Saturday, July 03, 2010

Phoenix Ramblings. Sorry.

Having finished Order of the Phoenix er a few nights ago, and being now a good 200 pages into Half Blood Prince (which is, incidentally, up there as a favourite), it seems odd to come back and write about the fifth harry potter book, but I have to, because I had several observations. I hadn't read this book for ages, so a lot of things stood out for me. (This post is long. I'll forgive you if you don't read the whole thing)
1) This book is long. Seems pretty obvious, but when I was setting a target of at least 100 pages a day just to get through it in a week, that tells you something. But while it's long it is also...
2) Quite a good story, yarn, tale etc etc. Well, I don't actually know how to articulate it, but it's just that there's so much in this story about one boy's year at school that it's just kind of engrossing. Okay, so much happens and...I give up on this point.
3) It's well told. I don't know if you've ever actually tried writing a story with so much dialogue and movement, but J.K does a really fantastic job of simply describing the way people say and do things that makes it easy to visualise, and not repetitive (you know the classic bunch of quotation marks followed by said all in a row. She avoids this) This is true of all the books, but I've never really noticed. I just really admire the variation and cleverness in her choice of description.
4) The fight in the ministry is really good! So I used to just kind of skim through this whole book I think I dunno, but I suddenly realised how er enthralling those whole two chapters are. The movie adaptation completely decimated the greatness of this bit. I mean the teenagers are running around in the depths of the ministry, dropping one by one .... it's suspenseful! Haha
Also, the book is humorous, but then again, they all are, so it doesn't make the list. As this was such a long book, it needs a longer post than this so I'll add a few quotes too. Had to be very selective, much to my consternation.
He was never going to see Ron and Hermione again - And their faces burst clearly into his mind as he fought for breath. 'EXPECTO PATRONUM!'
One of the great things about the books, and this sounds cliche but it's actually true, is how much they value friendship. In the quote above, it's this massively powerful thing that allows Harry to defeat dementors. And for Harry, Ron and Hermione are it, they are the people that mean the most to him for so long. It's just....amazing.
'Ron,' said Hermione, 'you are the most insensitive wart I have ever had the misfortune to meet.'
Okay, so I had to pick only one quote from this whole hilarious, four page discussion by the trio. I just love it, I laugh the whole way through every time. Anyway...
'Has it not occurred to you, my poor puffed-up popin jay...' [Phineas Nigellus to Harry]
Love a bit of alliteration, and how many people do you hear using this expression? Fantastic.
Ron had caused a dinner plate to mutate into a large mushroom and had no idea how it had happened.
I just was struck by (and loved) the fact that their mistakes in exams can be this bizarre. If you read through the whole OWLs section, it's like a list of bizarre mistakes, listed almost nonchalantly. The worst we can do is answer the wrong question.
And finally that's it. Oh, one more thing. I've juts got to say how much I love McGonagall. She's amazing; the scenes that she and Umbridge are in are hilarious/excellent because McGonagall completely owns Umbridge. So that's it. I'm off to read the sixth!


joceisonfire said...

Oooh, I loove the Harry Potter series! :)
I totally agree with you about how J.K. writes, she's a magnificent writer!

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