a taxidermist loves a moose!) I do have high hopes for it and Harry Potter... The fantasy movie genre tends to not fair well, but with these 2 coming out so close to each other, things may change... It's the prospect of the inevitable low budget copy cats that sickens me...

I'm currently engrossed in #4 Harry Potter and listening to my first hearing of the BBC production of LOTR (it's about time someone did a good S. Morgensternian "GOOD PARTS" version of LOTR)

Children under 10 should be READ harry potter... good for them... good for you... good for everybody!

;-)


11 Nov 01 - 05:30 PM (#590382)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: weepiper

Draco Dormiens Non Excitandum = 'Let a Sleeping Dragon Lie', surely, pun on 'Let sleeping dogs lie'?
I really want to see the Harry Potter film and Lord of the Rings too, both the trailers looked promising.


11 Nov 01 - 05:35 PM (#590385)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Lin in Kansas

Clinton--never thought I'd see the day when I'd actually AGREE with you about something!!! :>D

I read Harry Potter to my 9-yr-old grandson at bedtime every night when he stayed with us last year--both of us had a hard time finding a place to stop each night!

Loved the books. I have no children near me that I can take to the movie, but I'll be in line all by myself when it finally comes out in Wichita.

Lin


11 Nov 01 - 06:06 PM (#590406)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: 53

i won some free cokes by looking under the specially marked tops of harry potter coca cola, and the only thing i know about harry potter. BOB


11 Nov 01 - 07:13 PM (#590449)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Nemesis

And one of the best things is that HP has revived the flagging recruitment to boarding schools - I'm booking seats for my two little toads pronto :)


11 Nov 01 - 07:50 PM (#590467)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Grab

Just been to see the film - we went over to see my mate and his g/f, and she blagged us tickets to a pre-screening. I wrote a really accurate and literate review of it, just previously, then my PC crashed and I lost it. So here's round 2:-

What's it like? Bottom line, it's a very good children's film. Another half-hour, maybe even another hour, and it would have been a great film, period. Why? Read on...

The plot is almost directly taken from the book. There's some inevitable cuts, cutting-and-pasting of scenes/dialogue and other stuff, but it doesn't affect the basic plot at all. So that's good.

The adult actors are all pretty good (with the names in there, they should be!) with the exception of the Quirrell actor who hams like it's going out of fashion. Daniel Radcliffe playing Harry is actually pretty good, but the girl playing Hermione is only fair, and the lads playing Ron, Malfoy and Neville are all only good-pantomine standard. But they're only kids yet, so I'll let that pass - most kids are not Haley Joel Osment.

The FX are good too, up to the standard you'd expect. The troll scene and the chess game are very well done, and so is the Quidditch match (only one is shown). The Quidditch match works really well - they've got moves worked out so that the Chasers really do play as a team ("one-two" moves and stuff), although there's not much shown of the Beaters, and the Snitch seems rather too easy to catch. It's made more realistic by being obviously physical (elbows and stuff) instead of being a nice safe game as it sometimes seems in the books.

So, to why it's only an average-quality film for adults. Basically it all comes down to character and atmosphere - frankly, there isn't any of either. The film's so busy getting through the plot, there isn't enough time spent to develop any character beyond a simple one-dimensional sketch (even Harry), and there's no feel for the setting at all. I'm sure this comes down to cutting the film to suit children's bladder timings - a longer version might easily make up for that, but aimed at 8-year-olds, that's just how it goes. I will say that it didn't seem like 2 1/2 hours, and that's down to the speed the film rushes through the plot. But the depth of the book is completely absent, which is a shame. It may be inevitable that a film never lives up to the book it's taken from, but it's always disappointing when it happens nonetheless.

Details of this? OK, some spoilers (not plot spoilers, just details):-

The Harry/Malfoy rivalry is cut completely (apart from one short scene at the start). So there's no reason for Harry to be saying "not Slytherin", and there's no reason for Malfoy to be giving snide grins at getting them into trouble. Similarly, the Harry/Snape rivalry is almost cut completely (apart from Alan Rickman hanging around wearing black, looking menacing and talking ominously) so the assumption that it's Snape doing stuff comes completely out of thin air.

Schoolwork gets maybe 20 seconds, and there's no homework. So Hermione comes across as a precocious brat, instead of actually working hard for what she knows. In the whole film, the teachers never use magic (apart from McGonagall's cat transformation and Dumbledore turning the streetlights out) so we don't really know if they're any good, or even if they're magic at all. No-one mentions that Dumbledore is better than Voldemort when there's discussion of Voldemort, so when someone does, it's just plucked out of thin air with no basis, and the discussion of Voldemort and talking about Harry's parents being killed takes 30 seconds, max. And instead of Harry being rescued by Dumbledore at the end whilst fighting desperately for his life, he takes on Quirrell and beats him single-handed in a matter of seconds, so it doesn't seem like he was ever in any danger.

Rushing through the plot, there's no time to introduce anyone apart from the main characters. So we don't get to know any of the Quidditch players, and as a result we don't really care what happens to them in the match. There's only one Quidditch match, so we don't get to see Harry getting any better at flying, and he doesn't actually seem that good anyway compared to the other Quidditch players. Harry doesn't do any magic spells (intentionally, anyway) in the whole film, so Hermione saying that he's a great wizard is not at all believable.

Lastly, "atmosphere". A film with a shorter plot could have used lots of sequences of the kids dealing with moving staircases, trick stairs and stuff like that, just to fill in the time - an imaginative FX guy could think up some really good variations on that to keep it interesting, plus walking suits of armour and stuff. Instead, we get one brief moving-staircase sequence and that's it. Hogwarts just becomes a passive backdrop, so there's no reason you can see for the kids to get attached to it - there's no visible character to it.

Is it worth the money to get in? Yes, especially if you've got kids. But for my money, Shrek was much better - it managed to keep an edge which made it appeal to adults too. Harry Potter will probably be your kids' favourite film ever, but it's not going to get the adults going back to see it again and again - worth seeing once, but no more. There's no particular depth or charm to it, so there's no detail to miss.

Graham.


11 Nov 01 - 07:55 PM (#590472)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: mmm1a

Thank You Ever since my son and I heard about the movie we have been counting down the days.He has read all 4 books several times (so have I) and have gotten the rest of the family to read them also.My daughter who works in Fort Wayne is getting us tickets ahead of time and I will be going up to make sure we are in line on friday.I can't wait for the lord of the rings to come out , always thought they should have made it years ago.My God this is a first , I took a survey last week that asked what was the last movie I saw at a theater, after thinking about it I had to tell them it was Father of the bride part 2. I guess I need to get out more , but I really haven't seen any movies I would want to pay that kind of money to see , usually wait till they come out on video.

mmm


11 Nov 01 - 07:57 PM (#590475)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Clinton Hammond

Now I didn't read it all because I'm avoiding spoliers, but "nice safe game"???? What books have you been reading??? It's a contact sport no?

LOL!!

Wnna see something really dissapointing? Have a look around the net at what the religious zelot idiots are saying about Harry Potter...

Dullards... the lot of them...


11 Nov 01 - 08:05 PM (#590478)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: CarolC

SINSULL, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but if you don't get the books, it means you're a Muggle. I don't know if there's a remedy for that or not. Micca could probably tell you.

I see that Alan Rickman is in the movie. That alone is reason enough to see it.


11 Nov 01 - 08:08 PM (#590480)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: mmm1a

I was thinking the same thing ,no where in the books is Quidditch ever called a safe game. I have heard alot of religious reasons why Harry Potter is so evil of a book I usually just ignore them saying everyone is intitled to their own. One was my own daughter-inlaw oh well. Haveing read all the books I can see no problems with it and look how much it is encouraging kids and adults to read. Of course they said the same thing about the Lord of the rings too . go figure, to each their own I guess mmm


11 Nov 01 - 08:15 PM (#590481)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Clinton Hammond

I don't care if it's hardcore porn... if it gets (especially north american) children away from the television and the internet for a few hours a day, any book they are reading can't possibly be a bad thing!

I will also have to plead to not being much of an Alan Rickman fan, but Robbie Coultrian and John Cleese more than make up for his apperance!

:-)


11 Nov 01 - 08:20 PM (#590484)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: SINSULL

CarolC - Gloves are off. I'm telling Micca on you! And beware lady. A Muggle I am not. More like the caterpillar in Alice's Wonderland. NOW...just Who...are U?


11 Nov 01 - 08:20 PM (#590485)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: mmm1a

Sinsull keep reading, the other 3 books only get better and better. And hey its ok to be a muggle some of my best friends are muggles :) mmm


11 Nov 01 - 08:25 PM (#590489)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: CarolC

I stand corrected, SINSULL. Re: your question, I tend to relate the most to Gandalf.

That's understandable, Clinton. My interest in Alan Rickman is purely lascivious.


11 Nov 01 - 08:37 PM (#590496)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: SINSULL

Muggles - as of chapter 1 - are cruel people who take in stray children only if they are forced upon them. So right from the start, I don't qualify. The female of the species shrieks a lot - I don't. But as I get quieter, BEWARE. They have neat homes and bratty kids - I do not. And they hate magic - I revel in it. You are all on my list!


11 Nov 01 - 08:43 PM (#590506)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: CarolC

Not all Muggles, SINSULL. Hermione Granger's parents are both Muggles, and they're lovely people. However, I take you're point about the magic.


11 Nov 01 - 08:43 PM (#590507)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: MMario

Sinsull - I don't think anyone will claim the books are great literature - but they seem to "catch" the imagination and sense of fun of a lot of people (myself included) without being either "preachy" or totaly inane. And that is basically what they are suppossed to be - reading as entertainment.


11 Nov 01 - 08:50 PM (#590513)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Grab

OK, it's not _called_ a safe game, but nothing ever happens, not without outside interference anyway (jinx/Dementors), and the referee always calls penalties on fouls. Whereas the film has them playing dirty and loving it, the little tarts! (or was that another film? ;-)

John Cleese is pretty much just a cameo, but Robbie Coltrane gets some decent screen time.

They also had the LotR trailer at the start. Again, I'm worried that taking all the plot to the screen will hamstring the film. Fortunately Tolkein had a most serious case of literary bloat, so they should be able to edit it down to 3 good films. And no-one will complain if the LotR films are long - after the books, you'd expect 3 1/2 hours minimum per film. Count me in on that one next month!

MMM1A, if you've not yet seen it then get out there and watch Shrek at the cinema - you may still find a theatre showing it. I can't recommend that film enough (and a cover of a Leonard Cohen song on the soundtrack as well - what more could you ask :-) That was the first film in ages where I came out thinking "I'm really, really glad I saw that" instead of just "well, it's a fun way to spend an evening".

Clinton, there is nothing I would not believe from nutters with religion (so-called to distinguish from the religious-and-relatively-sane majority). The moment you sign your critical faculties over an arbitrary third party instead of making your own decisions on right and wrong, you may as well take out your prefrontal lobes too, since you've obviously no use for your higher thought processes. Nutters with religion - can't live with them, and can't shoot them cos they've got more guns and ammo than the rest of us...

Graham.


11 Nov 01 - 09:14 PM (#590528)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Clinton Hammond

Nutters with religion

LOL!!!

sound like a Neil Gaiman turn of pharse....


11 Nov 01 - 09:59 PM (#590541)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: SINSULL

MMario - Agreed. I used to tell my son's teachers that if Playboy was the only way to get him to read, I was for it. Harry Potter and friends has gotten young people to read - this is wonderful. It has provided a fantasy world for millions - this is wonderful. Sorry if I came across as disapproving. I had hoped to be swept up in the magic and it isn't happening. My loss.


11 Nov 01 - 10:26 PM (#590551)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: mmm1a

Grab I just saw shrek last week . I watched it with my 2 youngest (7 and 11) and my 4 year old grand son. And yes I agree it was good, esp ,liked the music. My daughter-inlaw(not the one who is againest Harry Potter) bought the video and let us borrow it. My sons favorate song line from the movie was brush your shoes and and wipe your (pause) face pretty funny stuff for an 11 yr old.ok I thought it was funny too , little ones didn't get it though I am sure my 7 soon to be 8 will get it soon enough after hearing her brother sing it 10 millions times. mmm


12 Nov 01 - 07:30 AM (#590699)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: GUEST,maxine

Sorry about the above message - someone stole it from me before I could write it! What I was going to say before I was robbed was....saw the film last night and it was fantastic. Everything was just as I imagined it would be. The Leaky Cauldron pub is a pub in the heart of London but can only be seen by 'magical folk' - a strictly non muggle clientelle! It is the secret gateway to Diagon Alley, THE place to go for your wands, robes, owls etc...anything you may need to be a good wizard/witch I suppose. Robbie Coltrane was fabulous as Hagrid, a real gentle giant infact the whole cast was perfect. Personally,I've always had a bit of a 'thing' for Sirrius Black (3rd book) can't wait to see who'll play him in the 3rd film....suppose i'll have to be patient, they've only just started filming the second!


12 Nov 01 - 07:32 AM (#590700)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Mr Red

Harry Potter?
I'm afraid I glaze all over just at the thought
As I don't intend to see the film I busy myself separating the hype from the "paid critique" and the just plain bandwagon - it is very revealing.
I do hope it is popular - there is a lot of money riding on this broomstick. I notice Maggie Smith and Zoe Wannamaker are it in along with other super-luminaries. Can't fail really.


12 Nov 01 - 08:11 AM (#590712)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: sophocleese

Well we're all waiting in this household for the movie to show up in Orillia sometime in the next year.

I read the first book to my son when he was 7. He read the second, third and fourth books by himself at 8/9. He was one of the four Harry Potters in his classroom Halloween party. I don't think I can escape taking him to see the movie. Sorry, I skipped all posts that were going to tell me something about the movie. I like my surprises.


12 Nov 01 - 08:28 AM (#590721)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Greyeyes

It's Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus (never tickle a sleeping dragon).


12 Nov 01 - 09:31 AM (#590748)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: CaptainLewis

Sinsull, really now, the stories either tend to appeal or they do not - much like JRRT's stuff. My wife can't stand LOTR because JRRT blathers on and on ad nauseum and doesn't get to the point (her words). I enjoyed LOTR as an intricately woven story justifying his languages (as he put it).

Harry Potter, (and a point missed by most of the religious right - including my b-in-law) is a well-written morality play that appeals to cetain sensibilities - like mine. My wife likes it too, oddly enough. But JKR has a nice blend of the mundane and the magical to work with which gives the reader touch-points to keep it rolling.

Grab - I think they were pretty good in getting to the stuff were able to - and since most of us going were already on familiar terrain - why belabor the plot point for the uninitiated?

As an old friend used to quote - "Good stuff, Maynard!" Cheers!

-CLB


12 Nov 01 - 11:39 AM (#590835)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: A Wandering Minstrel

Not only kids. If the number of copies on my train in the mornings is anything to go by it's getting adults to read too.

I got to a press preview of the movie myself this weekend and the film is really good. Its a bit trimmed but the whole heart of the original book is there, and it didn't get "Hollywoodized" either. And contrary to what a certain red-neck baptist may claim it won't cause you to be delivered up to the evil one only chilled by the "one who must not be named".


12 Nov 01 - 11:51 AM (#590842)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: GUEST,Leila

I have also already got my ticket. A bunch of us from work ordered them online last week. I absolutely can't wait. I read the first book because I have to, I'm a librarian and work with kids. But it was only a few lines into the first book that I was hooked, and in no time at all, I became the obsessed fool I am about these books. One of my dearest dreams would be to meet Rowling and sit with her for a few hours (or days) and talk about her stories. She's brilliant!

Who else is getting dressed up to go see the movie? I'll never grow up!!

Giddily (is that a word?), Leila


12 Nov 01 - 12:09 PM (#590854)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Clinton Hammond

"My wife can't stand LOTR"

Nor mine... I finally convinced her to read LOTR after he telling me of her dad reading them The Hobbit when they were young... When she did finish LOTR, she turned to me and said, "Yer right, he's no Guy Gavriel Kay, that's for sure."

So we hopped into bed and read 'Tigana' to each other again...

;-)


12 Nov 01 - 01:16 PM (#590900)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Cappuccino

Just another one from the religious nutters side - I write for several Christian papers, I think Harry Potter's great, and anyone who thinks it's inciting our kids to withcraft really has left their tree! The only reason JK Rowling ain't on my Christmas card list was because her agent declined my request for an interview... my 13-year-old wasn't the only one who was really hacked off at that!

= IanB (dedicated JKR fan)


12 Nov 01 - 04:48 PM (#591065)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Grab

Exactly Ian. Not just out of their tree, but out of the entire sodding forest and accelerating. Good job you're one of the religious-and-relatively-sane majority eh? ;-)

Ah-hah, got a name for it now. It's the Eejit Horizon, formed around extremely dense ppl. All your sensible arguments fall into their immense personal gravity and are lost, and all that comes out are beams of nasty radiation which are toxic to anyone around them. And time gets distorted around them too - listening to them rattling on for a few minutes, you'd swear you'd been there hours.

Graham.


13 Nov 01 - 12:38 AM (#591377)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Peter K (Fionn)

My only real gripe with the books is that they are not well written for reading aloud. For instance there are longish speeches where you don't know who's speaking till the end of the quote - so you don't know whose voice you're supposed to be doing!

Mrs Duck, my daughter started on HP age six and had finished the four books by age eight. What lasting harm will she suffer? These books were totally harmless to me, or am I missing something?

Grab, if there isn't much characterisation in the film, isn't this just part of being faithful to the books?


13 Nov 01 - 01:55 AM (#591393)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Terry K

My only real gripe with the books is that they are not well written for reading quietly either. After all the ballyhoo I really expected better than the monodimensional kid's yarn that the first book turned out to be.

Don't get me wrong, I like kids' yarns. But in Lord of the Rings the writing stands up for itself regardless of the story - as does most of Dahl and certainly the Phantom Tollbooth. So I was just disappointed that there was no literary merit at all. And at risk of becoming unpopular (me - really?) I do think it has been bigged-up by the media in that annoying, pop-culture way that all things seem to be going (reference Hearsay topping the charts with what would normally be considered an average Eurovision entry).

Cheers, Terry


13 Nov 01 - 03:01 AM (#591408)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: CarolC

I would tend to agree that the writing in these books is not really up to the standard of Dahl, Tolkien, or Carroll. However, they do a very good job of capturing the imagination, probably with less effort on the part of the reader.

This is probably their weakness from the perspective of more sophisticated readers. But I'm guessing it's their strength for the less experienced readers who need a compelling introduction into the world of books.

My son didn't take to reading very well when he was younger. I felt that if I could instill in him a love for literature and for reading, which I did by reading to him a lot, he would eventually start reading more on his own. He is now, at the age of 18, an avid reader. And a pretty good writer, too.

I'm guessing that these books serve a similar function for many inexperienced readers. And for those of us who have enjoyed the likes of Dahl, Tolkien, Carroll, etc., and who also like the Harry Potter books, maybe a little light refreshment is a good thing from time to time.


13 Nov 01 - 03:04 AM (#591409)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: hesperis

And wasn't there something about the auther being sued for ripping someone else's ideas off? What happened to that?

hesperiswhohasn'treadharrypotter *breath*
becauseshehasnomoneyforbooksrightnow *breath*
andoweswaytoomuchatthelibraryforher *breath*
toborrowthemeither *big breath*


13 Nov 01 - 03:31 AM (#591416)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

Currently available, through FTP sites in the U.S.A. Downloads in less than two hours.

Fun, great effects. Will mean little to those who have not read the book. It will create playground divisions with the Muggles being those who don't already understand it....because they can't/won't read.

Great review Graham!!!


13 Nov 01 - 11:54 AM (#591634)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Clinton Hammond

JRR Tolkien suffered from severe ink diarrhea while writing LOTR... It could easily stand to lose probably about 2-300 pages or so and still be just as good a story...


13 Nov 01 - 01:02 PM (#591673)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Celtic Soul

CarolC, the thing I really find endearing about the "Harry Potter" series is that I can read them to my youngun and not be personally bored to tears. Some of the things that make this series dance alive for us are that the characters are not completely flat and 2 dimensional. Snape, for instance, while not a very likable person, is not "evil". And others of whom *have* been likable turned out to be bad. I also love to find a voice for each one that differs than all the others. My honey and my kid are very disappointed that Robbie Coltrane and Jim Dale (the man who read the books for the US version of the books on tape) "don't do Hagrid right".

Ian is older, but if I recall correctly, he was hooked on the "Redwall" series. Having read one, I found it similar to the "HP" books, and enjoyed reading it...too bad my daughter was not as enthralled (she was already hooked on "HP").

But, can you imagine having to go through the syrup and drivel of "My Little Pony" books and movies? Urgh! I am so grateful for J.K Rowling having produced this generations "Transformers" and "My Little Pony" so that parents everywhere don't have to get dialysis in order to read to their kids.

In that same vein, can anyone suggest other really good kids books that don't bore the tears out of either the kid or the parent? I think we have just about worn out "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "The Great Glass Elevator" in between times of reading the "Harry Potter" books. I have tried things like "Treasure Island" and other classics, but have found they have limited success with the wee one. We're on our 3rd go-round, and are once again reading "The Goblet of Fire" while we wait for the movie to come out! It'd be nice to find others to keep us occupied until the next "HP" book comes out! :D


13 Nov 01 - 01:26 PM (#591695)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: MMario

Have you tried the 'Harper Hall' trilogy? (Dragonsong, Dragon Singer and Dragon Drums) (which if you like them could lead to 'Dragonriders') - also there was a 5 or six book series...oops - I just checked here it is a seven book series - called 'Starbridge' -won a bunch of awards - has a lot of thought provoking stuff without sacrificing a 'good read'

The 'Starbridge' series was what got my niece reading for pleasure when the first book came out.


13 Nov 01 - 01:27 PM (#591696)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: CarolC

I enjoyed reading these stories to Mudcatter, 'indieman' probably more than he enjoyed having them read to him...

Sideways Stories from Wayside School, and Wayside School is Falling Down, by Louis Sachar. I just now saw that there is another by him called, Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger.

During one particularly weird and funny part of one of these books (I think it was the part about the dead rat that was disguised as a student wearing numerous layers of rain gear), I was laughing so uncontrolably I had to stop reading for a while.


13 Nov 01 - 01:37 PM (#591705)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: CarolC

Also, there are quite a few other very good books by Roald Dahl besides Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Great Glass Elevator. Definitely worth checking out.


13 Nov 01 - 01:41 PM (#591709)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: MMario

another thought (and trilogy)'The Singers of Nevya' - by Ingram


13 Nov 01 - 01:46 PM (#591718)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: MMario

Witch Week; The Chronicles of Chrestomanci; Half-Magic


13 Nov 01 - 02:07 PM (#591730)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: GUEST

How do I get the movie? What is FTP? Where on the web is it?


13 Nov 01 - 02:22 PM (#591741)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Celtic Soul

You get the movie at this point in time by going to see it at a Theatre, or by waiting very patiently for at least a year (likely a year, as they will probably want the X-mas sales for next year) for it to come out on video.

In Theatres now in the UK, in Theatres this Friday here in the States. Dunno about the rest of the world! :D


13 Nov 01 - 02:27 PM (#591744)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Celtic Soul

You get the movie at this point in time by going to see it at a Theatre, or by waiting very patiently for at least a year (likely a year, as they will probably want the X-mas sales for next year) for it to come out on video.

In Theatres now in the UK, in Theatres this Friday here in the States. Dunno about the rest of the world! :D


13 Nov 01 - 03:31 PM (#591803)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: 8_Pints

Celtic Soul, I used to love reading out loud to my classes at school - the books had to be good. My own youngest daughter is an avid reader and she often used to recommend stories that she had enjoyed. We both enjoyed HP very much, but then we both like the Star Wars films so you may not want to follow our advice! Have you read the "Indian in the cupboard" series by Lynne Reid Banks? They certainly fire the imagination. Anne Fine and Jacqueline Wilson also write excellent books for reading aloud.

Sue vG


13 Nov 01 - 05:26 PM (#591885)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: weepiper

I agree with Mmario, anything by Diana Wynne Jones if they like Harry Potter. DWJ books were my absolute favourite when I was wee, and many of them have a similar 'magic hiding just below everyday mundanity' theme to HP stories. For reading aloud maybe "The Ogre Downstairs" or "Charmed Life", for older kids to read to themselves then "Power of Three" or "Fire and Hemlock".


13 Nov 01 - 05:49 PM (#591901)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: SINSULL

"The Twits" - Dahl
"Dooley And The Snortsnoot"


13 Nov 01 - 06:00 PM (#591913)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Clinton Hammond

Am I the only one who thought of Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang when I read the first HP book???


13 Nov 01 - 06:02 PM (#591915)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: cyder_drinker

I personally will (although I loved all four books) wait until the film is available on DVD. Then I will be able to watch it on my own terms, without having to put up with noisy children, noisy crisp packets, foul smelling popcorn, mobile phones ringing, etc, etc, ad nauseum.
Until all these people can be made to realise they actually went to the theatre to see a film, not stuff their faces and have a chat with Auntie Edna in Cambridge in between typing out text messages and shouting at their kid who's just spilt its icecream all over their laptop computer, the optimum size for a film audience will be one!


13 Nov 01 - 06:27 PM (#591941)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Clinton Hammond

I go to the movie theatre to see a film AND to stuff my face!!!! No home made popcorn is movie theatre popcorn!

Mind you, I also don't go when there are kids there either... Hopefully there will be a late show of HP, so I don't have to put up with other peoples lack of birth control!


13 Nov 01 - 08:18 PM (#592037)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Celtic Soul

There's a showing near me on the day it opens at 11:35PM.

Not that that helps any of you in England one whit. ;D

For those who want the big screen experience without the kids, you can always wait a week and see the late show in a school night. That ought to help keep the distractions down some. :D


13 Nov 01 - 11:39 PM (#592159)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: CamiSu

Jacob Two-Two and Harry? Maybe I need to go read Jacob again, but I don't see the connection. For a read-aloud, Soup by Robert Peck is hard to beat, though we had to pass it around as we would get to laughing too hard to read.

But HP really lit the fire under my youngest as far as reading by himself went. He just finished "Where the Red Fern Grows"....in tears. But he loved it.

CamiSu


14 Nov 01 - 10:02 AM (#592390)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Grab

Kid's books - Hobbit, all the way. The Narnia series are pretty good. Also the Starstormers series is worth getting for age-11-ish kids - it's sci-fi fluff, but quite a bit darker than the usual kid's stuff - and some other stuff by the same author (can't remember his name offhand). The Tripods series for the same age group and the same reason.

Wind in the Willows and the William Horwood sequels are good for slightly younger kids, and also for adults who'll pick up on the themes behind it. Also the Jungle Book.

Pratchett for anyone of any age.

Much Roald Dahl, but I'd advise reading it yourself first bcos he wrote more than a few books of adult fiction (and some is _very_ adult :-).

Graham.


14 Nov 01 - 11:58 AM (#592458)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: sian, west wales

So, has anyone been to the official HP website and been Sorted? Anyone else in Hufflepuff? I've got an Owl, and quite a nice Unicorn Hair Willow 10 inch wand.

sian


14 Nov 01 - 03:49 PM (#592645)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Stilly River Sage

When The Black Stallion came out in about 1980 I heard discussion of it on NPR, and went to a theater to see for myself--the children were silent throughout. They were literally mesmerized by the film, and I would expect that effect from Harry Potter.

I read all four Potter novels out loud to my children (and I don't think they need to be 10 to read it), and agree with remarks above, that they aren't written for reading out loud, not like The Hobbit or other excellent children's books like Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and many others by authors of that ilk.

A couple of years ago I read an interview that J.K. Rawlings was concerned about how the books would translate to film. This morning on NBC's Today Show it was reported that she loved the movie, and had been asked to collaborate with the director on the film. That probably helped.

As a human being, it sounds like Rawlings deserves all of the praise heaped upon her. For example, she donated ALL of the proceeds from two small Potter companion books to the British Comic Relief organization--they approached her hoping she'd autograph a few books they could auction off, and instead they probably realized millions from her generous act. She had the presence of mind to insist that the publishers, printers, distributors, etc. not take any profits from the works, everyone donated to the cause.


14 Nov 01 - 03:58 PM (#592656)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: mousethief

Tolkein had a most serious case of literary bloat

Philistines.


14 Nov 01 - 04:31 PM (#592688)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Penny S.

Other books to stir the reluctant reader. Funny, also boarding school, read by boys and girls (even though its a boys' school) - the Jennings series by Anthony Buckeridge. Recently the publishers said they were taking them out of print, but, you lucky people who have never seen them before, they are to be released in the States in three weeks time. The first one is called "Jennings goes to School." Here's a sample:

From "Jennings Goes to School" by Anthony Buckeridge.

Mr. Carter saw in front of him a small boy not unlike the dozens of other small boys who were lined up outside his room. His suit, socks and tie conformed exactly to the regulation pattern. His dark brown hair, which still bore the faintest trace of a parting, was no different from that of his fellows, and his face was the average sort of face worn by boys of his generation. So Mr. Carter learned little from this first meeting. Later on, he was to learn a lot. "A new boy, eh?" said Mr. Carter. "And what's your name?" "Jennings, sir." "Oh yes, here you are on the list. J.C.T. Jennings; ten years, two months. Right?" "No sir, not quite right, sir; ten years, two months and three days last Tuesday, sir." "We won't worry about that," said Mr. Carter. He had placed the new boy by now. Only that morning the Headmaster had shown him a letter from a Mr. Jennings, expressing doubts lest his son, who had never been away from home before, should not settle down at boarding school. Mr. Carter gave him another look; he seemed the sort of boy who knew how to look after himself.

And another:

"Oh, and there's another thing, Jennings," said Venables amidst splashes, "you have to wash your feet every night unless it's your bath night." He grabbed his tooth paste and squeezed hard. "Oh, golly!" he said. "This is ozard muck. Look, I've squeezed out about a yard and a half. What'll I do with it? I can't put it back." "You could write your name round the basin like they do with icing sugar," said Jennings, who had arrived to occupy the remaining basin. "Have you got enough to write 'many happy returns of the day'?" "Haven't got time," replied Venables," though it'd be quite a prang if we'd thought of it earlier." He took a mouthful from his tooth glass and gargled. "I say, Atki," he said, "can you change gear when you gargle? Like this, look ---- I mean, listen." He gargled again, starting on a low note and rising up the scale with forcible vocal contortions to show where the gears changed from low to second, from second to top. The car gathered speed, and, as an artistic finale, faded into the distance. "Super duper!" said Jennings. "Smash-on prang!" agreed Atkinson. "Yes, it's not bad, is it?" admitted Venables. "I've been practising quite a lot in the hols." "All the same, I can do it just as well," said Jennings. "So can I," said Atkinson. The dormitory hummed with cars changing gear; light sports cars with super-charged engines and heavy lorries stalling on steep hills. Atkinson swallowed his gargle while changing down to take a hairpin bend, at eighty miles an hour, and had to be slapped on the back by his fellow motorists. "I know something better than that," said Jennings. "I can be a super-jet fighter; listen.... Eee-ow-ow; eee-ow-ow; eee-ow-ow.....Dacka-dacka; dacka-dacka..." his machine gun spat venomously. "Eee-ow-ow; eee-ow-ow; eee-ow-ow....Doyng!" "What's the 'doyng'?" inquired Venables. "That's the other plane crashing after I've hit him," said the aeronaut. "I'm going into a dive, now. Eee-ow-ow; eee-ow-ow....Dacka-dacka; dacka-dacka...." The Squadron's personnel was at once joined by Venables, Atkinson and Temple in Spitfires, and all four eee'd and ow'd and dacka-dacka'd and doynged with outstretched arms, wheeling, banking and diving, while Darbishire sat on his bed and put his fingers in his ears. The door opened and the noise stopped abruptly. "H'm," said Mr. Carter from the doorway. "If dorm No.4 Fighter Squadron doesn't make a forced landing and get back to base, there'll be trouble; this light's going out in three minutes." "Yes, sir," murmured the Fighter Squadron meekly.

There is a period sense to the early books - a lot of RAF slang, for example. These aren't the best bits of comic writing (Buckeridge has been compared to Wodehouse _ I can't remember by whom) - I happen to have them on my computer because I used them as texts for teaching. And this is a link to Buckeridge on Rowling.

When Harry met Jennings

Penny


14 Nov 01 - 04:39 PM (#592696)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Penny S.

Corrected version - also, the first book does contain folk music references in a rendition of "Fire Down Below" which leads to a fire drill and an incident with an inertia reel escape, and a fire engine called by mistake.....

From "Jennings Goes to School" by Anthony Buckeridge.

Mr. Carter saw in front of him a small boy not unlike the dozens of other small boys who were lined up outside his room. His suit, socks and tie conformed exactly to the regulation pattern. His dark brown hair, which still bore the faintest trace of a parting, was no different from that of his fellows, and his face was the average sort of face worn by boys of his generation. So Mr. Carter learned little from this first meeting. Later on, he was to learn a lot.
"A new boy, eh?" said Mr. Carter. "And what's your name?"
"Jennings, sir."
"Oh yes, here you are on the list. J.C.T. Jennings; ten years, two months. Right?"
"No sir, not quite right, sir; ten years, two months and three days last Tuesday, sir."
"We won't worry about that," said Mr. Carter. He had placed the new boy by now. Only that morning the Headmaster had shown him a letter from a Mr. Jennings, expressing doubts lest his son, who had never been away from home before, should not settle down at boarding school. Mr. Carter gave him another look; he seemed the sort of boy who knew how to look after himself.

And another:

"Oh, and there's another thing, Jennings," said Venables amidst splashes, "you have to wash your feet every night unless it's your bath night." He grabbed his tooth paste and squeezed hard. "Oh, golly!" he said. "This is ozard muck. Look, I've squeezed out about a yard and a half. What'll I do with it? I can't put it back."
"You could write your name round the basin like they do with icing sugar," said Jennings, who had arrived to occupy the remaining basin. "Have you got enough to write 'many happy returns of the day'?"
"Haven't got time," replied Venables," though it'd be quite a prang if we'd thought of it earlier."
He took a mouthful from his tooth glass and gargled. "I say, Atki," he said, "can you change gear when you gargle? Like this, look ---- I mean, listen."
He gargled again, starting on a low note and rising up the scale with forcible vocal contortions to show where the gears changed from low to second, from second to top. The car gathered speed, and, as an artistic finale, faded into the distance.
"Super duper!" said Jennings.
"Smash-on prang!" agreed Atkinson.
"Yes, it's not bad, is it?" admitted Venables. "I've been practising quite a lot in the hols."
"All the same, I can do it just as well," said Jennings.
"So can I," said Atkinson.
The dormitory hummed with cars changing gear; light sports cars with super-charged engines and heavy lorries stalling on steep hills.
Atkinson swallowed his gargle while changing down to take a hairpin bend, at eighty miles an hour, and had to be slapped on the back by his fellow motorists.
"I know something better than that," said Jennings. "I can be a super-jet fighter; listen.... Eee-ow-ow; eee-ow-ow; eee-ow-ow.....Dacka-dacka; dacka-dacka..." his machine gun spat venomously. "Eee-ow-ow; eee-ow-ow; eee-ow-ow....Doyng!"
"What's the 'doyng'?" inquired Venables.
"That's the other plane crashing after I've hit him," said the aeronaut. "I'm going into a dive, now. Eee-ow-ow; eee-ow-ow....Dacka-dacka; dacka-dacka...."
The Squadron's personnel was at once joined by Venables, Atkinson and Temple in Spitfires, and all four eee'd and ow'd and dacka-dacka'd and doynged with outstretched arms, wheeling, banking and diving, while Darbishire sat on his bed and put his fingers in his ears.
The door opened and the noise stopped abruptly.
"H'm," said Mr. Carter from the doorway. "If dorm No.4 Fighter Squadron doesn't make a forced landing and get back to base, there'll be trouble; this light's going out in three minutes."
"Yes, sir," murmured the Fighter Squadron meekly.


14 Nov 01 - 04:43 PM (#592700)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Clinton Hammond

"Philistines"

JRR didn't have many original ideas either... he stole probably 95% of the whole mythos of Middle Earth from previous myths, legends and folk-lore...

He put them (his influences) together pretty well, but he needed 1) a good editor and 2) someone who could teach him to write characters... his are all 2 dimensional cut outs... with the one exception of Samwise...


14 Nov 01 - 05:04 PM (#592721)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: GUEST,Souter

Okay, two things.
First, for a REALLY funny set of books, the Enchanted Forest quartet by Patricia Wrede. You'll be laughing too hard too read them aloud. And secondly, the reason Tolkiens book took so much from other cultures is he was only interested in creating a medium for his conlangs. He was so involved in those, he had no time to be original with the setting.


14 Nov 01 - 05:15 PM (#592732)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Clinton Hammond

"...so involved in those, he had no time to be original with the setting."

You say that like you think it's justification...

;-)


14 Nov 01 - 05:23 PM (#592735)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Hollowfox

Souter, Wrede did a collection of short stories a few years ago called Book of Enchantments. There's an Enchanted Forest story in it involving the Frying Pan of Doom called "Utensile Strength".
Sinsull, it's all right for you not to enjoy the HP books. I've tried for years to enjoy Jane Austin to no avail. Enjoyment (or lack thereof) should not be a social obligation. Don't let them pressure you. *g* (for the record, I do happen to like them).
14 Nov 01 - 05:44 PM (#592759)
Subject: What to read after HP...
From: lamarca

Most libraries and bookstores started compiling "If you enjoyed Harry Potter, try this book..." lists after the phenomenon really got going in the US. About.com has a roundup of lists here. Some of them have been mentioned above; here's a couple of my favorites:

The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer and The High King, by Lloyd Alexander. I read this series of five fantasies as a child, (im)patiently waiting for Mr. Alexander to write the next one, and then for my public library to buy it. Now my nephews and niece are engrossed in them. Alexander's tales of how the foundling, Taran, grows to manhood and finds his place in the world is set in a mythical land based loosely on Welsh mythology. There is magic, humor, good and evil, featuring Taran, the Assistant Pig-Keeper, Eilonwy, the lost Princess of Llyr, Fflewdder Fflam, the bard with a penchant for exaggeration and a magic harp whose strings break at the sound of falsehood, the enchanters Dallben and Gwydion, Arawn, the evil King of Death, and Henwen, the Oracular Pig. The characters grow and change through the five books, and the writing is more literary than Harry Potter, but not so much that kids are put off - The High King won the Newbery Award for children's literature.

My second favorite series is Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising, Over Sea and Under Stone, Greenwitch, The Grey King and The Silver Tree. Ms. Cooper is again writing with English/Welsh myth and legend as background, but the Drew children are modern kids drawn into an epic fantasy battle. These are darker in tone than the Alexanders. Ms. Cooper has been heavily involved with Jack Langstaff's Revels organization and folk themes; The Grey King also won a Newbery.

Another good "mundane children drawn into otherworld battle between good and evil" is Joy Chant's Red Moon and Black Mountain, although this one was justifiably published in Lin Carter's Ballantine Books "Adult Fantasy" series - it's a complex tale, and is probably better for teens than younger kids.

For young kids, Eve Ibbottson's "The Secret of Platform 13" is wonderful - published before the Harry Potter stories, it involves a secret portal at railway track 13 which is only visible to magic users, and which only opens every nine years. My nephew really liked this one, and I heard that Ibbottson's other books are fun, too.

By the way, I'm in Ravenclaw...


14 Nov 01 - 06:22 PM (#592782)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: CamiSu

There was a week when our whole family was sick and we just all sat in our bed and read the Taran Wanderer (Book of Three etc) series, out loud, in three or four days. Anything by Lloyd Alexander I would recommend. Especially The Arcadians. There are so many good books... and so little time!

And I. too, love the Enchanted Forest books.

CamiSu


14 Nov 01 - 07:01 PM (#592807)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: catspaw49

Karen is reading HP to Michael and he's hating it....outwardly. Interestingly enough though, the other night he brought me a drawing.......the kid is an unbelievable artist!!......of Harry himself. A good sign that he's enjoying something. Norbert sits atop my computer and the movie is a must see, although we'll wait a bit.

Spaw


15 Nov 01 - 08:08 AM (#593091)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: sophocleese

I am delighted to see that with the interest in Harry Potter the Diana Wynne Jones books are being reissued. I'm collecting them whenever I see one.

Philip Pullman is also a lovely author to read. His Golden Compass trilogy is for older readers but my kids are enjoying Count Karlstein which is a great take on the gothic thriller.

Alan Garner's Weirdstone of Brisingamen would also be a good read for any young fantasy readers.


15 Nov 01 - 04:33 PM (#593517)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Peter K (Fionn)

On the button, CarolC, with that post comparing JKR with the rest. Surprisingly no mention of Jaqueline Wilson, the one who sets her characters in broken homes etc - but does it well, and constructively. One of her books is The Illustrated Mum (mum likes tattoos) and there's one with a Mrs Beaker in the title. Among others.

But right now I'd settle on anything to wean my daughter off the Nancy Drew books. She seems determined to read every damn one of them, being just not quite old enough to realise that they're all the same.


15 Nov 01 - 04:56 PM (#593534)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Hollowfox

Don't worry, Fionn. I'm told that it is a natural part of cognetive development to want to read something "just like that one I just enjoyed", so she's probably right on schedule. Think of them as cerebral fiber. Nutritionally necessary, with no vitamins. (for a real hoot, read some of the earlier editions; they get updated periodically, so she no longer wears a cloche or drives a roadster with running boards.)


15 Nov 01 - 07:31 PM (#593659)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: kendall

I must admit that I have not read any of the Harry Potter books, so, dont know what is in them that has really upset a local bunch of Christian "wing nuts". They applied for a permit to have a "Book Burning" and, they were refused because of the dry conditions. They have now decided to cut up a stack of Harry Potter books. Where have we heard of this sort of thing before? What's next, another crystal night?


15 Nov 01 - 07:40 PM (#593665)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: mmm1a

Kendall, that is terrible. I had thought we were beyond book burning and such . I wonder when these fools will ever learn. mmm


15 Nov 01 - 08:03 PM (#593675)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: CarolC

Apparently not, mmm1a. I had a wing nut attorney accuse me in court of being a witch (despite the fact that the US constitution protects my right to be a witch if I so choose), because he heard that I had read "The Witches", by Roald Dahl, to my son.


15 Nov 01 - 08:37 PM (#593688)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Stilly River Sage

My children have read the series by Lemony Snicket called "A Series of Unfortunate Events." They include The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, The Miserable Mill, The Austere Academy, The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, and The Hostile Hospital. A rather grim set, in which the children barely snatch victory from the mouth of defeat each volume, and it offers a lot of vocabulary. I read the first couple out loud, then the kids took over on their own.

Down here in the Bible Belt in Texas several diligent christian parents have tried to have the Harry Potter books banned from schools. They're reminiscent of Canute with his broom, considering the tide of popularity that Harry Potter is riding. One can only assume that since they can't appropriate the materials contained in the novels, they would stamp them out. Kind of like Halloween. Every October 31 the children at my son's school have class parties. A flyer comes home from the PTA that they may not mention or represent witches or ghosts or pumpkins. . . they generously call it an "Autumn Festival" and the kids come home with candy in orange wrappers.


16 Nov 01 - 07:39 AM (#593837)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Grab

CarolC, ask him if he believes he's God or Jesus, since he read the Bible. Or even better, think of the possibilities with Toad of Toad Hall. I want to be a mole... and live in a hole.... ;-) I hope everyone in court laughed their cotton socks off!

I don't care what they do with the books. It's their money they're wasting. The publisher can always reprint. In fact, the local bookshop may be onto a winner if they want to buy every book he gets in and burn them - he can buy them in by the truck-load and make a fortune. :-)

Graham.


16 Nov 01 - 08:05 AM (#593849)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Cllr

I know I have committed the cardinal sin of not reading the previous posts but I didn't want to spoil seeing the film, but tonight twenty of us from my AmDram Soc are going to see it in Leicester Square.Hurrah! Cllr


16 Nov 01 - 09:40 AM (#593913)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: CarolC

Good one, Graham. Actually, the people in the courtroom were too stunned to do much of anything except sit there with their mouths hanging open.


16 Nov 01 - 08:35 PM (#594412)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: 8_Pints

We've just got back from a late night screening of the film and must say that all the family enjoyed it. Our fam consists of two 15 year olds (daughter 15 going on 30 and son 15 going on 5!) and 22 year old girl who, like me, thinks that Jane Austen rules! There is a huge diversity of tastes lurking amongst us and yet we all found the film entertaining. It had a good story line, kept pretty faithfully to the book and had fantastic special effects - with only 3 bloodies and and a bugger the language was clean and there was absolutely no sex whatsoever! Bob was very impressed with the Quidditch scene that he thought was a combination of aerial rugby and the chariot scene from Ben Hur! We would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy and fun films and a bit of pure escapism - go and see it and judge for yourself! Sue and Bob vG


17 Nov 01 - 06:09 AM (#594577)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Greyeyes

An earlier discussion on HP anticipating the film can be found on this thread , it also has a lot of recommendations for other books.

Clinton, "JRR didn't have many original ideas either...." neither did Shakespeare, there's nothing new under the sun.
I've just finished part 3 of Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy, certainly the outstanding piece of children's literature I've read for a very long time. Pullman comments at the end "I have stolen ideas from every book I have ever read. My principle in researching for a novel is "Read like a butterfly, write like a bee," and if this story contains any honey, it is entirely because of the quality of the nectar I have found in the work of better writers."
The Amber Spyglass was included in the long-list for the Booker Prize this year, the premier literary award in the UK for adult fiction, an astonishing achievement for a children's writer.

Hollowfox, so I'm not the only avid reader who can't get a handle on Jane Austen?


17 Nov 01 - 06:34 AM (#594578)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

I stood in line for 3 hours yesterday and it was worth it! I agree with all the praise (and criticism, I might add) but all in all, it was a great cinematization of the book. My daughter, who has all but memorized the books, was critical of some serious (to her) ommissions, but we had a great time.
I hope I don't have to wait as long in line for LOTR!


17 Nov 01 - 09:44 AM (#594624)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: mmm1a

We went to see the movie last nite and surprisingly there were no long lines, but then what do you expect in Indiana. We really enjoyed the movie, defintly worth it. Animaterra I had to laugh when I read your post, my 11 yr old son too has all 4 books memorized and He also was critical about some of the things that were left out,but He still liked the movie. mmm


17 Nov 01 - 10:41 AM (#594640)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Willa

kendall; 'They applied for a permit to have a "Book Burning" and, they were refused because of the dry conditions. They have now decided to cut up a stack of Harry Potter books. Where have we heard of this sort of thing before?'
Fahrenheit 451
Fionn; I remember being spellbound (presumably that would now be frowned upon!)as a child listening to the Just-So stories. 'Before the High and Far-Off Times, O my best Beloved, came the time of the Very Beginnings; and that was in the days when the Eldest Magician was getting Things ready. First he got the Earth ready, then he got the Sea ready; and then he told all the Animals that they could come out and play.'


17 Nov 01 - 10:42 AM (#594641)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Celtic Soul

We saw it last night as well. We pre-purchased the tickets at noon, went an hour early so we could get good seats, and read book 4 while we waited in line. My daughter wore her Hogwarts robes, and we all had HP T-shirts on. Man, are we a bunch of geeks or what?!?!?! ;D

The effects were wonderful, the casting was *brilliant*, the actors rendered the roles wonderully, the directing was commendable. Mr. Columbus did a masterful job of translating a large book to film. It missed some parts (and added some dialogue), but we expected that. There's just no way to fit most novels into the time frame of a movie, though they did a good job of condensing book one. I cannot imagine *how* they are going to fit the entirety of the important information from book 4 into one film, though! It's more than twice the size of book one. I worry that they will have to sacrifice a heck of a lot to keep to 2-3 hours.

We shall see!


17 Nov 01 - 11:15 AM (#594663)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: GUEST

I haven't read the books, don't know the stories, etc. But was looking forward to seeing this and the upcoming "Fellowship of the Ring" (which I think looks great). I was very excited by the buzz the film is getting. Ordered advance tickets on sale, got to the theater early, etc etc. Understand that the marketing stuff is the same as Dukes of Hazzard, Superman, etc. and am not put off by it, as I think it is much more positive than that stuff for kids.

So, went to the movie last night. It is gorgeous looking. The special effects don't overtake the film. Excellent cast.

I fell asleep half way through the movie. Yes, I fell asleep.

Well, if there is no real story, and the film is just a series of events to get to the final good vs evil battle, you've lost me. If it doesn't have a really good story to tell that holds together for both children and adults (no matter how much we love all the little details), it just won't work for me.

I give it a 5 stars out of 10. I'm hoping I'll be able to stay awake through it when it comes out on DVD. I'll be sure to watch it first thing in the morning.

I also don't have a problem with long films, if the story justifies it. To me, action sequences just can't be used to justify too long a length in narrative books, plays, movies, stories, songs, etc.

I'm sure for Harry Potter cult members, this film is a joy. If you aren't a Harry Potter cult member, you might want to save your money for "Fellowship of the Rings" on the big screen, and wait for HP to come out on DVD. Wish I had.


17 Nov 01 - 11:46 AM (#594674)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: GUEST,Lascivious Librarian

Yes CarolC, Alan Rickman *is* worth going to the film for. Unfortunately, his delicious character is something we don't get enough of in the film.

I agree that this film won't hold the interests of many adults who haven't read the books. The plot is tortuous to follow for the non-initiated. As Graham has pointed out so well, there are many holes in the story that just make no sense whatsoever if you haven't read the book.

The film looks mahvellous, but the story line really doesn't hold up.

I too am all for anything that gets kids reading. Once they are accustomed to reading, it is easy to get them to read "good books" (haughty sniff).

And I can't second the suggestion of Susan Cooper's books enough. Dark, but delicious. It was my daughter's favorite series of "chapter books" we ever read aloud. She is a very good writer. So how about somebody makes a movie of her stuff?

Also, once the kids are older, introduce them to the Marion Zimmer Bradley "Mists of Avalon" books. They suffer from the same bloat that Tolkien does (why don't editors do their jobs?), but it is still grandly entertaining light and fun reading.


17 Nov 01 - 11:58 AM (#594677)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Cllr

Great film really enjoyed and my wife and I want to go and see it again while it is still on the big screen. Robie Coltrane was brilliant. Cllr


17 Nov 01 - 12:03 PM (#594680)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Stilly River Sage

The translation problem is from the book format to the movie (90 to 150 minute length) format. They should go back to the serials like Buck Rogers that played in the theater for 30 minutes before the feature movie. There would be lots of cliffhangers to work with as the producers worked their way agonizingly through the books. Or (heaven forbid?) turn it into a television series. Play a chunk of it each week, like Masterpiece Theater until they've done it the way it needs to be done.


17 Nov 01 - 12:12 PM (#594682)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: SINSULL

I love Jane Austin...and have to admit that the concept of vomit flavored candy appeals to me. I was second on line for the opening of "Jurassic Park". One question: Do they show the stone in the movie? - it never makes an appearance in the book. nd does Harry figure out that the inscription on the mirror is meant to be read in reverse?


17 Nov 01 - 12:45 PM (#594693)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: guinnesschik

Wow, we took the two bratlings to see HP last night. We bought tickets in advance, and sat in a crammed theater for a 5 PM showing. We all loved it, although my 13 year old stated her grievences in the car on the way home. At 2.5 hours it is a bit long for the really young ones, and several parents of the under 7 set had to make countless trips to the rest rooms. And what can I say about crying babies? All that aside, we thought the movie was brilliant, and we enjoyed it thoroughly. Two and a half hours of escapism for the price of tickets. Well woth it if you ask me.


17 Nov 01 - 01:56 PM (#594731)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: GUEST

I also think parents of young children should think twice about seeing it in the theaters, because of the length. There seemed to be very many very bored young ones in the audience at our showing too. Older kids were even squirming in their seats & heading out for candy & a pee break, and that was only at an hour into the film.

Better on video and DVD for the very little ones methinks, because of the length and what is likely too intricate/convoluted (depending on your point of view) a plot line for them to follow. I hated it when my kids were small, and the buzz for a supposed "family film" wouldn't live up to the actual product. I always appreciated people telling me the truth about how it played for the smaller kids. "Kindergarten Cop" is a good example of that. My daughter, then in kindergarten, went to see it with friends who had raved about how much the (older) kids had loved it. My daughter was pretty upset by the violence, and hated the movie.

So--no violence problems in this at all. But intricacy of the plot and length of film combined, my guess is a lot of kids under the 8-10 range, and some of them in that range, if they haven't read the book, will be bored to the point of distractions, and prone to wanting to wander through the multiplex, demanding you spend a fortune on all the multiplex sparklies.

Just a word of caution for those who only have small children, and have been thinking of going, even though it isn't a very good film for really young 'uns.


17 Nov 01 - 02:52 PM (#594753)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Noreen

I took my 10yr old daughter and 3 of her friends to see Harry Potter last night, amidst great excitement on their part (and mine!).

They thought it was all wonderful, screamed, jumped and laughed in all the right places (and there were lots of such places).

7.15 pm seemed a good time to go, as there were no crying babies, but lots of groups of Brownies and older families; everyone seemed engrossed.

I enjoyed it very much too, loved Hagrid and Ron, and John Cleese as Nearly Headless Nick (a nice surprise as I'd not heard that he was in it).

It was very much the film of the book, though, and I can understand those who've not read the book being a bit lost, as the plot development is pretty sketchy.

Great fun though.

Sins: yes, they show the stone- like a large piece of amber or glass- not quite as I'd imagined. And the inscription on the mirror of Erised was shown, but it wasn't mentioned that it was in reverse. The idea of it was done well though.

And Mrs Norris's name wasn't mentioned! :0)


17 Nov 01 - 04:48 PM (#594781)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Gloredhel

I guess I'll address my grievances in the order that they appear in this thread:

My (former) Latin teacher has read the first book at my urging and stated that there were several mistakes made in the Latin of the book.

Anyone who doesn't appreciate the greatness of JRR Tolkein obviously either does not understand the nature of greatness or the nature of his books. His greatness lies in the fact that he can use myths and other literature and create something greater. One of the reasons Dracula is a great book is because of what it contributed to the much greater LotR.

HP were some great books, and the fact that they don't have much literary merit is just fine. We all need a break from the heavy stuff now and then. I'm looking forward to the movie.


18 Nov 01 - 04:45 AM (#595001)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Liz the Squeak

I see that Alan Rickman is in the movie. That alone is reason enough to see it. CarolC - he is, he's good, but like Sean (Phroooaaarrwww) Bean, he should change it to Alan (Not ageing well are you pet) Rickman.

I was in hysterics at the Professor McGonagle/Miss Jean Brodie connection and her attire - the casting was superb! In an interview with Robbie Coltrane, he said he didn't know how they made him look so big!

And Guinnesschic - I see you have adopted the use of bratling for the anklebiters... MudGuard assures me that it is German for minced meat - hamburger stuff!

It was a bit long, but we didn't have to queue for ages beforehand, although it was horrendously long with the ads and everything before. We'd eaten the bucket of popcorn before they were over!

LTS


18 Nov 01 - 01:30 PM (#595164)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Steve Latimer

I haven't read the book, loved the movie. I am actually planning on seeing it again, just to watch some of the backgorund stuff more closely. Do be sure to see this in he theatre as opposed to waiting for the video. There is just so much that would be missed on the small screen.

My eleven year old daughter has read all the books and was a little disappointed with the film. She thinks that they left too much out. However, as it is already 2 1/2 hours long I'm sure that they did the best they could.

I'm borrowing the books from her. I'm really looking forward to reading them.


18 Nov 01 - 02:39 PM (#595188)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Nigel.Parsons

Sinsull: yes we do "see" the stone in the book, first as a wrapped item being retrieved fron Grigott's bank, and towards the end, Harry sees himself taking it from his own pocket in the "Mirror of Erised". This is immediately before he feels the weight of it suddenly appear in his pocket.

Generally: yes, I get *most* of the Latin bits, but it seems that the most overlooked pun is the English one of "Diagon Alley" which preumably can be fitted into the overcrowded London streets because it runs at an angle!

I can also heartilly recommend the Jennings books (due for a U.S. launch shortly) although I first read them over 30 years ago, borrowed from the local library. I think I'll have to re-read them. As boarding-school books I always found them preferable to the forced comedy of Billy Bunter.

Nigel Parsons


18 Nov 01 - 05:24 PM (#595259)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Noreen

One point I forgot to mention.

All the way through the film, something was bothering me about Albus Dumbledore. Casting was just right (Richard Harris), characterisation very good... couldn't put my finger on it. Then I realised he reminded me of someone, and it took another while before it came to me who

that person was.

Anyone who's met him think the same? *grin*


18 Nov 01 - 08:45 PM (#595345)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Celtic Soul

:::giggle!!:::

You have a point there, Noreen!

I wonder if we could get him to don some half moon specs and a robe to see how close the resemblence goes?


19 Nov 01 - 02:11 AM (#595459)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Liz the Squeak

Terrible similarity to Gandalf too, don't you think??

When are we going to see some more young handsome wizards - all those prefects at Hogwarts have to grow up into something - surely they don't become white haired and beared when they graduate?

LTS


19 Nov 01 - 09:11 AM (#595542)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: McGrath of Harlow

If only. If I could do the magic there'd be some young lads up in Buntingford who right now would probably be crawling around as toads...Until they've learned the errors of their ways.

The other significant similar establishment is Miss Cackles's Academy in the Worst Witch books by Jill Murphy, which also feel extremely authentic (and if you've ever seen Jill Murphy that's not too surprising) - my wife says it's very like the convent school she went to. For that matter Hogwart's is very like the boarding school I went to, though the food is a lot more lavish.

One thing more - as anyone who's read the Potter books should know, using the word Muggles as an insult, or sneering at Muggles in general, is the sort of racist thing Dumbledore and all honourable wizards and witches are dead against. The safe rule is to be very suspicious of anyone who talks in those terms.


19 Nov 01 - 09:17 AM (#595547)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: McGrath of Harlow

It still missed out a bit in my post where I suggested that, if Liz wanted to find a book with a handsome young wizard (as against a handsome older wizard), "A Wizard of Earthsea" by Ursula Leguin with Ged and a wholly convincing school of Wizardry, was the place to look. A lot more serious and fundamentally scary than Hogwarts. And a very authentic feeling. This is how magic would work if it worked.

This thread is too long. Please continue at Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch (click), or Better Kid Flicks than Harry Potter, or start a new Harry Potter Part 2 thread if there's a need for it.
-Joe Offer-


20 Nov 01 - 06:49 AM (#596212)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter
From: Noreen

I think there is more scope for discussion of the film as more people get to see it.

Please post to new thread BS: Harry Potter, term 2