Harry Potter

LaurenChurchill

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What I don't get is why so many people feel that if an author doesn't show that she/he's a literary savant, then they're derised for being "unoriginal" or "juvenile".

Sure, some books are great for making you stop and think. Or show great skill in communicating an idea or concept. Sometimes they show great skill in language/grammar, making you feel the scenes instead of just reading them. But they don't have to.

The point is that in the end it's a STORY. You aren't SUPPOSED to analyse it, you're supposed to read it. And if I read a story, and I'm moved by it; If I fall in love with characters and cry when they cry, and laugh when they laugh, and feel worried when things are about to happen, then the story was written well. If a book makes people enjoy reading, then it was written well. If a book can be read and re-read and re-read by so many millions of people, then it was written well.

I'm so tired of reading reviews of books and movies stating "this was badly written/directed" or "the writer shows no originality" or "the overarching plot is juvenile". :evil: Honestly. So you didn't like it huh? Well %*#@ off and read something else then. Reviews should tell me what it's about and who might get the most enjoyment out of it, not what someone I don't even know thought of it. Geez, talk about centring the world around yourself. :roll:

Wow that sounds really angry. Um, just FYI. I'm not aiming this at anyone here (despite the quote). It's just a rant against actual, paid critics who only ever seem to print bad reviews. I do understand that the idea of this thread is to discuss what we all thought of HP :D
 

GNC

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BlackRiverFalls said:
So no Harry Potter movie for us this year... but maybe we'll get Hari Puttar instead!

A Bollywood movie ripping off a popular film? I've never heard the like!
 

Stormkhan

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Um. From what I remember of reviewing stuff, it's more than just telling people "what it's about and who might get the most enjoyment out of it". I'm afraid that you've missed the silent/invisible "In my opinion" which is usually accepted at the start of any review. You read reviews by people who - in theory - have some grounding in the subject covered or some form of qualification (not actually exams) which gives their opinion weight with the Editor or publishers.

Now, it's true that many reviewers have their own agenda/tastes/particular prejudices and allow these to surface often; f'rinstance Filmnight's Barry Norman despised Science Fiction and Fantasy and rarely gave good reviews of films with such subjects. However, a reviewer is employed to give their considered opinion - however "good" that opinion is considered by fans of a particular genre.

The only way to get a fair idea of the quality - not the plot - of a book, play or film is to take a straw poll of reviewers comments, like actors gather the latest clippings from every publication. If you want an accurate view of a book, you've got to read it yourself; after all, people's tastes differ.

Point is, reviewers pronouncements are a guide but not gospel. It's the fans - the consumers - who are a pretty good guide for other fans.
 

stu neville

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Yeah - quite often the trick is to find a reviewer who generally seems to share your tastes and opinions, and then you won't go far wrong. As 'khan says, though, it's no substitute for reading it yourself.

Anyway, the days of the critics whose opinion could destroy entire reputations are long gone, if indeed they ever really existed: most of the Vicious Circle were without question quite deliciously scathing, but AFAIK no one ended up ruined and destitute due entirely to an unfavourable note from Parker, Walcott et al. Those who did end up penniless were inavariably victims of their own limitations, bad luck, the great Depression or a combination of all three.
 

LaurenChurchill

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It's not so much that I have an issue with reviewing films/books etc. It's just that I've never seen a review that didn't seem ridiculous.
I don't know if we just have a lack of good reviewers around here, or if maybe I'm just reading the wrong papers, but every review I've ever seen, whether it be for a book, film or restaurant, seemed to basically be a series of paragraphs saying "this is crap" in as many ways as possible.

No one ever seems to read a book and comment on its plot, without making a comment on where that plot fits in with the greats of literature: "William Shakespeare this person is not" etc. How about something like "the plot follows this dude doing this thing as this other thing happens. It's written from the point of view of this chap, and is helped along by the addition of these kinds of characters". That would tell me a lot more about the plot than some random's opinion of the author's state of mind.

Not to mention people who don't even seem to KNOW what they're talking about. I read a review of the remake of the Stepford Wives a while back.
[Spoiler Alert]
The guy basically said that it wasn't as good as the old one because it's never made clear that the woman are robots.
Um, what? In one scene some guy sticks his key-card in his wife's mouth and pulls out cash. In other, one of the wives melts her hand on the stove and her circuit board starts to spark. What other impression would you get from that?


I understand that people would like to hear other people's thoughts from time to time, but when that persons thoughts are ALWAYS "this is crap" I'm left wondering why I'm not getting paid when I sit here and bitch, coz it's the same thing.
 

PeniG

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You've never seen a positive review of anything? Oh, dear.

Here you go: School Library Journal (the link is to "Adult Books for High School Students"). Their reviewers are professionals reviewing for other professionals, primarily school librarians, and they aren't afraid to use words like "riveting." Unfortunately their slant isn't necessarily helpful to you, since you are not in the school library market and presumably don't care what units a book would work well with, but this should at least remove your inability to find positive reviews.

http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/community/Adult+Books+for+High+School+Students/47051.html

I once read an article by an SLJ reviewer to the effect that she felt pressured, not directly but by the magazine's culture and policy, to write at least one negative thing in a positive review and at least one positive thing in a negative review, in the interest of being perceived as "balanced." I suspect the reviewers in your area are half-trained wannabes who feel pressured to revile everything. Or possibly any positive things they have to say sound neutral to you while the negative things stand out. In any case, you need to find another review source. The ones you're getting clearly aren't doing what you need.

A good reviewer is capable of saying: "This isn't to my taste, but for those of you who like this sort of thing, it's well done of it's kind." Good reviewers are out there. Good luck finding them.
 

LaurenChurchill

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PeniG said:
You've never seen a positive review of anything?

Sad isn't it? I think it's a matter of where I live and what I read.

There's about 4 papers available to me every day from the local newsagent. The Mercury and the Daily Telegraph are prety much just tabloids (though not quite as bad as British tabloids) with very little high-brow ANYTHING let alone reviews written by someone who finished high school.

The Sydney Morning Herald, I'm sure you've heard, is possibly the largest, most unwieldy paper anyone could ever attempt to read. It's huge, and like an inch thick and it's near impossible for me to read the top of the paper without folding the whole thing over three times. I try to read it sometimes as it's easily the best paper available, but the frustration of constantly having to crawl all over it in order to read it gets to me and I never manage to get more than 10 pages into it. :roll:

Oh and the Australian. Yeah, I'm not quite that boring yet. Maybe one day I'll do an accountancy course or something, and manage to get through it still awake but that day hasn't come yet. :lol:
 

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Surely there are some decent Australian critics on the Internet you can find? I really like Australian films and I'm sorry there's currently no one in their home country to give them their due, if what you say is accurate.
 

OneWingedBird

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Went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince this week.

An improvement on the last one i thought, but still not keen on this director, somehow everything takes on the vibe of a dreary 1970s BBC infomercial, and i thought too much got left out re the backstory of the book, so it seemed incongruous when you find out (if you didn;t already know) who the half blood prince is.

Aslo a bit miffed a large chunk of the ending has gone, including the big fight between the death eaters trying to escape and the old dumbledore's army crowd, that's totally yanked. Really the whole thing does lack particularly memorable moments :(
 

rynner2

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JK Rowling accused of plagiarism from children's wizard book
Anne Barrowclough in Sydney
10 Comments

J.K. Rowling is facing a multimillion-pound lawsuit after being accused of stealing ideas for her Harry Potter series from the British author of another children's book.

The estate of the late Adrian Jacobs added the world's richest author as a defendant to a lawsuit that alleges that a substantial part of Mr Jacob's 1987 book The Adventures of Willy the Wizard: No 1 Livid Land was replicated in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, published 13 years later in July 2000.

Mr Jacobs' estate entered a lawsuit against Bloomsbury Publishing, publishers of the Harry Potter series, in a London court last June. The suit claims that Mr Jacobs used concepts and themes such as wizard prisons, wizard hospitals and wizard colleges years before Ms Rowling did. The two authors also shared an agent, Christopher Little, who manages the Harry Potter brand worldwide, according to the statement.

The Sydney agent Max Markson, who is representing Paul Allen, the Australian-based trustee of Mr Jacobs' estate, said that Ms Rowling was added to the lawsuit after Mr Allen learned that the statute of limitations to sue her had not run out, as previously thought.

"I estimate it's a billion-dollar case," Mr Markson told The Times. "When you think of all the money that's involved, I would say $1 billion is a conservative estimate."

The theme of 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire', a Year of Wizardry competition, was identical to the theme of Willy the Wizard, he added. "If your child read 'Willy the Wizard' he would say to you 'that's just like Goblet of Fire,'" he said.

'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' was the fourth of seven of the stratospherically successful books about the boy wizard which have become a global brand worth an estimated £7 billion.

The last four Harry Potter books have consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history while the series has generated billions of dollars in film sales.

Mr Jacobs, on the other hand, sold only 5,000 of his Willy the Wizard book. A millionaire businessman and lawyer, he died penniless in 1997, 10 years after losing everything in the 1987 stock market crash.

"He was a very clever man," said Mr Markson, "but he died in poverty in a hospice. It was a terribly sad story."

etc...

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 031718.ece

I always felt that the HP books used derivative symbology - but I'd probably have said the same about Willy the Wizard if I'd encountered those books! 8)
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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Ursula K. Le Guin's young wizard, Ged, predates Willy and Harry, by about 19/20 years. Her, 'Wizard of Earthsea', came out in 1968, set in the fantasy World of Earthsea.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthsea

Ged goes to the School for Wizards, on the island of Roke, to learn wizardry.

Jill Murphy's 'Worst Witch', Mildred Hubble, pre-dates Willy and Harry, by about 13 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Worst_Witch_(book)

The whole, modern, school for witches thing, being set in our contemporary World, seems to have started there.

If anyone should sue, it should be Le Guin and Murphy. ;)
 

OneWingedBird

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The school theme is kind of continued in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, where Percy goes to a training camp for demi-gods. Camp Half-Blood doesn't sound like something from Harry Potter does it? :D

There's probably a joke about a gay satyr in there somewhere too :D
 

Timble2

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Just another parasitic lawyer out for money really... :twisted:

The publishing company said at the time that Mr Jacobs' estate was unable to identify any text in the Harry Potter books that was copied from Willy the Wizard.

Is this some entirely new definition of plagiarism then? :D

Didn't Diana Wynne Jones do some school for witches stories too?


Edit: His estate's trying to cash in on the publicity, as to be expected it's a load of self-published shite Willy the Wizard

Not all self-published stuff is junk, it's sometimes a way in for the more unusual writers, and a way into starting your own business. However, all too often, along with vanity publishing, it's an outlet for the terminally talentless and deluded...
 

Timble2

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I'd forgotten about Neil Gaiman's The Books of Magic (1990), where the protagonist is a 12-year old boy, Timothy Hunter, with glasses, who could become the world's greatest Magician.


In short the idea of a boy wizard, a school for wizards, a parallel magical world and all the rest have been the stuff of fantasy writing for decades, its a pool of ideas which authors dip into and do their own thing with.

What a certain type of person doesn't realise, is that whatever they come up with, someone else has probably done before. The really crap writers then go off into "why wasn't my novel a best seller", moving onto "there's a conspiracy against people like me" and "X stole my ideas". I've met them at various writers' group over ther years...I've only told a few that they're deluded idiots.

Some good novels/plays/films don't achieve the recognition they deserve, but they're the exceptions and it's often down to timing. Harry Potter might not have been a success if it had come out a few years earlier or later
 

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/fe ... lly-wizard

The plagiarism claims stem from both Willy and Harry being required to solve a task as part of a contest, which they achieve in a bathroom assisted by clues from helpers.

I don't remember the cottaging scene in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.... ;)


EDIT: There's some samples on the webshite. I think the book may have been written by someone who used to write phishing scams...

Willy sat in his bath. It was here in his yellow bathroom-come-study that he did his best thinking. He lay full length; at the feet end there was a flat wall which lit up at the touch of a knob by his left hand. A switch by the right hand tap engaged by a twiddle from his big right toe motivated a slide out screen.

Relaxed he was able to study, as the green treated water toned his body with Aqua Superba, a newly developed water additive from Health Clinic in Puerto Rico. This additive only available to wizards with 5 stars had the ability to drain all superstar mind-clogging pressures and re-charge the system for endurance, excitement contests.

The screen concealed the selector mechanism. Willy had fed in the contest details that he had been given at the wizards’ conference and having adjusted the selector, every detail of the text was magnified so that he could peruse it at his leisure.

GAIN ENTRANCE TO LIVID LAND! AND RELEASE FEMALE PRISONERS FROM ANGRY SAM’S COMPOUND. FORTY POINTS AWARDED FOR EACH PRISONER RESCUED. Willy pressed the activator remote control and scanned the prize awards list. Wizards achieving more than 1000 stars would receive
life membership of Stellar Land. Every wizard’s dream of retirement....
 

rynner2

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Grave of real-life British soldier Harry Potter killed 71 years ago becomes an official tourist attraction in Israel
Last updated at 8:17 AM on 29th November 2010

The family of a real life Harry Potter who was killed in the army claim that his grave has been turned into a tourist attraction by fans of the hit book and movie series seeking their fictional hero.
Private Harry Potter was serving overseas when he died in Israel in 1939 during an uprising.

His grave had gone unnoticed in the British Military Cemetery in the town of Ramla for more than half a century.
But now the headstone has become an unlikely tourist attraction because of J K Rowling's much-loved books and movies.
Sightseers have had their photos taken next to the grave, while the local tourist board has listed it as an official attraction.

And even though Mr Potter, from Kidderminster, Worcs., would have led an active life in the army, it is far removed from the magic and spells of the fictional Harry Potter.
Pvt Potter's surviving family members have come forward to reveal the years of heartache they suffered after his untimely death.
Ken Potter, 77, was just six years old when his elder brother was ambushed and killed while driving back to a base near Hebron in Israel.
'Harry has never left our thoughts,' said the former greengrocer, from Kidderminster.
'He is with us all the time, even though he died such a very long time ago.

etc...

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z16fMd0G1p
 

rynner2

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Harry Potter author J K Rowling dumps the man who conjured up her millions
J K Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, has 'terminated her association' with Christopher Little, who has been her literary agent for 16 years.
By Richard Eden
6:30AM BST 03 Jul 2011

He is the enigmatic agent who spotted the potential of J K Rowling's first manuscript and single-handedly turned her Harry Potter novels into a multi-million pound industry.
Christopher Little is, however, considering legal action this weekend, having been dumped by the world's most successful author after 16 years.

The 69-year-old son of a First World War fighter pilot tells Mandrake that he is "disappointed and surprised" to be informed that Rowling has "terminated her association" with his eponymous literary agency.
To add insult to injury, Rowling, who has an estimated fortune of £530 million, has joined one of Little's business partners, Neil Blair, at a new agency that he has set up, The Blair Partnership.

Rowling's defection sheds new light on her much-publicised announcement last month that she would launch a website, Pottermore, in October. She had worked closely with Blair, a lawyer, on the site while he was still with Little. It is expected to earn her many more millions through the sale of ebooks and online games.
"I knew that in 1998 I was generating more material than would ever appear in the books," she said at the launch. Little says he was taken aback by Rowling's desertion.

"Christopher Little has worked closely with J K Rowling since the very beginning 16 years ago," his spokesman tells me. "He greatly admires her and her extraordinary talent and is proud to have played his role throughout this journey. However, he is disappointed and surprised to have heard the premature news about the proposed new arrangements. There is no comment as to the prospect of legal action."

Rowling, 45, who has sold more than 450 million copies of her books about the child wizard, declines to explain her decision. Blair, who previously worked for the "Magic Circle" City law firm Linklaters, is similarly reticent.
Blair started working for the Christopher Little Literary Agency in 2001, by which time four of Rowling's best-selling novels had already been published.

Her ditching of Little brings to an end the most commercially successful relationship in literary history. Legend has it that Rowling, then an impecunious single mother, walked into a library in Edinburgh, looked up a list of literary agents and settled on the name Christopher Little because it sounded like a character from a children's book. 8)

Little, an amiable Yorkshireman, who ran his agency in "near-Dickensian" offices in Fulham, is now worth millions. He reportedly struck a deal under his usual terms when he first signed up Rowling: 15 per cent of gross earnings for the British market and 20 per cent for merchandising rights, for film, for the American market and for translation deals.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebri ... lions.html
 

Stormkhan

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Does seem a tad ungrateful. Also, it won't help Little's business profile since some folk might wonder what prompted his most successful client to dump him.
 

PeniG

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(He could represent me. I need an agent.)

I feel about this much as I feel about reading the circumstances of divorces in the newspaper. This is not a random analogy - the agent/author business relationship is structured and conducted more like marriage than like anything else. But what the agent is marrying is the work, not the author, and of course it's not exclusive. An agent with only one client is unlikely to make a living. An agent not thoroughly invested in the work is unlikely to market it profitably. An author who is not happy with an agent, for any reason, needs to leave.

And despite the marriage analogy - writing is a business. Any businessperson must make the best deal she can without sentimentality.

For all we know, Blair worked more closely with Rowling throughout than Little did, had the stronger relationship with her, and/or was the real engine of her success. As with marriage, when an agent and an author part ways, outsiders are in a poor position to judge the rights and wrongs of the matter, or even tell if there are any.

If it makes you feel better, depending on how the contract was written, the agent is not going to take a huge income cut. The agent who did the work of marketing rights to a work and negotiating the contracts will continue to collect commissions for the lifetime of those deals under most agency agreements. It is important to have all this spelled out beforehand - to have a prenup, so to speak. If he's as good at his job as he sounds, he won't have neglected this step.
 

rynner2

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PeniG said:
For all we know, Blair worked more closely with Rowling throughout than Little did, had the stronger relationship with her, and/or was the real engine of her success.
Well, according to the article, "Blair started working for the Christopher Little Literary Agency in 2001, by which time four of Rowling's best-selling novels had already been published." So it was clearly Little who got her her big break.

But more recently, "Rowling's defection sheds new light on her much-publicised announcement last month that she would launch a website, Pottermore, in October. She had worked closely with Blair, a lawyer, on the site while he was still with Little. It is expected to earn her many more millions through the sale of ebooks and online games."
 

dreeness

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:(

Apparently JK Rowling has been oppressing someone!

link
 

Ogdred Weary

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Jolly Debt has been (rightly) kicked out of the already ailing Fantastic Beasts series, I think they only retained him due to Rowling's insistence. I don't think he's much of a boon to box office outside of the Pirates series, Alice did insane money but the sequel did less than a third of the first which was a piece of shit, I think it only did 1bn due to being the first big 3D release after Avatar. 3D! Remember that?

I've not seen either of the FB films and have heard mixed to negative things, I saw all the HP films in theatres and have watched some a few times on DVD/streaming. The FB series just seems ill-conceived to me.

They do have an advantage in that his character spent the bulk of the first film being played by Colin Farrell, so they can just hand/wand wave it away a recasting as another "shape shift".

https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottm...easts-impacts-the-jk-rowling-movie-franchise/
 

Mythopoeika

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Jolly Debt has been (rightly) kicked out of the already ailing Fantastic Beasts series, I think they only retained him due to Rowling's insistence. I don't think he's much of a boon to box office outside of the Pirates series, Alice did insane money but the sequel did less than a third of the first which was a piece of shit, I think it only did 1bn due to being the first big 3D release after Avatar. 3D! Remember that?

I've not seen either of the FB films and have heard mixed to negative things, I saw all the HP films in theatres and have watched some a few times on DVD/streaming. The FB series just seems ill-conceived to me.

They do have an advantage in that his character spent the bulk of the first film being played by Colin Farrell, so they can just hand/wand wave it away a recasting as another "shape shift".

https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottm...easts-impacts-the-jk-rowling-movie-franchise/
I did wonder how they'd get round that.
 

maximus otter

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I've not seen either of the FB films and have heard mixed to negative things...

I watched about half of the first one. The experience can be replicated as follows:

Sit in a pitch-dark room, while several speakers play extracts from The Greatest Speeches by Gordon Brown in sequence. Every ten minutes or so, break the monotony by opening a selection box of fireworks and dropping in a match.

Would l watch FB2? l’d rather shovel wasps up my arse.

maximus otter
 

Mythopoeika

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Sit in a pitch-dark room, while several speakers play extracts from The Greatest Speeches by Gordon Brown in sequence.
Were there enough of those to last the duration?
 

hunck

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A Harry Potter book set to be sold for 50p in a car boot sale is now expected to fetch £50,000 after it turned out to be a rare first edition.

Daughter Charlotte, 28, was helping her mum with a clear-out and put the hardback Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone into a pile of 50p books.

She said: “I didn’t give it a second thought.

The 1997 first edition, one of only 500 printed, was given to the family by a friend in 1999.

Karen, from Blackpool, who also has sons Callum, 27, and Cameron, 25, is to have it auctioned by Hansons at Bishton Hall, Staffs, next Friday.

The company’s book expert, Jim Spencer, said: “This is the seventh first edition of Philosopher’s Stone I’ve found. Only another 493 left to go!”

In October the firm sold a similar book for £60,000.
 
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