If you speak English and watch the telly you’ll probably be aware of the phenomenon that is Harry Potter, and you may also be aware of the growing backlash. People giving out about HP & Rowling’s writing. I’m not talking here about religious wierdos who think the books encourage witchcraft and evil satanic practices.
those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly”
I’ll be the first to admit that the Harry Potter books are not shining examples of literature. The prose is not perfect, Rowling’s style doesn’t make you want to quote passages from it.
But you know what, it doesn’t matter. The books work. They tell a story that millions of people want to read. And if all they ever success in doing is to entertain some children, isn’t that enough? All they are is entertainment. All they need to be is entertainment.
I’m not saying that everyone has to enjoy the HP books, that’s plain stupid, but just because you dislike something doesn’t mean that everyone else has to. By all means express your opinion, I’m not shy about telling people that Eight Legged Freaks (for example) is crap, that doesn’t mean people who enjoy it are crap.
For the most part I am easily entertained. I gave Wedding Crashers 9/10. But that doesn’t mean I think it is a great film. It isn’t, but it is a great bit of entertainment, and, possibly because of the mood I was in when watching, I really enjoyed it. And I don’t think that anyone involved in making that film could’ve hoped for anything else.
So the Harry Potter books are not great literature, they are great stories. There is a difference, and I think that people should try to acknowledge that. Sometimes great stories and great writing combine, more often you’re lucky if you get an okay plot.
Personally I thought that the Da Vinci Code was unbelievably bad. The writing was so poor I couldn’t finish the book. There were no characters, and I know I’m repeating myself here but the writing was terrible. But other people liked it. Loads of people. That doesn’t make my dislike any less, but neither does it make my dislike any more.
I think that is the problem I have with certain opinions regarding the HP books. Certain reviews seem offended that people like them. That so many people are willing to spend time and money on these books. Personally the HP-mania is all a bit OTT for my liking, but the anti-Potter mania is even worse.
Yes, it is a pity that other, possibly better, authors are being ignored but that isn’t JK Rowling’s fault. The HP books are not forcing anyone NOT to read anything else. It’s been at least two years since the last HP book, plenty of time for people to read other books. If they don’t it is hardly the fault of HP.
I guess it is really all about why people read. Is it to be challenged? To be introduced to new ideas? For the story? Escapism?
Of course, you can always read for more than one reason. I read and enjoy the Harry Potter books, but that doesn’t mean I can’t read and enjoy other, very different novels too3.
 – Obviously many who don’t speak English will also be aware and be waiting for translations in various languages.