Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's a dangerous business going out your front door.

I finished book three last week, and skipped ahead to book four. Without blogging.

I think a part of the problem was that I just did not know what to make of book three. It really didn't come alive for me until the very end. The majority of the book went at a snail's pace and then it picked up to a breakneck speed. The whole thing left me feeling rather dizzy, to be honest.

For once, I actually liked the Muggle scenes in the beginning. His uncle's sister, while even more evil than Harry's guardians, is an evil that's believable. I personally have an aunt that would get on really well with that woman. And the panic and fear and hopeless that Harry felt in those first chapters was palpable. My stomach was in knots. And that continued throughout the book...I kept gasping and my eyes kept widening, and I repeatedly felt like I needed to vomit. And that's a credit to Rowling. But I loved the Knight bus. The Grim thing was confusing and I actually missed that Harry saw a dog before going on the Knight bus. For an actual motif, Rowling really didn't spend much time on descriptions and explanations when this dog actually showed up.

Now, as for James Potter and his croonies, I'm less than enchanted. If we're supposed to feel that Harry is justified in his downright hate of Draco who is a bully (though not physically abusive), then Snape had every right to kill James Potter and his ilk. Harry's father and his friends were a thousand times the bully that Draco is. They're prats and I don't care for any of them except Lupin. I quite like Lupin and feel that he was used as a tool for evil purposes by his friends.

The dementors. Oh, the dementors! One more thing on the long, long list of things Rowling 'borrowed' from Tolkien. Dead and shrouded the suck the joy out of their surroundings and can infect others. There's not an ounce of creativity in that. And I won't give Tolkien all of the credit because I have read fairytales with similar creatures, but almost every description used exact words, just paraphrased, that Tolkien used to describe the Ringwraiths.

The end was interesting, but weird. I'm truly still reeling. I didn't see the Scabbers thing coming at all. I had actually liked Scabbers. I truly, truly love the little grey owl that Sirius gave Ron as a replacement though. I want that owl. I have a spare cage.

I actually really loved the bit of Harry saving himself, and his in-real-time-self mistaking his time-traveling-self for his father. That was really poetic and beautiful, I thought.

Other than this, I think I can just safely say that I'm happy to be done with book three.


  1. Aw, I'm sad you didn't like book three more. James and his gang are meant to be worse than Draco and co. - I think that's the whole point. Lily's a bit of a Mary Sue, but James was definitely a typical teenaged douche.

    As for the ending, I do think it was pretty inspired. I didn't see it coming either.

    I'm really curious to see what you think of book four, because that's my least favorite of the series.

  2. Ah, I have to say, I've also never loved book three. To my knowledge, it's regarded in the fan community as one of the best of the seven, but it's far from a personal favorite.

    I have to say though (and I'm probably biased since I've adored the series since third grade), a lot of the things you've noted (Snape's lack of backstory, James being a douche, the over-the-top hatred of Harry by the Dursleys, etc) DO get cleared up more by the end of the series. Hang in there :)

  3. I liked Prisoner of Azkaban the movie more than Prisoner of Azkaban the book, though both are up there in my favorites.

    I've always been frustrated with how awful James is. I understand why Harry hero worships him, but I'm always like, "Harry! Stop! He was not a great guy!". Those flashbacks always make me cringe.

    I thought the Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew thing was so excellent. I always wondered if I was the only one who was completely caught off guard by that (which wouldn't surprise me, I'm kind of slow on the uptake) -- glad to know I wasn't!

    I'm excited that you're onto book four. That is where the series really came alive for me. Goblet of Fire has never been one of my favorite books, but I feel like the story took a turn there and changed (for the better, in my opinion).

  4. Oh! I've been wanting to read your blog! Yeah, book three is an odd one. The beginning is fun, the middle is slow, but I liked having the fun Defense Against the Dark Arts class. The end was definitely the best part. I found Pigwidgeon adorable as well, much funner than Hedgewig. Oh, and the Dementors don't infect, they detract. They leave you a shell.

    I actually liked book 4 the best (until 5 came out), because it was so detailed and long. So it will be interesting to see your take!

  5. I heard that often, that people thought the third book was kind of difficult to grasp and to make something out of it. For me personally, I thought it was good, I think I would label this my favourite one, though I never even thought about picking a "best".

    I tagged you with a blog-award, for I love what you have written so far. It is actually just another of this questionaire-things, but you can look it up in my blog and pass it on if you want to =)