Wednesday, 24 December 2008

I am not a Harry Potter Wannabe!

After discussing various delightful books and my delight in them, I ventured to read an author (well, her books) recommended to me by TimT.

Eva Ibbotson. I started wth reading The Secret of Platform 13.

Now, the plot and characters are fairly simple - no deep soul searching or worldly messages much, but it's a fun ride, and extremely entertaining. I enjoyed it greatly and am keen to read more.

I decided to peep at Amazon.com to find what others had to say about Ms Ibbotson's book, and people were not surprisingly divided into camps of those who hated it and those who loved it.

But what was annoying was when I read many reviews, instead of spending much time wrting about the book, per se, many either sent time writing about how it was a Harry Potter wannabe book or like Harry Potter except not as good; or defending the book by saying it was better than or as good as Potter, or pointing out that it couldn't be a Potter wannabe as it was written befoer the Potter books were published, so the book is still honourable, so there, so there!

Now, I've heard some weird stories about manuscripts that land on publishers' desks that tout themselves as "the next Harry Potter crossed with the Da Vinci Code" - not exactly sure what the plotline for that book would be, but how does that happen befor Harry Potter and the Code even exist?

And nowadays, I'm so over reading about Potter everywhere, I couldn't care.

Does every kids' book have to be reviewed in terms of how it compares to Harry, even when the similarities are practically non-existent? Even if someone has been inspired by a bit of Harry-reading, unless it's outright plagiarism, who gives a damn? People get their inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. When they sit dwn to write, probably many don't even know where all their inspirations and influences actually come from.

Disclaimer: If I ever publish anything, the story is based on fictional events that took place anywhere but Hogwarts or Privet Drive. Unless it is based on non-fictional events that occurred anyplace but Hogwarts or at Privet Drive. But it definitely isn't based on Harry Potter events. Unless, errh, I disclaim otherwise. Uh, that's all, folks. For now.

7 comments:

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

And "potter" used to be such a nice cuddly verb.

TimT said...

I potter frequently and often. Why, for the last six days I've been pottering around Newcastle and environs with parents, brother, and dog. That was a good spot of pottering.

Nowadays, thanks to the ubiquity of the Rowling books, I imagine my activities would be referred to by the youth as 'Harrying'. Humph.

JahTeh said...

Have you read 'Eragon'? I've seen the movie but everyone tells me the book is better. Perhaps it was just that the actor playing the lead was so 'nothing' especially since he was acting alongside Jeremy Irons who has aged very well.

TimT said...

According to Mish they're both terrible.

My word verification is toper. This pleases me! It's perfectly topping!

nailpolishblues said...

I think my father described Eragon - the character - as a dick. He's a bit on the couldn't-you-have-died-in-chapter-one? side. I agree with Mish and was equally forced into reading it with cries of 'it's wonderful, read it!'* I am making allowances for the crapness because the author was a child.

* Not uttered by my daddy.

Maria said...

I like to potter. I've also thought being a potter would be fun. The clay-shaping type, not the Harry sort. Though perhaps being able to do a bit of magickry would be a tad amusing.

Maria said...

Like you, Jahteh, I've only seen the movie. It wasn't a terrible movie but based on the movie alone I couldn't see why everyone was going on about how "original" the book was. So I thought one day I should read the book and find out. However I haven't made good on that one. I saw "Eldest" which is apparently one of its sequels in an outlet store recently at a reduced price but not "Eragon".

I remember reading a lot of how many people got very excited about the originality of both Isobelle Carmody and Christopher Paolini. Personally, Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn series didn't do it for me (never got past book 2). I found it very similar in concept to books like "Never Let Me Go" and "The Chrysalids" crossed was some other general fantasy fiction but not nearly as well written. (Yes, I know "Never Let Me Go" was written after but I think "The Chrysalids" was conceived before.)

I mentioned it to Mr Coffee and he said a lot of the fuss was becase they were (or started out as) teenage or young authors.

Still, I am willing to give Eragon a go, but I will probably read it at the library first, or a cheap outlet store copy!