Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (or Philosopher's Stone in the U.K. version) was published in 1997 (although J.K. Rowling had been working on it since 1990!) I was 14 years old. I didn't read it right away. In fact, it came to my attention through my younger brother reading it. He got really into them, and because he was my 10 year old brother and I was SOOOO too cool to take his advice on good books, I resisted them. It was probably about a year later that we were on a car trip and we listened to the first one unabridged on CD, (narrated by the fabulous Jim Dale). I was hooked. So much for my pretentions and looking down my nose at the book. It was a riveting story. I started to keep pace with the stories, always listening to them on audio books though. In fact, the only one I have ever literally read with my eyes is the last one, because I was too impatient to wait for the CDs to come out. Okay, I read parts of the 4th one in book form, too, now that I think about it. All the others I've "read" by listening to them. The story was just good!
People get on Rowling's case about her writing style being predictable, and at times it is. But who was expecting her to be George Eliot or Charles Dickens? Not me! And in terms of her ability to keep track of characters and details in sprawling plot lines, I think she gives Charles Dickens and George Eliot a run for their money. In my experience with reading both of those two classic authors, no character is wasted. Everyone plays a purpose and often will show up again where least expected. Same is true with Rowling's characters and objects in her wizard world: as I moved through the series, I was impressed that some character that she mentioned early on in the series reappeared with some kind of important role to play or information to add. I appreciate her work.
The final installment of the last movie came out recently. I am a bit behind on the times with good old HP movies. I haven't seen the first part of the movie of the last book yet. Allen and I decided to work our way through watching the movies from first to last. We just finished watching the first HP movie. It came out in 2001, when I was a junior in high school. I loved the books and movies, as did my best friend. We were total HP nerds and unashamed: we went to midnight book release parties, did trivia, etc. It was funny to see how much movie technology has changed in a decade. Some of the parts of the movie are CGI, and the people in the CGI look obviously computer generated. Isn't that a funny statement? Then it was so cool: "WOW! Computer generated people!" Now we look at it and say, "It doesn't look real, it just looks like it was CGI." Computer graphics have gotten that good! Now good CGI doesn't look like CGI anymore. Rewatching it I remembered what I crush I had on Oliver Wood (seeing as he was actually my age at the time the movie came out)--cute! The actors for Harry, Ron, and Hermione were all so young. They've given a decade of their lives to these characters. I imagine that, like it or not, they will always see themselves as Harry, Ron, or Hermione in some way. I wish I could see Daniel Radcliffe singing and dancing as J. Pierpont Finch in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" on Broadway right now! I love that show, and I'd be curious to see him in it.
Well, enough musings for now. First day of Young Authors Society (part 1) camp today. This week Devin is my helper, and next week Nicole is my helper. Woohoo!