I admit. I am very late to this party. But people are still talking about Harry Potter, still love Harry Potter, and I know many people who haven’t yet read Harry Potter.
I have finished book one, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and I have to say I was expecting much worse.
As I’ve said before, in my review of The Books of Beginning, fantasy novels, more than any other genre, expose a writer’s worldview (read more about that here.)
It seems like the reading world, especially the Christian reading world, is split down the middle over these books. “They’re great! Awesome! We love them!” on one side; “Magic! Witches! Wizards! They’re evil!” on the other side.
I didn’t really want to have an opinion, so I didn’t read them. But now that the hype has worn off (mostly), I have started.
And I like what I’ve read.
Do I believe all witches are good? And all wizards too? And all Muggles (non-magical people) are atrocious? No.
But I can suspend my disbelief for these books. As I read the first one, I was waiting for some crazy world view conundrums to come my way. But the reality is, there wasn’t one. Good and evil are clearly defined. Honestly, without the Dursleys, Harry would be worse than Draco Malfoy.
And I love the discussion between Dumbledore and Harry at the end of the book. Harry’s shocked the Sorcerer’s Stone has been destroyed. (Remember, it promised wealth and long life to the one who possessed it.)
Dumbledore says to Harry, “As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all – the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”