Tuesday, July 10, 2007

When the world goes 'Pottery'

Everyone is talking about it. With only 11 days to go before the new and the last Harry Potter book is released, the excitement around the book is at its pinnacle. Bookstores are not only advertising and taking bookings for the new book , they have also stacked up their bookshelves with all the earlier books of the series to capitalize on the widespread interest and the hype . And they appear to be selling like hot cakes. The book reached the top spot on both the Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble bestseller lists just a few hours after the date of publication was announced on 1 February 2007. (Wikipedia)
People are re-reading the series in preparation of the finale. Whether the finale is grand or not is yet to be seen. The Potter dedicated websites are super-active, discussing all possible endings under the sun - the key questions obviously being: 1)Will Potter die? 2)Which side does Snape lean? A zealous community has in fact published a book of its own about its theories on how JK Rowling is going to end her tryst with a magical world. Even Wikipedia has a comprehensive link on the new book and interestingly, they have had to debar unregistered and even new users from editing the content because of the threat of vandalism.

Harry Potter is no doubt an interesting read and even though it was originally positioned for children, adults have taken to it with equal and perhaps greater vigour. In fact, the last two books with their encompassing darkness hardly seem fit for a young reader category. And I wonder if the kids are as excited about this release as the rest of the world is.

It is hard to decipher exactly what is so arresting in the book. The absolute fantasy was what got me started in the first place, and I think later it was the curiosity that kept me reaching out for the next one. (Though really, I never felt like spending money on any of those versions - I think what they offer is far less than what they ask for). But, I feel that since Goblet of Fire, none of the sequels have been too great.

One thing that the series can claim is however a skyrocketing publicity since the 4th book. From ardent fans to angry detractors (including the pope who thinks that Rowling is promoting neo-paganism by illustrating magic to children), people have talked about it a great deal. It has been amongst the highest sold as well as the most pirated books online. The publishers have taken extra precaution to keep the last part well under wraps, though there are some who claim that they have been successful in getting the e-version by hacking the computers of Bloomsbury (Potters publishers) employees. Many ardent fans have however discounted these claims and refuse to take the hacker's story. According to this hacker... I better not spoil the fun and leave you to decide whether you want to read any spoilers or not.

Happy Reading!


Alok said...

the spoiler makes it sound interesting... :)

have never read any of the books but have followed the story through people. sometimes in dire situations i even pretend i have read them. some day when my reading queue is not already clogged and the hype is forgotten i will pick them up.

Madhuri said...

I thought people only pretended to read Shakespeare :)

Alok said...

yes that depends. sometimes you dont want to appear rude to someone who wants to talk and sometimes you yourself want to talk and there is no common topic other than harry potter. it happens rarely but...