After the addiction with the Hunger Games trilogy, I was shaking uncontrollably and there were inevitable moments of hallucination. I guess that’s the withdrawal syndrome. My best friend was at my aid, so she sent me more addictive stuff. Just kidding, hehe. Bes gave me more e-books to read which include the complete Harry Potter series, works of Nicholas Sparks, Paolo Coelho, and the famous 7 Habits of Highly Effective People among others. With all these wonderful writings, choosing was a bit difficult but I thought I’ll save the romance for later, the human understanding next, and being highly effective last (haha).
Reading the HP series was actually a long overdue goal. Just like with THG, I was the listener while the rest of the world conversed about this new book. At first, I even regarded the book as atrocious because people kept commenting about the bad influence it impressed over the young ones. Then I guessed the book must be really good to attract this much criticism. When the first movie was released, I almost laughed at my expectations. It’s a fantasy alright, and not at all wicked. Kids would tend to imagine things like this anyway, HP or no HP, so it didn’t deserve this grave criticism at all.
Well, onto my experience with reading the book. First, I’ve watched several HP movies but never got straight which is which from the sequence. I don’t enjoy watching as much as reading so the only occasions I viewed HP was when my brothers would watch them too. Sometimes I’d watch the latter part, other times the first. Either way, it’s usually just midway so you’d probably understand my confusion. I recognized scenes from the movie though, while reading, and it was like fitting pieces of a puzzle while the story unfolds. It’s not a very thrilling experience because I’ve been spared of the imagination factor. Everything, from characters to setting to plot, had been provided already. Nevertheless, HP movies deserve praise based from these aspects because they depicted the books very well.
Now that I’ve finished reading the 1st book, I realized I’ve become a HP fan myself. JK Rowling is a tremendously great story – teller. I secretly envy her for inventing Bettie Bott’s Every Flavoured Bean. It’s such an innocent creation with just a hint of naughtiness in it, the kind I trusted my mind to come up with. And I really find Dumbledore’s vomit-and-earwax-flavoured-bean-experience the best, haha! She’s such a natural humorist, throwing witty and sarcastic dialogues all throughout the pages. And without question, she has a very imaginative mind, down from the wizard terms, the train station, disappearing stores, moving stairs and photos, the sorting cap, every foreign thing seemed real and it’s no wonder kids probably hoped to receive a letter from Hogwarts right after reading the book. Even the broomstick, which isn’t a new thing with witches and wizards, was given a different light that made the idea interesting rather than creepy.
My favourite part was Harry’s conversation with Dumbledore, after he had defeated Quirell and Voldemort. I was particularly impressed with how Harry found the Sorcerer’s Stone: only one who wanted to find the Stone – find it, but not use it – would be able to get it. Brilliant, isn’t it? And she did have several perceptive ideas expressed through Dumbledore in the last parts and let me quote:
“…humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”
“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
“The truth… It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”
And just like any other fairy tale, the HP book 1 had a happy ending with Gryffindors beating the nasty Slytherins for the first time after 6 years. Meanwhile, while the rest of the HP fans are silently mournful for HP’s coming to an end, I think I’ll savor the other 6 remaining books. I guess this is one of the benefits of being a late bloomer. 🙂