Friday, January 11, 2013

Harry Potter Readalong 1.1

I am turrible at stopping books halfway through, and am therefore terrible at readalongs. But look at me! One hundred-odd pages in and misplacing my ereader! Thanks for the help, subconscious.

So. I'mma get this out of the way: I haven't read a lot of HP criticism (although I might START. I find the mixture of high-brow snoot and popularism in these sorts of things to be scandalously delicious), but I read a bit one time about the risk Dumbledore ran putting Harry with the Dursleys, and how there was, like, a one-in-ten chance he'd turn out Brave and Heroic and Humble and a nine-in-ten chance he'd become a murdery rager from the years of abuse.

It was a close call.

So THAT kind of tainted this first half for me because I couldn't stop thinking about what a dumb idea it was (and then getting all mad whenever Hagrid was like, You don't know who you are? and Bad luck you ending up with a couple of muggles, because I'm all like, NOT KNOWING WHO HE WAS WAS THE POINT AND ALSO NOT BAD LUCK OH MY GOD DUMBLEDORE DID IT ON PURPOSE AND THAT IS THE OPPOSITE OF LUCK).



Moving on! I started reading these after maybe the fourth book came out, and all my early-20-somethings friends were like What rubbish so I gave it a go and when I came across Mr and Mrs Dursley, the former of whom had 'hardly any neck' but the latter who made up for it by having 'nearly twice the usual amount of neck,' I LAUGHED and LAUGHED. That description right there is why I always say that the books are so well-written (even though sometimes They Are Not). Ibid when Hagrid shows up with his feet 'like baby dolphins.' MS ROWLING CAN DESCRIBE A THING.

Moving on some more. Ok so Dumbledore puts all the street lights out with the 'Put-Outer,' and I just finished watching Game of Thrones with Joel, who scorns fantasy, and I'm all like, Melisandre is the Red Priestess of the god R'hllor and she's helping Stannis win his throne from Joffrey, but Daenarys might take it with the help of her dragons and her Dothraki horselords if she can cross the Narrow Sea, after saying a bunch of stuff like THAT it's a relief to be like, This is a Put-Outer and it puts out the lights. It eases you in before all the Expecto Patronum shit.

Bits That Have Given Me Feels:

Kind of nothing so far? Except the appearance of Neville because we know how that turns out.

Handsomely.

And then for whatever reason I teared up when Mrs Weasley shows up at the train station because that scene in the last movie


Yes, that one. I don't know, things about daughters make me gloopy.

TIME TO GO FIND MY EREADER.

18 comments:

Flogging The Waters said...

http://thebookisalwaysbetterthanthefilm.blogspot.com/2012/06/old-news-from-bottom-of-tbr-pile-or.html

This is my take on Harry Potter vs. Game of Thrones. I agree, it is all in the descriptions (and names).

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

I kinda feel that Rowling's writing is like the girl with the curl on her forehead: when it's good, it's very very good and when it's bad it's horrid.

Having some major fun on this readalong!

AnimeJune said...

LOVE it!

Am currently reading CHAMBER OF SECRETS right now, and I just want to SMACK Dobby so damn hard. Not a Dobby fan. Even after THAT happens in the later books. But it's fun to pick up on all the complexities one missed the first time around - like in Chamber, Lucius Malfoy mentions how the Ministry's conducting raids for bad woo-woo and Malfoy's like "GOTTA FENCE MY SHIT IN KNOCKTURN ALLEY Y'ALL".

Reading Rambo said...

You dork, link up your post.

Also I'M SO GLAD YOU MENTIONED THE BABY DOLPHINS THING. Because when I was 14, I just went with it, and now I'm like 'Wtf omg JK you are amazing.'

Ellie said...

I j'adore your feelings on this book already. YES J.K. Rowling is a properly funny writer (dude, Fred and George) and her descriptions of things are just mad enough to be brilliant (if not very flattering to poor baby dolphins).

Also, kudos on working Fit Neville into the discussion already. I swear, I'm having ALMOST AS MUCH FUN reading this read-a-long as I would be having reading the books. Which I will totally do soon, because I can't resist all this Potter fangirling much longer. :)

Red said...

Right, why did Hagrid blame Harry for his bad luck ending up with Muggles. Does he really mean "oh tough break, having Voldemort murder your parents and all."

Neville seriously wins. I'm sort of having trouble feeling bad for poor little 11 year old Neville cos I know how nicely things turn out from him. *stares at picture awhile longer*

Kayleigh said...

Neville wins puberty. I can't even express how happy I am with the universe that he turned out like that. NICE WORK, UNIVERSE.

And ah, Hagrid. He's a bit bumbly sometimes. Not super lots with the thinking. But we have to forgive him because he is still the greatest.

Kayleigh Murphy said...

Yeah, I can't really say anything because now I'm going to have to look for more sexy Neville gifs and there goes my Saturday!

I feel like Rowling is doing a lot with the nature vs nurture (just mentioned this on someone else's post) debate, especially when you look at Harry and Malfoy - who basically embody the two options.

Laura said...

MRS WEASLEY! She is so fabulous. Unlike Percy who SUCKS THE MOST. Of the Weasleys, anyway.

DUMBLEDORE DID DO IT ON PURPOSE! Surely Hagrid would know this? Hagrid delivered him! Ugh, that gif is so appropriate!

Jennifer said...

"Ok so Dumbledore puts all the street lights out with the 'Put-Outer,' and I just finished watching Game of Thrones with Joel, who scorns fantasy, and I'm all like, Melisandre is the Red Priestess of the god R'hllor and she's helping Stannis win his throne from Joffrey, but Daenarys might take it with the help of her dragons and her Dothraki horselords if she can cross the Narrow Sea, after saying a bunch of stuff like THAT it's a relief to be like, This is a Put-Outer and it puts out the lights. It eases you in before all the Expecto Patronum shit."

Yes.

Also, I'm all, WHY does James and Lily's former headmaster get to choose where their son goes, don't they have a will and he's not even their godfather (though at the time I can see why they wouldn't let him choose except maybe they could have given him a trial but anyway)and also Harry was 15 months old, he totally would have climbed out of that basket and crawled into the street THAT ONLY WORKS WITH NEWBORNS. As you can probably tell, I'm annoyed that I forgot to include that in my post.

Kerry M said...

The put-outer is definitely easing us in, but couldn't Rowling have come up with a better name for it? I mean, a PUT-OUTER? And it just... puts out lights? (Besides which, I think there is likely a spell for darkness that would have done the same thing without a sneaky little object, but what do I know, I never got an owl and never got to go to Hogwarts. Ho hum.)

Rayna said...

Mmm, Neville.

And YES to the baby dolphins! Although the "hands like trash can lids" doesn't have the same adorable ring to it...

Sarah said...

HA. "Put-Outer" doesn't seem as stupid when you consider that Rowling was writing for youngsters. "Here, this will be easy for those dumbass kids to understand." GENIUS.

I still maintain that Dumbledore knew what he was doing leaving Harry with the Dursleys. He knew he'd be shielded from the ego-inflating effects of fame, he'd be hidden and protected from any enemies, and he'd at the very least be fed and have a roof over his head. WAY TO MAKE THE TOUGH CALL, D-DORE.

Megs said...

Bless you forever and ever for that Neville picture. Bless you.

Bluejello said...

Mmmm, Neville.
I was lucky enough to meet Neville (aka Matthew Lewis) when he did the convention in Calgary pre-DH1. He is as awesome as you think he is, and even nicer.

Laurie C said...

This was funny! I haven't visited in a bit and I forgot how funny your posts are. Thanks for the laugh! I don't have a good comment because I'm not part of the re-read. The HP movies kind of ruined the books for me.

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Arch@BloggingProfitsUnleashed said...

hey look it's Harry Potter love the movie but I've never read the whole book lol ...