Have there ever been any good criticisms of this series?

  1. Ray McCarthy

    Ray McCarthy Sentient Marmite: The Truth may make you fret.

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    Traditionally the girls didn't read Biggles. Or "The Saint" (IMO better than Bond).

    Then there are the Pony books ... :)
    Though I'm only familiar with Follyfoot and World's End series. (Both Monica Dickens), not the genre as a whole. Well, maybe Silver Brumby, if it counts but I KNEW the sort of girls that would have nearly paid to be allowed to muck out the stalls ... :D One even lived next door and had her dad erect a Corrugated iron stable in the suburban back garden and got a horse.
    http://www.ponymadbooklovers.co.uk/

    The Pony and Ballet books are escapist Fantasy just as the [Boarding] school stories. A survey many years ago discovered that kids suspected they didn't want to go to "real" boarding schools but liked reading the stories of privileged kids. Similarly few fans of Ballet stories really wanted to put in the hours of practice daily and really go to Ballet School. The Pony stories are more unrealistic fantasy in a way but people more would really like to have had a pony.

    P.S. I'm always a big vague on difference between a Horse and Pony (I've even had real lessons as a kid and "Pony Trekking" as an adult. I can tell what a Donkey is. I've petted them. Never ridden one. Loads of horses and some donkeys near here. Owned by rich or very poor!

    I think writers need to read outside their favourite genre.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  2. AnyaKimlin

    AnyaKimlin Confuddled

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    I read Biggles and actually the book I think is perhaps most like Harry Potter is Tom Brown's School Days - if I remember rightly it even have a tower in it (but that might have been just the film). Dumbledore reminds me a little of a Mr Chips style character.

    My view is JK Rowling just has an incredibly English view of literature and it shows in the stories. They are great old fashioned fairy tales were the three main characters take it turns to be tied up and scream. It's far darker than Jill Murphy's stories. There are elements of Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Elinor Brent Dyer, Pamela Brown, Jean Ure, Judy Blume etc in her books. Bet if you read my stories you could find the echoes of all the stories I grew up absorbing. One element a few beta readers said was original in my books was Angus becoming a falcon but I knew I'd taken that and other elements from He-Man.

    It's like the ridiculous attempt to say she ripped of Narnia because it had a portal to another world - umm it's a junior fantasy story a lot of the have portals. It's quite apparent that a lot of the literary critics who took on JK Rowling had a poor education in children's literature particularly fantasy. I think it is very difficult to find anything that even attempts to be objective with JK Rowling. I bought the Cuckoo's Calling based on the reviews and a flick through the book at a local shop just a week or two before it all exploded and we found out the real author. (Keeping hold of it). But wow did the reviews changed and polarise as soon as it was revealed JK Rowling wrote it. I am not a massive Rowling fan (I waited two years to read Deathly Hallows after he release) but I enjoy the stories and think they deserve their place.
     
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  3. David Doherty-Jebb

    David Doherty-Jebb Well-Known Member

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    I love Harry Potter- really, really love it!! I liked the first two books, but Prisoner of Azkaban made me a bona fide fan. However, it's quite clear to me that JK Rowling is not an avid reader of fantasy fiction, or she would have seen how derivative it is from a mile off. Originality is a myth, yes, which is why the series works so well and is loved by so many, but to say she broke any ground whatsoever would also be a myth.
     
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  4. Ray McCarthy

    Ray McCarthy Sentient Marmite: The Truth may make you fret.

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    Or she is and didn't worry about it!

    Absolutely, yes!
     
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  5. Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    I was going to mention this. Not to say that 'JK Rowling ripped off Jill Murphy' but those books were popular long before Harry Potter and you could see that this genre had potential. I don't understand the dissenters because I found Harry Potter a great page-turning read and could easily see why my children were reading it. I do think that having a boy as the main character was risky given that more girls read, but it was a risk that paid off and resulted in increased numbers of boys reading. It isn't great literature and whether it will stand the test of time like Biggles, Famous Five and Black Beauty, I couldn't say.
    There is the scene in the time-travel film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home -
    Kirk: You'll find it in all the literature of the period.
    Spock: For example?
    Kirk: Oh the collected works of Jacqueline Susann. The novels of Harold Robbins...
    Spock: Ah, the "Giants".
     
  6. David Doherty-Jebb

    David Doherty-Jebb Well-Known Member

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    Rowling put lots of love into her characters, creating some real heroes and villians with rich backstories. I believe this is the power of the series.
    Strangely, or maybe not, Harry was far from being my favourite character throughout the series, with Ron being more believable due to his more human reactions, and Luna being just this beacon of strength against adversity. Also, Voldemort is not the worst villain IMO. Dolores Umbridge, with her Fascist, totalitarian stance, wins outright, while Lucius Malfoy comes second.
    Like I said before, I love the Potterverse, but its durability lies not in Rowlings use of the tropes, but her crafting of people we love or hate.
     
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  7. RightersBlock

    RightersBlock Well-Known Member

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    As for this thing ^

    I agree with a lot of what he/she says about the second book and the 2 final books, and the characters of Harry, Dumbledore, Voldemort, Ron and Malfoy. However, no one is perfect and she did a really good thing with the series.
     
  8. Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    DDJ, I agree there are better villains than Voldemort. Umbridge, Hopkirk, Skeeter, Percy, and all the other toadies who never question neither the actions nor the motives of Fudge and the MoM. And then there's Snape... and HPatOotP makes us first think he might be good. We wonder if he's still an agent for V, or a double agent for Dumbledore, or actually a triple agent still serving V!!!! He was mean, petty, and vindictive, but he was on the right side.

    I also wholeheartedly agree that Ron is a much better character than Harry. I've mentioned it in other threads, but here's the quick version. Ron is better because he's more human. HP is the hero so he can't really make the really stupid, embarrassing, or unforgivable mistakes that his sidekick can. Ron does every dumb thing that a teenage boy can do, but because we know these things we can never put him on the hero's platform like we can with HP. Ron fleshes out the life of a teenager without tarnishing the hero. To make up for this, I suspect, Rowling gave him Hermione.

    Of the young crowd surrounding Harry, Ron, and Hermione, I think that Neville and Luna stand out. Ginny is just waiting in the wings. Fred and George would've ended up like Stan Shunpike or Mundungus Fletcher if Harry hadn't given them money. Everybody went to school with someone like Draco.

    Dismissed as a hopless first year, time is good to Neville. He's able to find out where his passions and talents lie. After that, his competence and confidence grow... yet, his ego does not.

    And Luna... she's crazy in the best way possible. She dreams of ways to bless her family and friends. She does not care a fig for her detractors. She only cares about the ones she loves. Styles mean nothing, principles mean everything.
     
  9. Dan Jones

    Dan Jones Refreshed

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    I always thought Voldemort was a pretty awful villain (in amongst a cast of pretty good characters, all in all) because he was 100% bad. And that's never good.

    There are very, very few bad guys throughout history who have been written as 100% bad and gotten away with it as a credible character. Sauron is one, and only then because you never actually see the git. Heck, even The Devil was supposedly a Good Guy at one point. Who else is 100% bad and manages to be a good, memorable character? King Joffrey? Biff Tannen? Nina Myer (of 24 fame)? I have to admit, after those three I'm struggling to think of any.

    Mmmm, Nina Myer.
     
  10. Toke

    Toke Member

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    Hi,

    Does anyone else think that the quality of the series declines after the fourth book? I really like the Harry Potter world and the story but the last three books are quite poor. I'm in the middle of the last book at this moment and I'm keeping my hopes up that this would be better than the last two.

    It would take me too long to explain everything in detail so I just list some of my biggest personal issues with the last three books. If you disagree, I would gladly provide you with a more comprehensive argument. And I'm quite aware there could be somethings that I havent noticed etc.

    - Harry has become a prejudiced little twat. Or at times he feels like that anyway. Always complaining and so quick to blame and judge everyone. At times, he is downright annoying.
    - Dumbledore's time wasting errands and info dumbs. And all the withheld information and waiting.
    - All the Deus Ex Machina -scenes where something always happens in the right time, and usually to spare Harry from a certain demise.
    - Ron has become a fairly unnecessary character. as has Hermione (she is still my favourite character though, and the only one with even a little meaningful character development).
    - Quidditch, I don't care too much of quidditch.
    - The formulaic manner of the books feels like a chore at times.
    - Certain character relations don't evolve. For example Potter vs. Malfoy/Snape.

    I understand that the books are probably written so that the reader can 'live' in it and gather more information about the world. Which is fine. But for a reader (who is not a crazy fan) that searches for a solid read with certain qualities, the last three books don't deliver. The last one has a chance still however. I would be too hasty to review it before I'm done.

    In the end I must say though that the books are all extremely readable and most of the problems really get lost in the smooth flow. The world is great but boy do I feel like these books would have benefitted from a more aggressive editor.
     
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  11. Dan Jones

    Dan Jones Refreshed

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    Dem sum bare harsh words bruv. Don't forget, he's only 14 or so!

    Other than that, reasonable critique. I always thought Hermione was a Mary Sue, and thought Ron was the other end of the scale (what's the opposite of a Mary Sue?).
     
  12. Toke

    Toke Member

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    Yeah, there probably are some puberty aspects that I should consider, but I just don't want to. :)
     
  13. Venusian Broon

    Venusian Broon Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity

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    an Arnold Rimmer?
     
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