Did "Deathly Hallows" feel like it was ghost written?

Discussion in 'J K Rowling' started by dekket, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. dekket

    dekket Well-Known Member

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    The other day my Father in Law stated that when he was reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, he thought that it felt like it had been ghost written.

    I strongly disagreed with him (but I really don't think I actually made a very good argument :confused:), so I would like to hear other peoples opinions on why it was definately J. K. Rowlings work.

    This will thus leave me better prepared for the next time we are discussing Harry Potter books.

    Thanks.
     
  2. orionsixwings

    orionsixwings Demosthenes

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    I've never been a fan of Rowling. Not when it came to her writing anyway. Most of the things she used in her fic had been conceptualized by other writers (i.e. Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett), and the plotline of the saga is also not unique. But I have read all the HP books and I think your father in law may have a point. Honestly, there was far too much fan-service in DH and I have read countless fanfictions for HP that are almost too similar to DH that I actually thought I was reading a fanfic!
     
  3. Majimaune

    Majimaune Actum pro novus diem

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    I had never really thought of it as 'ghost written' but now you say that, yes I can see the point.

    I agree with Orion (nice to see you again btw, its been a while) It was too much a service to the fans and more like a fanfic than anything else.
     
  4. SpaceShip

    SpaceShip Outta sight

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    Am I the only person in the world who's never read her work? There are just some authors' books (or the authors themselves) that I just look at and say "no", just like there are some films that are around and I don't want to go and see them. Anyone else like me?
     
  5. Culhwch

    Culhwch Lost Boy Staff Member

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    No, I never felt that it was written by anyone other than Rowling, though perhaps there was some catering to fans going on. I wasn't really a part of any fan discussion though, so I'm not really sure that the book correlated with fan expectations...

    SS - being a children's author I'd have thought you'd want to read Rowling if only out of professional interest...
     
  6. Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Well, authors can get burned-out on a series. Anyone else could wait and hope for the inspiration to return, but with the whole world (minus SpaceShip and myself*, and perhaps a handful of others) clamoring for the next installment, she might have been tempted to just write the darn book, get it done, and get it over with.

    If this was actually the case (and it's not even speculation on my part, just a possibility I'm throwing out there), in the absence of any compelling vision of her own she might easily be guided by her readers' expectations.

    Either that, or she's been subtly molding her reader's expectations from the beginning so that their desires would ultimately fall in perfectly with what she had planned to write all along.

    *Unlike SS, I did read the first three, but then decided I didn't care enough to go on reading the series.
     
  7. Grimward

    Grimward Where matter vanishes...

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    To elaborate on Teresa's point about getting it done and over with, if you're JK Rowling and you've made the decision that this is the last book, it's easy to see how you have only this one last chance to address everything you wanted to. Whether her fans' interests affected that need or not, only she would know. Being in that state alone might have been enough to warp her style out of it's norm, although I personally think you can watch her style evolve over the entire series. Her style did seem a little different from Half Blood Prince, but then HBP seemed different from Order of the Phoenix. I found it interesting to watch her style evolve along with the characters and, if one considers Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone a book for elementary children (I personally don't, but then I'm a sucker for a good story, regardless of it's usual audience!), you could even say that her style evolved to match and challenge that initial audience of elementary school kids. At least, I like to think that might have been one of her intentions (okay, maybe we need to add "delusional" to "sucker"!).
     
  8. Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    In that case, you might like to visit our YA forum, if you haven't already. We could use some new blood to revive some of the discussions there.

    http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/young-adult-fiction/
     
  9. SpaceShip

    SpaceShip Outta sight

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    Just couldn't bring myself to do so Culhwch (and did you know you featured in my second book?) but don't really know why! But I think one reason is that if anyone says I am copying her, well I can honestly say I don't know how as I've never read any of her books. Secondly, I love history and try to weave my stories through with some ancient or historical fact (they are written in the post-Roman/Dark Ages). As far as I know, there is no history in the Harry Potter books - purely fantasy. Correct me if I'm wrong (and knowing everyone at the Chrons - they ain't slow in doing that!!!):rolleyes:
     
  10. Scarfy

    Scarfy Stephen J Sweeney

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  11. SpaceShip

    SpaceShip Outta sight

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    Now why didn't I think of writing something like that Scarfy? Perhaps dragging up some sort of theory that evokes controversial debate might get me noticed! Hmm. Wonder how her film directing is going these days.
     
  12. Culhwch

    Culhwch Lost Boy Staff Member

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    I'm still waiting for my royalties...

    And actually, though they aren't works of historical fiction, JK does seem to have an interest in classical history and mythology, and there are dozens of references for those who know what they are looking at...
     
  13. orionsixwings

    orionsixwings Demosthenes

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    Thanks! Yeah, it's been too long! I miss this place.



    As for Deathly Hallows, I think Teresa has hit it right at the head. JK might have been dying to end the series and start on something new (or maybe just have time to enjoy all that money she's made from writing the series). That would be a good excuse. I also can't help wondering if this was really how she intended the Harry Potter story to end (or begin). I did read an interview of hers once and she said that she had to edit the story because the publishers told her to. The original setting of Harry Potter was apparently too dark for the target audience and JK had to dilute it quite a lot just to get it published. Of course, she can do whatever now, but back then she can't afford to be pushy. Maybe her original vision for this story got modified too much, which might be the cause for the swiss-cheesed ending.


    I don't know.
     
  14. The Procrastinator

    The Procrastinator 1 Candlepower Brain

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    Why do people apostrophise plural's? Is it capital
    It didn't feel ghostwritten to me but it did feel like there was a definite awareness of the fans in there, as distinct from the audience - which wasn't present in the earliest books, came to figure slightly in the last one or two, but was really noticeable in DH. I reckon she was feeling the pressure of ten billion seething eyeballs - and who wouldn't...
     
  15. dekket

    dekket Well-Known Member

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    I do suppose that having the entire world looking over your shoulder, looking at their watches, and muttering about how aweful the wait between books was, would have been a factor. Especially as everyone would have had there own ideas about how the last book would unfold.
     
  16. the smiling weirwood

    the smiling weirwood Axes and Saws Prohibited

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    That would imply that she is a brilliant psychologist and unparalleled social engineer and far too powerful for us to allow to roam about. No doubt she is even now concocting plans for world domination.
     
  17. Lith

    Lith Not Drawing

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    I think she was bringing readers towards certain conclusions from the beginning- it isn't necessarily brilliant, heading toward a conclusion you've been pointing at for like 10 years, and lo and behold, it comes out close to what many expected or speculated. One of the downsides of knowing where you're going with a story- the likelihood others will know where you're going with it as well. And then there's the epilogue, which just felt like another book, the product of another writer. My theory is that it is just the work of an inexperienced JKR, whose writing and thinking more closely resembles that of her fans, and it really should have been excised from the book entirely.

    Didn't feel like it was ghost-written otherwise, only tighter (mostly), either because she just wanted to get it done, or was trying really hard to finish in the promised 7 books.
     
  18. paranoid marvin

    paranoid marvin Run VT Erroll!

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    I doubt that the author had a vision of a 5th book , never mind any more , when she wrote the first novel. there is ceratinly a difference in quality of writing from the first to the last , and it appears as though the author has grown up with many of her readers.

    Personally , I think that the last novel was designed to tie up ALL of the loose ends , and make the possibility of any further stories based on loose threads virtually impossible

    Unless I am mistaken the last book was written with the intention of finishing Harry Potter once and for all , satisfying her audience , and do her best to keep any clamouring for an 8th instalment to a minimum
     
  19. sffhound

    sffhound Lesbian vampire goblin

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    That's an interesting thought. As many others I went "WTF!?" over the epilogue, but it kind of makes sense (even if it still doesn't make it good) if that was Rowling trying to shut the fans up *laugh*
     
  20. Grimward

    Grimward Where matter vanishes...

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    As far as an 8th installment goes (and let me first be clear that I'm NOT pushing for this), never say "never". Even death isn't foolproof where this is concerned...

    *Cough*Christopher Tolkien*Cough*John Gregory Betancourt*Cough*

    Not implying that either of the two situations above were contrary to the original author's (Tolkien and Zelazny, respectively, in the cases above)/estate's wishes, and I would imagine that a well-written will and an estate managed by loyal inheritors would slow such continuations down considerably...;)

    Not to wander too far from the thread (he says as he continues wandering:D)), but ckovacs would likely know whether Betancourt published his prequels with the Zelazny estate's blessing or not.....
     
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