Going Potty 2


I’ve finally finished the seven Potter books! It took four months (shame on me) but as most of the books were over seven hundred pages long, I think I did alright in the end. I initially tried to stick to reading them only at bedtime but the last book was too good to confine to my bedside. It probably helped that I was on holiday so I could read it round the clock (much to the annoyance of my companions). But I’m not writing this post to analyse my reading speed. I am also not writing it to say which book I liked best of the lot (Deathly Hallows, if you were wondering) – you can find my individual ratings and reviews on my Goodreads page review. I am also not writing this to harp on about how Harry annoyed me all the way to the end of the series (I think I already mentioned this in my initial post). What I’d like to discuss is what bugged me after I had read the last book.

I had a conversation with my brother about how the theme of The Hunger Games was a disturbing one (kids set loose in an artificial environment to fight to the death) and my argument was that the Harry Potter series was equally disturbing. Although touted as a series for children, I felt that the books quickly went from Middle Grade focus to Young Adult focus as it seemed that Rowling sought to match the age of her initial audience and let the dark theme of the stories evolve with them. If you approach the later books as Middle Grade stories, I imagine you would be equally shocked by the amount of dark thoughts, bouts of depression, death and maiming that was introduced. There was always the idea of death from the first book – Harry’s parents dying, the notion that Harry or Voldermot had to die for the other to live, but I think it got a bit much in the last book. I am not really complaining because I don’t mind so much when characters are killed off in stories, as long as they are killed for a valid reason. Unfortunately, I’m not sure a lot of the death and disfigurement was necessary, even if it was a series aimed at adults. I admit I was close to tears when some characters died unexpectedly (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve read the books) so I am probably not as strong as I thought I was (shock and horror!). Compared to the outright idea of death in The Hunger Games, the Potter series is a little better but I would still be cautious about letting my eight year old (if I had one) read them.

Other than that one gripe, I really enjoyed the series and would recommend them to fantasy lovers of any age – but make sure your read the last few books and check that your kids are not too sensitive for the amount of loss that Rowling throws at Harry.

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  1. Harry’s loss makes the series more emotional real, if you know what i mean 🙂

    • I do indeed! I was really upset by some of the deaths and I wish I could list all the people whose deaths in the books touched me but I don’t want to ruin it for people who haven’t read or watched the series yet.

  2. Here’s something i’ve always thought & in the case of these books pointed out…

    The age specific writing thing is good, but some people tend to confuse the age group targeted based on lead or major characters in a work, instead of theme.

    E.g. If I wrote a book with a protagonist that was 10-12yrs, unless I went all out & delivered over the top violence or other such themes to drive my point home, the work would mainly be considered for children; because on initial contact most adults would feel they can’t place themselves in the characters shoes (being a child & all).

    & this progresses through age, like a 50something may view a work with an 18yr old character as something younger than they should read.

    Of course this isn’t always the case but I think my point is made.

    Now, with Harry Potter, i’ve always felt J.K wrot the books the same way, the kids just aged was the real change.
    I mean if the protagonist had been 30yrs old in book.1, for starters lots of people wouldn’t have dismissed it as being for kids, I mean he basically killed someone at the end by burning them till they disintegrated.
    & 2ndly, when all the books were finished, the progression of action, death & the events in general would have been wholly embraced as a magnificent crescendo to the titles, the same way one gets more excited as an action movie progresses.
    But in this case, even though that happened, you also had those who had been writing it off as books for kids, being exposed to it properly & being surprised in a somewhat bad way at the themes within.

    All that being said, I loved the books; beleived she did a magnificent job; book 4 is still my favourite & yes Hermione Granger was somewhat of a Super Hero in most of book 7 while they were on the run if you were really paying attention to events that were happening while they occured.

    P.S
    so NOW can I send you the “Aiden Finch” write-ups?
    & if you answer ‘Yes’ if that way that seems like i’m trying to punish you, I will again take that as a no & not send them like the last time i asked you 🙂

    • Okechukwu Udogu (Okey)
    • May 3rd, 2012

    Lol!! Very good. Was just a whole fuss here about the movie and it’s rating. I guess some societies are more sensitive than others.

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