The tale I have told you,
That tale is a lie.
But listen to me,
Bright maiden, proud youth
The tale is a lie;
What it tells is the truth.
— Tolkein on Fairy-stories
David and I began a quest earlier this year to finally blaze our way through the Harry Potter series. This fit in nicely with my usual pattern of exploring more fiction in the summertime, and just two nights ago I cracked open number six in the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I must say it’s been nice to delve into the series AFTER all the hoopla died down, because I know that I can be gratified with the ending relatively soon compared to all you poor suckers who waited with baited breath for the next installment. (Because I am never fanatical about things. I am measured in everything.)
Can I just ask again….what were all the ruffled feathers about in the Christian community over this series?
What a waste of time and energy over a delightful, funny series of books. The series is primarily an adventure story, with a little boy discovering his own personal history and dealing with how it affects himself and those he loves. He attends school, he excels in sports, he isn’t very good in some of his classes, he has eccentric teachers, he has loyal friends. Sounds like a pretty typical adolescent fiction series to me. The “witchcraft,” as some conservative Christians object to it, takes a back seat to questions of trustworthiness, nobility, bravery, loyalty, and truth triumphing over deception.
I am a big fan of Professor McGonagall — she reminds me of my sophomore year English teacher — and I find myself relating to Mrs. Weasley quite a bit — any guesses as to why? All in all, it has been a fun diversion and I feel more prepared to recommend these books with a clear conscience to my children when they’re a bit older.
BUT because every well-balanced review MUST have a negative paragraph, here’s mine…
Maybe it’s my chronological snobbery speaking, but anyone who states that this series rivals The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia in its genius should be beaten about the head with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (which measures around 870 pages). Truly, it is quite an accomplishment: entertaining, with broad horizons, clever details, and a quick wit. However, it lacks the subtle character-driven development of Tolkein’s masterpiece and the Narnia stories. In comparison, the main characters in Harry Potter are a bit flat, and their development is clumsy. There is also the small matter that TOLKEIN DEVELOPED AN ENTIRE STINKING LANGUAGE AND WORLD HISTORY to go with his series.
S0, there. Everyone OK? Any thoughts to share? Stones to throw?