July 20, 2003
Harry what?

Someone has compiled a series of blush-inducing snippets of sexual innuendo from the latest Harry Potter book. They're mostly out of context, but nonetheless quite amusing.

I recently read #3, and since everyone has an opinion, I'll note that the first two chapters seemed to take great pains to identify being fat with stupidity, ignorance, mean-spiritedness, and as just generally Bad. Bitch Magazine has made the case fat people are the one group that it's still ok to make fun of. I should add that this is far too often combined with race. The silly fat black guy is still a Hollywood staple; watch for him in 'Old School', 'Blue Crush', and many others.

In any case, Rowling makes this case in a grotequely overstated way. After that, though, the book gets better, and ends up being a well crafted fusion of Hardy Boys and Roald Dahl, like the others. As literature, though, I think it still falls well short of the mark in its observations of and insights into human activity. The Potter books lean on plot twists and magical knickknacks the same way action movies rely on special effects. They are what makes the books compelling, but they also obviate the need for (and reduce the expectation of) anything more substantial.

I've enjoyed the books so far, but I feel some obligation to stem the cultural tide that inevitably grants blockbusting bestselling phenomena more than their due in areas unrelated to popularity.

posted by dru in culture