Hello Internet. Welcome back to Review #16. This time I look at a book infinitely popular than I can ever hope to be. Which sucks. Make me more popular internet!
You know, one of the few reasons I review a book is to publicise it. Most of the books I have reviewed might be lost on most people out in the general public, and only a diehard fan or true bibliophile like me would have heard about them. However, (and this is the true reason I review books) one of the more obvious reasons I would do so is because I want to tell someone about it. To force my opinion onto their think-pans and watch their reactions, or just for the sake of getting something off my chest. This series is probably the most well-known and well-recognised book in our modern world, after the bible and possibly To Kill a Mockingbird. This series has prestige. It has been read by thousands of people, the somewhat half-decent movies seen by many more, and was possibly one of the founding book series which first truly embodied the term “fandom”. So forgive me if I am more than a little hesitant to tackle something so well known it is almost clichéd.
The series, as we probably all well know, begins with a young boy, mistreated and abused by his surrogate family, who finds out he has a heritage of magical powers in his veins. He then finds out about a hidden world, just out of sight of normal people, which plunges him into a world of misadventure and intrigue, with a villain who is out to rule the world, and kill anyone who gets in their way. Wow, even saying this plot line is like a giant cliché wrapped in a stereotype. But this was the original! The story matters about as much as the absurdity of teleporting toilets, what we all read the books for is the fantasy world. One which is so rich and thick in detail and mythos that we could picture ourselves living in it, casting spells and fighting darkness.
The simple awe which a new reader experiences when they get to finally delve into a new universe, one full of magic, monsters and generous servings of trouble and evil to fight, is as powerful as a baby learning to walk. This feeling, which is amplified thanks to the fact that the main character is experiencing the same things for the first time also, is like milk and honey dripping from the sky. And this is one of the few times where the naïveté of the main character is justified, as it really helps the reader connect with the lead.
Look, the flaws with this series can be glossed over, thanks to the fact that this series got so many fiction readers into reading on its first release. I remember, when I was very little, my father used to read this series to me. After two books, however, he had to stop as I was so far ahead of him that he gave up reading to me and just let me discover it on my own. This series gave me a runway into reading, an express elevator to the nirvana of fiction books. And it’s for this reason that I cannot express more thanks to this author. She has really helped me realise my unseen dream to spend more time reading than is probably healthy. And for that, we all rejoice!
Harry Potter was first published in 1997 by Bloomsbury. It can be found on Amazon here.
Yours: J.M. Pear