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Internet provides instant Harry Potter reviews

Posted By: EndGame

Internet provides instant Harry Potter reviews - 07/19/05 08:39 AM

In the age of the Internet, a book review can be virtually instant.

The latest instalment in the Harry Potter series, on sale from Saturday in one of the most eagerly anticipated book launches ever, is already under the microscope of speed-reading critics, and opinion is divided.

Within hours of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" hitting the shelves, Harry has been likened to Luke Skywalker from the "Star Wars" films, Henry V and King Arthur, and evil afoot in the plot to recent bomb attacks in London.

Plot summaries are also appearing with what publishers may regard as unseemly haste, forcing readers to settle down and plow through the book's 607 pages of magic and mystery.

The British Broadcasting Corporation's Web site,, featured its own Harry Potter "review blog," with a staff member updating readers on his thoughts even before he reached the end of the hardback tome.

"I've just finished the last few words of the book," he wrote at 5.30 a.m. (0430 GMT), five hours and 30 minutes after the book's official launch.

"In many ways this book has been a mere staging ground for Rowling's final narrative to come," the review continues.

"Too much of the book was either a repeat of what we have seen before, or bogged down by Rowling's attempts to maneuver plot lines and characters into position.

"After a while all magic tricks begin to lose their impact."

Others were more complimentary, some positively gushing, as Rowling fulfilled expectations that she would tackle the dark side of life at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft.

"Call out the grief counsellers," wrote Sandra Martin on "A very significant character is brutally killed leaving Harry, the orphaned teenage wizard, more alone than ever in his struggle against the forces of Lord Voldemort."


Like many others, Martin avoided spoiling the story by giving details of what happens, but plot summaries quickly appeared online and newspapers were expected to run their own.

"I hope I can finish it in the next 48 hours," said Bruce Robinson, a Manhattan resident in his late 30s, as he sat in a cafe inside a Barnes & Noble book store.

"I know one of the tabloids will reveal the ending and I want to finish it before it comes out."

The New York Times ran a lengthy review within hours of the book's release, likening Rowling's achievement to the works of author J.R.R. Tolkien of "Lord of the Rings."

"As the story proceeds ... it grows progressively more somber, eventually becoming positively Miltonian in its darkness," the generally favorable write-up said.

Its main criticism was of Rowling's handling of plot developments needed to set up readers for the seventh and final instalment.

There were even reviews of reviews online Saturday.

"Something makes me wonder what kind of speed-reader they have over there, the review is not only positive but gushes all over HBP," said, commenting on a review.

Several critics drew parallels between the Half-Blood Prince and the recent bomb attacks on London.

The New York Times mentions an "uncanny reminder" that the Hogwarts Express, which Harry and his friends take to school, leaves from King's Cross station, where one of four bombs went off on July 7 in attacks that killed 55.

Posted By: EndGame

Re: Internet provides instant Harry Potter reviews - 07/19/05 08:48 AM

i read the book in 6hours and no speed reading was done whatsoever.
oh yes, i ensured i savoured even the driest bit of grammar.

its a wicked book.
i have already stated in one of my previous posts that rowling has positioned herself well for the 7th and final book.
as a novice writer, i admire her work though not always agreeing with the execution at times.
but as a literate member of society i adore the series, plot and the rich depth she manages to pour into her characters.

anyone who is to critisise the work to an extent where they actually discourage the reading of her books, however, should be (and to quote a fellow UGN member, i think its Ghost) shot. Survivors should be shot again.
Posted By: pergesu

Re: Internet provides instant Harry Potter reviews - 07/19/05 09:33 AM

How are they making parallels to the London bombings? The final manuscript had to be completed long before the attacks.

Why does someone always have to link to entirely unrelated events? People are [censored] stupid.
Posted By: EndGame

Re: Internet provides instant Harry Potter reviews - 07/21/05 10:40 AM

all too right you are perg.

but that in itself is explained in the fact that critics of the book were said to draw parralels with the plot and london bombing.
sometimes even the literary community make forced signs/conclusions in order to bring about a sense of relevance to any good story.

i personally think little of these comparisons and metaphors as i feel everyone is entitled to a say (no matter how dim-witted they may be).

my only problem is that these very people DISCOURAGE minors to read the HP series in an age where reading is overshadowed by the latest hand-held gaming device.
(no longer does a novels claim to fame start and end with: 'you can take it with you to the toilet')

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