Rowling's (and DWJ's) gifts, some spoilers at the end.

Aimee Smith s4028253 at student.uq.edu.au
Sat Jul 26 02:59:28 EDT 2003


This is my (Aimee's) Rants and Raves about DWJ and then HP - in general and
book 5, in which I shall try to sum up some of the things I think of all of
them (ahem):
NOTE: I tend to get involved in books I'm reading.

Now, with DWJ's work, I have a confession to make: she drives me up the
wall. Well, I love her for it,  but it doesn't change the fact that reading
a whole book so ARTfully engineered to DRIVE you up the wall while you wait
for everything to make sense seems sometimes downright rude, but you just
can't help yourself! It has to do with Kathleen's very true statement a
while ago about plots spiralling upwards from small beginnings and gathering
info and momentum as it goes, and in that circular pattern. I have this
picture in my head of the genius at work, going through the world and her
head like a department store and saying to random items, concepts and ideas,
saying "I'll have one of these, and one of these..." and then grinning
maliciously and saying, "Now watch me MAKE them all WORK!!!" And then
somehow it all does, and you go through the book on tenterhooks saying, "Oh
my brain is so smaaaall I can't put it all together, why can't she just play
by the rules?!" and you reach the end and BANG! You jump up and down saying
"Yes! Oh, it's so OBvious! Damn". And despite it's just being my particular
impatient-generation reaction, it's good medicine for it. [Flood the schools
with DWJ!]

Anyway, when I read HP5 I discovered several things I like very much about
the books, and which made book 5 in fact my favourite so far. Possibly my
favourite parts in all the books have been the times from after he leaves
the Dursleys to until he arrives at Hogwarts. I love the glimpse of the
wider wizarding world, it gives it a sense of reality and spices up the
detail - she gives just enough to tantalise. I also love the names she
creates, they're always fun and telling, and while they are simple they lend
a lot of flavour to the world of HP. And although none of these features are
unique to JK, it is the closest I can come to pinning down her 'flavour'.
She also has a different/unique spin she puts on cliches and things so often
found in fantasy, which makes them her own and you don't begrudge her them.
DWJ of course champions this every time she publishes, though they do it
with different intentions: I think DWJ does more, in that she questions the
cliches and often satirises them.
Aaanyway, more specifically in HP5, I liked that she has some GREAT scenes
and one liners!

MAJOR spoiler warning...
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...like the twins' final departure, Hermione telling Ron he has the
emotional range of a teaspoon, and when Harry takes on Malfoy at the
beginning on the train... I laughed a lot in this book, and almost cried a
few times too. I like how it's getting more mature and more serious, somehow
realer, though for Harry this might not be entirely welcome. Sometimes I
think of the HP phenomenon that we're in some way living vicariously through
him, though that sounds too weird over-wrought fan-ish now that I've written
it.
Another good part was the secret society: loved it!
And another good part was finding Dumbledore was human. It was so touching
and so... weird! Sort of went against everything in the previous books, and
it will take some getting used to... adds that extra sense of instability,
(should have seen it coming), very clever of Rowling.
My only complaint was the fact that there was nothing to stop the
frustrating INJUSTICE of THAT woman Umbridge having free rein. Are there no
LAWS? I have seldom been so angry at one of JK's characters, including Snape
in book 3. Which was the intention, of course.

So yeah, that's me about them. Whaddayareckon?
Aimee.


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