"Oh...we've got trouble! Right here in River City. With a capital T, that rhymes with P, that stands for Potter!" Our Youth are are going to the...the owls! They are joining enmass "the cult of the Occult"... They are using their imagination way too much! They are bound by "spells" and are duped into believing in all this "wizardry and witchcraft". They all need to be "burned at the stake" of reactionary, fundamental, boredom. It's partly the media's fault...having "release parties" at midnight across the land and England too. Falling for the mass marketing hype of "sealed boxes" not to be opened until the stroke of July 16, 2005...no doubt a numerological hexing date. What are we to do? What will become of our progeny? Oh woe!
Do you know that this has happened many times before in history? Followers of Alexandre Dumas thronged squares in France 100's of years ago for the latest installments of "The Three Musketeers" and "The Count of Monte Cristo". I bet they did it for Dickens too. As a teacher, I was plesantly surprised to read the first Harry Potter(and the Sorcerer's Stone") to my 5th grade class, a chapter a day, and mavel at how the writing and interest level reminded me of when I read "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" to my classes toward the beginnings of my career. I noticed too that many boys, who normally don't pick up any books, unless assigned; were carrying these fat ones around. They were well written with "vocabulary" to challenge and stimulate imagination. Wow! It also reminded me of the "Dungeon and Dragons" craze. I had at least one son who played the games regularly with friends and multi-sided dice! Shock! What is this telling us about our kids? Is anyone paying attention? Well, yes...J.K.Rowling is/was since 1997 and she is now, reportedly, richer than the Queen of England!
This is the first edition (#6) that I haven't pre-ordered. I found the last one a bit too wordy to wade through and just waited for the audio-CD version by Jim Dale. Now he makes them really come alive with all his voices and slight English accent. He's got "Dobby's" voice down. He is, to the audiophile, what Baryshnikov is to ballet. He's done Shakespeare with the British National Theatre. He's done the musical "Barnum" on Broadway and got a Tony. He was nominated for the lyrics to the title song for "Georgy Girl" a hit movie. Queen Elizabeth II recently named him a Member of the Order of the British Empire in recognition for his Harry Potter work. He is in the Guinness Book of Records for creating the most number of voices in an audiobook (134) for "Order of the Phoenix". This is all from quite an article in the USAToday by Deirdre Donahue.
The latest tome is even thicker and more challenging to read I would suppose. I think, by design, J.K. is putting it to us...ie. kids of all ages...to meet the challenge and read longer and more elaborate prose. Maybe I'll give this one a whirl after I finish my current page-turner "The Historian" a novel (rare for me) about "Vlad the Impaler" Dracula! Ha... ha...ha! Bob