Skip to main content

Harry Potter: Awesome or Mega-Awesome?

It's that day. Yeah. Chances are if you're under 50 and have any contact with the waking world, you've read the Harry Potter series multiple times and/or seen all the movies. And now the last movie's coming out, and there will be mass sobbing in theaters across the nation.

Since this is the last major Harry Potter release (at least for any time in the foreseeable future), I think it's a good opportunity to tell Harry introduction stories. What this means is how you first encountered the series. My story's fricking weird, and I hope you guys have some good ones (if you would be so kind as to share them):

My family used to spend every summer in a little place called Chautauqua, NY. It's a gated community of sorts. It has its own library, amphitheater, opera house, playhouse, cinema, belltower-by-the-lake, and it was the birthplace of the American "Literary and Scientific Circle." Not sure what that means, because the CLSC was just a bookclub, but anyway. It's a cool place, where you bike or walk everywhere and there're hardly any cars. I love it more than almost anywhere else on earth.

In 1999, when I was 14, I was obsessed with Anjelica Huston. Majorly obsessed. For realsies. I read an interview where she said the last book she'd read was Charming Billy, so I had to get it. I ordered it from the Chautauqua Public Library, and one day they called and said it was in. So I walked on down there, picked it up and started reading on my walk home.

My mother is maybe the most overprotective mother on the planet, aside from those ladies who put their kids in plastic bubbles (that happens, right? yeah). At 14, I wasn't allowed to walk down the sidewalk out of sight of my house if I was alone. Chautauqua was different, what with the big gate and all, so I had a certain degree of autonomy, but since every other warning from my mom was about strangers, I was somewhat freaked out/thrown into a panic when a middle-aged-to-elderly man started walking next to me on my way home. He finally bent down to try to see the cover of my book.

"Oh, Charming Billy. We read that last year in CLSC."

"Mm-hmm." *keeps walking*

"You know what you might like? Have you ever heard of Harry Potter?"

"No." *slows down slightly but keeps walking*

"Well, it might be a bit young for you, but it's about this boy who's an orphan and is raised by his aunt and uncle, who hate him, and one day he finds out he's a wizard and goes off to a wizarding school."

*pauses* "Really."

"Yes. I think it's one of the books for the youth section of the CLSC. You should look at it."

"I will. Thanks."

And then, he disappeared. Bam! That man's entire purpose in my life was to 1) freak me out, and 2) Tell me about Harry Potter's existence.

The youth portion of the CLSC had a program where you could read four of the books on their list, write four essays, and then you would get a book off the list for free. Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone was on the list. My family was leaving in a week and a half. I turned the last essay in the day we were leaving, grabbed my copy, and read as we drove to Niagara Falls. Halfway there, I finished it and loved it so much I told my parents we had to stop at a mall to get the second one.

I'm pretty sure if you gathered up all the love people have for J.K. Rowling into one small space, it could generate a second Big Bang. That made sense in my head. Her characters are so beloved, and so wonderful, and so human; I don't think I've met their equal. I and a myriad of others will be sad beyond reason tonight when the final movie ends, but that's counterbalanced by the joy that has been brought to life by J.K. Rowling over the past decade. I have never before seen a series that could bind so many people in happiness. I hope we'll all keep reading the series and loving JKR more each time.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

A synonym for 'Neanderthal' is 'boorish,' which just isn't very nice

So this article came out, which isn't really groundbreaking at all, but it happens to have been published the day after I watched part of the NOVA special "Becoming Human," so it's been on my brain anyway.

I was checking out a book a while ago called Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans, and it was all "Oh dude, our ancestors probably didn't even LOOK at Neanderthals. No way. 'Cause they would've been like, RIDICULOUSLY ugly."

This book was published in 2010. And what came out this year? DNA Shows Humans Found Non-Humans Irresistible

That's right. Your lady ancestor, at some point, sidled up to a Neanderthal gentleman and said "Hey. How's it goin'?


Because all non-Africans ('cause the Africans stayed put instead of traipsing around becoming the Don Juans of prehistoric Europe) have 1-4% Neanderthal DNA. So the above scenario DEFINITELY happened. Which is disheartening NOT because of my huge Neanderth…