Sunday, July 15, 2007

out of the mouths of babes

Although given the degree to which I adore Ron Charles, genetics has to count for something, too.
"It happened on a dark night, somewhere in the middle of Book IV. For three years, I had dutifully read the "Harry Potter" series to my daughter, my voice growing raspy with the effort, page after page. But lately, whole paragraphs of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" had started to slip by without my hearing a word. I'd snap back to attention and realize the action had moved from Harry's room to Hagrid's house, and I had no idea what was happening.
And that's when my daughter broke the spell: "Do we have to keep reading this?"

Sweet Jesus, I love Ron Charles. Every word in this piece is spot on.
I've only read the first three Rowling's, and I liked them well enough I suppose. Never mind that there were too many other books to care about (there should be and always are) but the road from a unique little world with Diagon Alley, platform nine and three quarters, and the wonderful little bookstore, Flourish & Blotts; to the lawyers, guns and money trifecta that started around the release of the fourth book, made sustained interest, never mind suspension of disbelief too difficult to fake.

Although to be fair the other side of the argument is in the Post today as well.
"Once upon a time, I despised Harry Potter books. (That was, naturally, before I'd read them.) Like any self-respecting college student, I detested anything mainstream. And in my freshman year, Rowling's boy-wizard books were more ubiquitous than Muggles on the Metro at rush hour.
"Children's tripe," I sneered. "I'd rather read something meaningful, like Faulkner or Joyce."
But one sunny Saturday, when I was home with the flu and everyone else was at a music festival, a friend left the first book, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," on my bed. My stubbornness weakened by a virulent infection, I began to read."

You can guess the rest.

Still and all, the thing to take away from all this may be that when stacked up against everything else, the humble book still comes away as the drug of choice.
I know, I know, never in doubt, right?
Although in a room full of Giller types, the slimmest wallets aren't in the authors pockets, dude.
Their in the booksellers'. I'd add a Jonathan as well, but other than that, nice job.

Posted by Dave

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