Thursday, April 26, 2007

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I have very little to add to the glowing reviews that JK Rowling's Harry Potter series has generated, but again, I found this book much more entertaining than the movie and worth the read. In this second novel, the world of Harry Potter again bridges the gap between fantasy and reality in breathtaking ways, yet it is still somehow grounded in its details -- Hogwarts feels like such a real place in the novels, with its recognizable personalities and slight exaggerations of people types. Rowling is almost Dickensian in her ability to skewer people's vanity or self-absorption, while still letting most of her characters get off lightly enough for comedy. The adventure is really pretty stirring, even if a reader knows the plot from watching the movies. There are enough telling details that are changed for the movies to keep one's interest alive. And again, the experience of the book is much different, with imagination working instead of just the eyeballs. I certainly wouldn't have figured out the mystery without having seen the movie, but I don't think her stories follow the rules of mysteries. They break genre, too. Plenty of adults will enjoy these books.
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