Doesn’t Everyone Love Harry Potter?

I love fantasy books. Fantasy is by far my favourite genre and is a big part of my life. I have devoured hundreds of books over the years by dozens of authors; from the classics by C.S Lewis and Tolkien to the underrated gems by Neil Gaiman and Trudi Canavan along with everything in between. I am also sixteen years of age which puts me within the bracket of people who grew up with the literary juggernaut of Harry Potter steam rolling over the media so it might surprise you to hear that I don’t like the books, any of them, in fact to truly express my feelings on these novels I’m going to have to unbox a word that I don’t often use when describing my thoughts on books. I hate the Harry Potter books. There I said it; and for many people that statement amounts to heresy but I make no apologies for it, I truly hate the books, I really do.

I had the first book bought for me when I was around eight, just after I had finished the Tolkien books and my thirst for fantasy had just begun to get really serious. I read it and I didn’t enjoy it; I did however read the second simply to persevere in the hope that the series picked up. This perseverance carried me up until finishing the fourth book where I could go on no further.

I believe that the books are so painfully unoriginal that they become a mockery of all the novels to come before them. Rowling seems to unashamedly borrow from so many sources of literature the result of which turns the universe she creates into a malformed chimera of lore and ideas. I am not saying that all other fantasy books are completely original in every way because this is not true, but it is Rowling that derives her material so wholly that makes the books painful to see become so successful when there are so many better examples of all the ideas within her works.

I also think that Rowling’s character are flat stereo types that only seem to inhabit one or two states throughout the long saga. Harry is the whining reluctant hero that we see so very often in mediocre fantasy. Hermione is the bullied geek , Ron serves as little more than comic relief and Voldemort is of course completely evil supposedly because he enjoys it.  I feel that within the books there is almost no progression of these characters, They seem unaffected by the events around them each year and start the next term chipper and full of optimism.

Although I realise that this next point is total snobbery I feel the need to make it, if that happen to make me a snob then so be it. The Harry Potter novels are children’s books, it shows in the prose, so I really can’t understand how adults can be so emerged in them. The story lines of simplistic, the vocabulary basic and the suspense is minimal. I don’t feel that the Harry Potter books deserve to be as popular as they are based on the merits of the prose. There you can call me a snob now.

I could carry on for hours about the other things that I dislike about the books, but for the sake of my sanity I should probably leave it there.

I realise that I am in the minority when I say these things and that this little speech will have ruffled the feathers of more than a few ‘PottHeads’ (I’m really not sure if that is the term in use, if it isn’t it should be) so feel free to comment, just please try to be civil and I will do my best to defend my honour.

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10 thoughts on “Doesn’t Everyone Love Harry Potter?

  1. ahh…Harry Potter. I loved the series when I was little. Now that I am older, there are definitely better fantasy books out there.

    If it makes you feel any better, I hate Twlight 😉

  2. I respect your opinion and I respectfully disagree. Harry Potter is for children and that is precisely why I like it as an adult. I’m old and have five kids. Sometimes, I want a decent, simple book to read that doesn’t involve sex or a dystopian future and will bring me back to my lost youth. I need the break.

    I also disagree that Harry Potter is fluff and lacks a compelling plot and developed characters. If I’d only read the first four books, I might agree with you, but Rowling improved greatly with the last three books. I’d suggest you read them, but I fear your opinion is too entrenched and you couldn’t view them fairly. Or maybe you’d hate them. It doesn’t matter, really. Different strokes for different folks.

    Harry Potter is responsible for my son’s love of reading. They made him want to read Tolkien, which was a HUGE improvement over the bodily humor books (Diary of A Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants) he was reading before. Is it any wonder I love Harry Potter?

    On a personal note, welcome to We Heart Reading. I’m happy Kirsty and JM are taking care of this blog, as I’ve grossly neglected it. (Sorry guys.) It’s exciting to see so many new posts and contributors.

    • I can understand where you are coming from, and at the end of the day regardless of the quality of the Harry Potter books I could never claim that they were not an immense force for good in the world in the way that they have brought literature into the minds of many young people

  3. I began and finished this series about two years ago when I was around 15 and I simply loved it. Harry Potter actually started my love affair with books and I’ve always been grateful to Mrs. Rowling for that.

    As for being unoriginal, I haven’t come across anything similar to her lore, not any that I could remember anyways. When you said
    “The Harry Potter novels are children’s books, it shows in the prose, so I really can’t understand how adults can be so emerged in them. The story lines of simplistic, the vocabulary basic and the suspense is minimal.”
    For the adults, I suppose they all need something simple to immerse themselves in, life is complicated by itself and as for the action, you weren’t as into the whole thing like that fans of these books, so what seemed major to us might not capture your interest.

    Each to his own but I, too, will respect your opinion on the series.

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