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on April 27, 2002
From the first news article commenting Harry Potter, to having his face on the cover of TIME magazine, or basically becoming one of the most bestselling books of all time, you could say that Harry Potter definitely has the hype. In school, my fellow classmates who are 4 years older than me, read these books over and over again so i decide to read them all, all 4 existing harry potter books and quite frankly, they all palinly [stink]. From the literary perspective, its still a book for children under 12, who still do not know about such great authors like James Joyce, George Ornwell, or John Steinbeck. It tells too much and it's just too easy of a read. There are no hidden messages between the sentences, or any moral truth we must learn from them but rather, just sentences telling about Harry Potter and his friends, The Evil Lord Voldemort, and The Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. Now i must admit that the whole concept of Harry Potter is great, great idea, entertaining but it just isn't my novel. People who like intellectual novels, DON'T READ THIS. (OR ANY HARRY POTTER BOOK for that matter)
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on October 27, 2000
Too long, too dark!. Not fit for kids below 16! I am disappointed from Book 4. Book 1+2 were compact stories giving a certain positive view to the reader. May funny passages compensated the message of the non-ideal world in which Harry, too, lives. This is not the case with this book. Although twice as long, the passages are longwinded, without much fun, partly implausible. This book is even for adults tough. I cannot recommend this book for children, since albs are guaranteed. In contrast to the former books, Harry now escapes not because of luck AND his abilities, but only because the Bad (tm) now either wants too or makes big blunders. The last showdown with the impostor is like a cheap crime novel, in which the bad guy talks and talks till finally the police turns up at his back. I assume that Rowling overworks herself and wrecks her creativity and that her truely magnificent first books just needed time to grow. I also for the first time had the feeling that Rowling will write a long-breathed 7book-series, although she has blocked many future options for the story in book 4. After this book, I am sorry to say that I WAS a fan of Rowling. All parents, please read this book BEFORE you give it to your children (or don't buy it if that's still an alternative --))
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on September 6, 2000
I expected to enjoy this book as I had the earlier ones, and I was EXTREMELY disappointed and frankly VERY DISTURBED at the overall tone the series appears to be taking on. I was especially turned off by the torture scene. Also, I felt that the conversations and situations were becoming much too hateful to be appropriate for most childrien (i.e. the referral to the death eater whose job it is "destroying dangerous beasts" who will have "better victims than that soon", and the talk of being ready for "a spot of Muggle-torture"). Overall, this makes me believe that the this book, and probably the future books if they follow the same tone, ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN (and probably not for most adults). The characters in the books have begun focusing too much on hate, revenge, lies, and killing (per Malfoy, "Mudbloods and Muggle-lovers first"). This has, in fact, turned me completely off the series. I will definitely not be looking forward to the next book because in my opinion there was absolutely nothing about this book that was fun or even mildly entertaining.
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on September 3, 2000
This book is absolutely boring! All the other Harry Potters are okay, not good, but not bad, but this one is very lame. The storyline needs a lot of work because there are too many other insights happening. This is another fad, like pokemon and Dragonball/Z/GT, I'm in the latter one said, but this fad is clouding other people's minds! Just because everyone else likes it means that you don't have to like it! There's probably only 10 people who actually like this book, and all the people who say they like it only say that because their friends like it or as they say so. The popularity is clouding children's minds, so they can't choose whether they like it or not. They just like it not because the book is good but everyone else thinks its good, and that's not very good on today's generation. This book isn't worth your money nor your time, like what you like, not what other people like. Save your money and spend it on the Redwall series, those stories written by another British author has more action, drama, and more fun to read!
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on August 23, 2000
Sorry to be so blunt about it, all you Harry Potter fanatics, but J.K. Rowlings really needs a tune-up job on her works. I am sadly disapointed by these "bestsellers". Rowlings fills the pages of these books with her drab language. The plots read like a script for some corny action flick. Oh yeah, I know what you'll say next. "How DARE you! Harry Potter is simply innocent fun, with all the magic and excitement of many other fantasy books like C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia! It is great literature!" Don't give me that act. I don't like C.S. Lewis, but his name does not deserve to be stained by J.K. Rowling's "magical excitement". And "great literature" is a grave overestimate. Hah! Whatever happened to J.R.R. Tolkien? You want great literature? Read Patrick O'Brian!
So there you have it, people. Yeah, go on and read the Happy Adventures (Though highly unrealistic) of Harry Potter. Ignore the REAL good literature and go on with your lives. I guess this review won't do anything to affect you. But I have to say that it's a real shame that doesn't have a rating scale in the negatives.
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on July 26, 2000
I am so tired of hearing how this book and all of the other Potter books are classics--they are not classics--classics all have the earmark of a strong ethical message which every one of these books lack. Moreover the character development is nonexistent. What do I mean by that? A well developed character is one that has depth, that shows many, often contradictory traits--like a REAL human being. Look at Draco Malfoy, look at Hermony Grainger--when do they ever show any differentiation from the characters they were originally portrayed as--NEVER! Do not mention these books in the same breath as Lewis or Tolkein--they bear absolutely no resemblance. As for the fact that so many people love them--there's no accounting for taste. These books have yet to win any awards for children's literature or for fantasy or science fiction literature. AND THEY WON'T! The first book is great because it gets kids reading, but the fourth is just more of the same--so boring...our culture has reached a sad state of affairs...why don't we eat McDonald's every night, and call the Potter books classics?
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on July 22, 2000
First of all, let me start with telling you why I rated this book with 1 star. In my opinion, it really deserved about 6 out of 5 stars. If I had rated it with 5 stars, you'd probably just have passed it up like all the other 5 star ratings, right? Anyway, this was an awesome book! The only thing that I can find to complain about was that it should have been about 2,000 pages because now I have to wait the whole time for the 5th book to come out! I read this book in about 1 week, all 734 pages of it! For a busy 13 year old to do that, it must have a been a book worth while, that's how I see it! This book isn't very realistic, maybe that's why I loved it so much. It creates a world where anything is possible while meanwhile, none of it is true in our world! JK Rowling is a writer like no other. I have no clue how she does what she does, but I'm glad she does because I have never read books that I liked as much as all 4 Harry Potter books. Many authors either make their writings very realistic and boring or very unrealistic and completely stupid. Well JK Rowling has written 4 fantastic books that are pretty unrealistic, but instead of being stupid they are completely interesting and very enjoyable to read. So, I think this is one of the 4 best books I have ever read, the others including the 3 other books in the series so far. But may I suggest that if you decide to read the 4th book, which you really should, then to read all the other books first because it will be much more enjoyable and exciting to read! That's all I have to say and I hope I helped you to make the decision on whether or not you should read this book!
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And so J.K. Rowling joins the ranks of authors who go unedited, much to the detriment of the books they write. Though some claim that the fourth Harry Potter outing needs every page for its plot, the truth is that an experienced reader will recognize growing turgidity. Gone is the snappy prose and steady pacing of the first three books. Instead, we have a soggy and overlong work of YA fiction that sometimes seems confused as to what it wants to be.
Harry Potter wakes up after a nightmare with his scar burning; there's a significance to this, but he's not sure what it is. Before he can dwell too long on it, however, he is swept off by the Weasleys to a major wizards' sporting event. The fun and games are ruined when a bunch of nasty wizards torture a Muggle family and a smoky green skull appears in the sky -- the Dark Mark of Voldemort. There is, unsurprisingly, a wide panic.
Pretty soon Harry, Ron and Hermione are sent back to Hogwarts, where the usual proceedings are disrupted by the upcoming Triwizard Tournament -- a series of obstacle courses/magic tests for the star students of three wizard schools. Only this time, there's a fourth: Harry himself, who is chosen from the Goblet of Fire (very minor plot element) for reasons no one can explain. He has to win the Triwizard Tournament and find out who put his name in -- and why.
The main problem with this book is length. I've heard HP fans exulting that they read a work longer than Moby Dick (not so -- book length is measured in WORD numbers, not PAGE numbers) but sadly books should only be this long IF and only IF they have enough plot to spread out. There isn't enough plot here -- Rowling apparently feels the need to recap the events of the previous three books every few pages, despite the phenomenal sales. Why bother, ask I? The dialogue is repetitious, and there are a couple of subplots that are pointless: one of them begins and ends within the confines of the book, and adds nothing to the plot, while the other is a prominent feature for most of it, but peters out by the end. There's a plot hole the size of Mars in the middle of it (I won't tell you what it is because it's a spoiler). The actual plot meanders -- without the tighter editing of the previous three books, it seems to drag on forever. A few hundred pages could have been edited out, all for the good. Oh, there are important events -- but you may not care by the time you slog to the finale.
And the much-hyped elements of this book are severely underwhelming. The hyped character death is unnecessary and not really very interesting. Harry's new interest in girls is not worth the attention; there's more romance in "Lord of the Rings." And it's supposed to be dark. How dark is it? (Sorry, couldn't resist) The answer is: Darker than the first couple books, but I venture to say not as dark, personally, as the third. And definitely not as dark as amazing dark fantasies like "Sabriel" or "Ragwitch."
If Harry Potter weren't so darned famous, these books might be inching from the 9-12 into the Young Adult section. There is more profanity in this -- and don't anyone tell me that kids hear worse on TV, it doesn't matter, blah blah blah. Gratuitous profanity adds nothing and merely makes me respect Rowling even less. There is also stuff that will seriously scare younger kids, such as the needlessly gruesome climactic scene; and there are parts that we definitely didn't need to know about, such as Harry and Ron finding student couples in the bushes (nothing explicit, but the fact that they were there is enough).
There's also a greater feeling of sloppiness in this book. The Triwizard Tournament is, for some reason, assigned only to the students -- it feels like a preadolescent fantasy for the Olympics. The visiting students are almost caricatures of the French and Germans. There is also a note of sexism: the only female athlete is also inept and highly emotional compared to the cooler-headed, more capable males -- including Harry, who is years younger than she is. And there is yet another deus ex machina that pops up to save Harry from having to escape on skill and brains alone.
In short, this is sadly in need of a editor and a guidance counseller. I advise that you buy "Lord of the Rings," the Chrestomanci Chronicles, The Wind on Fire Trilogy, Garth Nix's delicious Seventh Tower series, or a similar more complex and better-written work.
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on July 8, 2000
I was able to get my hands on a copy of book 4, about two weeks ago, thanks to some people I know in the book business.Here are some of the reasons I did not like the book:1. I thought book 4 lacked the imagination of the previous books.2. I felt the quality of content in book 4 was poor.To me quality of content meansgiving your readers your best effort. A good example is book 1. you felt you were there observing everything. I did not get this feeling from book 4.3. I felt the stickability factor was very low. To me stickability is the power to get you involved with a character in the book. Even tho the quality is very low, I like the fact that this book will get kids to shut off their computers and other electronic time killers encourage them to read the 700plus pages. Please remember to pass your copy of the book to your friends and loved ones or donate it to your school library when your done with it. Your library will be able to share the book with students unable to buy the book.
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on July 18, 2000
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of the mostinappropriately vivid childrens texts that I have ever laid eyes on.The story starts out in Potter's relatives home the Durselys, with whom I greatly sympathize. First off, the extremely discriminatory Ms. Rowling has to repeatedly point out young Dudley's weight problem in a humorous manor. If someone is unfortunate enouph to be that obese, I do not believe it should be pointed out in such a way. Harry decides to join his friend Ron Weasly and his family to view the Quidditch world cup, a sporting event for wizards that also turns out to be extremely violent, not to mention pointless... Sure you may think this story is amusing right now, but when Voldemort finds a way to get to us muggles, you won't be laughing. Be warned this is not just a story, it is reality, except in real life there is no Harry Potter to save you.
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