[DWJ] Langford on Potter

Jennifer Rowland janamouse at hotmail.com
Thu May 24 05:54:12 EDT 2007


Minnow wondered:
>The Langford having perpetrated a book called  *The End Of Harry Potter?*,
>I went and had a look at some (favourable, he wouldn't be pointing us at
>the other sort) reviews.
>
>I wanna know, has anyone here read it, and is it the Pure Langford or has
>he had to be too serious?
[...]
>P'raps I ought to read Langford *before* the Potter Saga?  Anyone?

This is what I thought about it when I read it in November- it started as a 
game of "guess where the quote is from":
"'Now I see him eating breakfast, which according to Napoleon's Book of 
Dreams foretells a slow, lingering and horrible illness, perhaps leprosy or 
the Black Pox, accompanied by morbid and repugnant discharges which are 
symbolised by the milk on his cornflakes.'
"Dave Langford, The End of Harry Potter? (this is the one that's only just 
out. It's a well-argued bit of meta, [...] which is also funny and includes 
interesting comparisons to how other authors have used themes similar to 
JKR's. However there are three or four pages that are worth the price of the 
book in themselves, where he lays out what might happen in Book Seven- the 
bit quoted is from Harry's future as predicted by Sybill Trelawney, there's 
also the Classic Fantasy version where Harry must take the One Horcrux to 
Voldemordor accompanied by his loyal but clumsy friend Neville, several film 
versions (I am your father, Harry), and so on.)"

I don't think it's quite Langfordish enough to be worth reading before the 
books, probably, and you probably also won't get the full joy of the parody 
endings unless you know the Potter characters. But it'd certainly be a 
welcome break after book five or six of what I seem to remember is your 
planned read-the-whole-damn-lot-in-a-week binge.

(The bit in ellipses is where I linked to a couple of people whose essays 
about Potter are online and, I think, have a similar level of rigour to this 
book, including JOdel's Red Hen site [1]. Langford is definitely funnier, 
though.)
Jennifer

[1] www.redhen-publications.com/Potterverse.html

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