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Old September 8th, 2011, 9:59 pm
Charity_Burbage  Undisclosed.gif Charity_Burbage is offline
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Join Date: 16th February 2011
Posts: 27
Re: Are we too old for Harry Potter?

Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

I'm a big champion of children's fiction and PS/SS is a children's book, period. It's not a book written in an adult style. When I read it for the first time, I was reminded of Roald Dahl. I think it's clever and engaging, I certainly liked it enough to want to continue reading the series, but I really prefer the later, darker books, which are more adult.
I was heavily reminded of Roald Dahl too, especially by the bit about Mr Dursley working for Grunnings drills. There seemed to be distant echoes of people screwing the lids onto toothpaste tubes for a living.

Also, though, the style in which she described the Dursleys in those first pages seemed to me very similar to how Tolkien described the Bagginses in the opening pages of The Hobbit - very respectable folk, and you knew exactly what a Baggins's opinion would be on any point without the bother of asking him.

I'd say Goblet is the last of the children's books, and that they morph into "coming of age" books in No 5.

I once read a piece of Tolkien literary criticism that remarked that The Hobbit is the children's version of the stories, and that LOTR is when the children go to bed and we hear the adult version of how adventures happen. I'd say HP 4-5 is where the equivalent transition occurs.

Goblet of Fire does end with the death of one innocent and the terrorising and torture of another, not to mention the gruesome physical rebirth of the Dark Lord. But then The Hobbit ends not only with a terrible battle, but then a "terribel greedy scramble for the treasure" (Humphrey Carpenter's words).

I feel that Goblet is the book that stretches credibility the most, because it's on the cusp of this transition. It still feels very much like a children's tale, and yet Dumbledore allows Harry to take part in a terribly dangerous tournament. He almost dies, and Cedric Diggory is killed. For a headmaster to put a minor in such peril really does look irresponsible, when things turn so extremely serious and sinister at the end.

Yes, I know it achieved the blood bond and Harry's ultimate survival mechanism. But still.

Last edited by Charity_Burbage; September 8th, 2011 at 10:03 pm.
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