DWJ in Israeli newspaper

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at imperial.ac.uk
Mon Feb 16 07:40:09 EST 2004

> Melissa said:
> > In some ways the Harry Potter books are a lot safer for the
> > reader than DWJ's.

Ika wrote:
> That's something I was startled to discover recently - I 
> finally nagged an online friend who likes the Potter books 
> into reading Charmed Life and she found it unbearably bleak. 

It does have disturbing parts- especially when Janet's parents don't notice she's gone. But Homeward Bounders is the only DWJ that seems bleak to me. I couldn't stand to reread it when I was a child.

Of the Chrestomanci books, I think Magician of Caprona is the happiest situation for the protagonists (apart from the war!), with loving families on-screen, and it also seems the most "normal" children's-book-adventure storyline. (That isn't a criticism, MoC and Witch Week are my favourite Chrestomanci books.)

> ("No, I really think that *you* should go and illegally 
> rescue the condemned criminal from the Ministry executioner, 
> not me. I'm sure your *dead father* would be proud of you for
> it. No pressure") 

> Ooh! I think what it is, partly, is that the adults around 
> Harry expect him to be *grateful* all the time, like the 
> family in Eight Days of Luke - and the author seems to agree 
> with them, instead of bringing in an outside perspective.

Mind you, Harry *isn't* grateful, and we do tend to see things from his POV, so that is sort of a corrective. 
I think in HP5 Harry's stupid level of anger and secretiveness, which is so OTT if considered as a reaction to being kept out of the loop for a year, is suppressed from many years of being nice and grateful and putting up with things (and also partly adolescent-ness). 
The comparison that occurred to me was Mitt on the ship, [1] though he did get over himself rather sooner than Harry does. It was very interesting to see Ynen and Hildy's reactions to him- I'd like to see Harry from the POV of, say, a Ravenclaw for a while. (I bet there are fanfics that do this.)
[1] Drowned Ammett

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