Harry Potter and the man who hadn’t read the books

Who? Who hasn’t read the books? Well, I admit it… I haven’t *hangs head in shame*. Maybe “hadn’t” would more correct. I had seen some of the movies in the past, and thought they were good. That must count for something? For some reason they didn’t catch on, I don’t know why. I just lost interest in them. There are so many other movies to watch, “I’ll just save them for later…”

Then I landed in a position at work that allowed me to listen to audio-books while working. So I debated with myself which book I should start with. There were a couple of Stephen King books that came to mind, but I’ve been meaning to read Harry Potter for years, so why not…

And now I see what all the fuzz is about!

They were bloody brilliant! An added bonus was listening to them told by Stephen Fry. It doesn’t get much better than that. Lively, immersive, enthusiastic. I highly recommend it.

As an aspiring writer I can appreciate the immensity of the Harry Potter project; seven books, creating a believable world (that with few exceptions “work”), intertwining storylines, a multitude of characters and creatures with a backstory and incentive. I wish that I had written it.

It all fits together so well. All the planning, laid out from the beginning. At first I was thrilled finding little things mentioned in the beginning of a book later proving to be of great importance. Then as the story was closing in on the end it became clear that the arc of events spanned all the books. Even more impressive.

What also impressed me was the description of characters and locations. When first presented, broad brushstrokes and a few significant details. No lengthy descriptions, just enough to get ones imagination going to fill in the blanks. Then as the story progress more details are added in the narration.

So what’s it all about? Three friends battling the forces of evil and finding strength in friendship of course. And Good vs Evil, Love vs Hate, Cooperation vs Selfishness, Courage vs Compliance, Resistance vs Repression, Rebellion vs Conformity, and a lot more. Food for thought and reflection.

When I was nearing the end, my urge to watch the movies built. I have started and so far reached the third, and I must say having read the books adds another dimension to the movies. At the same time I experience the familiar disappointment that comes with books turned into movies; things omitted, details changed.

As with all good books you get to the point, when you’re getting close to the end, where you want to find out how it ends, but at the same time don’t want it to be over. After spending seven weeks, listening to a couple of hours of Harry Potter every day, I found myself alone, a feeling of emptiness inside. There were a couple of days when I felt uninspired to go to work. My friends weren’t there anymore. If that’s not a sign of a good book, I don’t know what is.

So finally I’ve joined the rest of the world in being swept away by the magic in the Harry Potter stories, and find myself trying to use the Confundus-charm to get out of tricky situations.

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