Flushed with excitement with the knowledge that the new Harry Potter film and book are due to hit the cinemas/shelves this July, I thought I would watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It was good. (Again.)

Did you know that “Mike Newell’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is an anagram of “enthralling film, yet we prefer to read the books”?

How strange.


21 thoughts on “Potter

  1. Ahhh, you really are a happy little nerd aren’t you? If I was still working at good old B&N I would have got a copy of the new book at a highly discounted price, but as my good friend Gracie works there, I still might be able to. I would send it to you but I don’t want to take away the joy of you huddled in a long line for three days outside Waterstones with all the other nerdlings waiting for their copy. Make sure you get that Welshy to stop by with a cup of coffee for you!

  2. He’ll be waiting a while…
    Anyway, why would anyone know that?! Who is Mike Newell anyway and why does he get mentioned?!
    Large chai latte is it?

  3. Why would anyone wait outside any bookstore for three days to get a copy? The smart thing to do, if you absolutely have to have it on release day, is to order with Amazon months in advance, and then bask in your PC’s warm glowing warming glow.


    Me, I object to hardback books on principle, so I’ll be waiting for the paperback. Since I’m not a fanatic by any means, I’m sure I will survive.

  4. Molly, pfft. I wouldn’t want a copy of the crappy US version anyway, I like the long words left in.*

    And I don’t remember saying I would queue up at midnight! Why are you all assuming I am such a loser?

    Actually I would, obviously. But I actually don’t think I know anyone else sad enough to go with me. So I will have to give it a miss, as I definitely draw the line at going by myself!


    Welshy, Mike Newell is the director of said film. Seriously, how can you not know this?! Harry Potter is the sensation of the late 20th-early 21st century!

    And Stephen, yes, I will probably be adopting your method this time round. Then I can read my copy and Juliet can read hers, and we can phone each other after every chapter! Arg – sad!

    Okay, deep breath. The thing is, I too prefer paperbacks. I will, however, be buying the hardback of HP, not because I can’t wait (although that will be true) but because I know full well that someone will spoil the ending for me if I don’t read it immediately.


    I own all other six books in paperback, and my OCD (which is relatively quiet on most things) will not be able to cope with six paperbacks and one hardback sitting on the shelf. So I will have to buy the paperback when it comes out and then give the hardback to a charity shop.

    Otherwise it will look wrong.*

    You may think I will relent, but I have already done it with HP6, so I am quite capable of this level of sadness.

    My top book related hate is when publishers change the design of a book jacket halfway through a series. Then I have to buy the whole thing again.

    Actually it isn’t – my top hate is people who fold the pages to mark their place – boo hiss!

    Anyway, enough of my analness.

    You may all be scathing now!!

    * yes, yes, I know.
    ** yes, YES, I know!

  5. Okay, it’s time for brutal honesty, Chris. (I hope we can still be friends after this)!

    I read a *lot* of books when I was young and frankly I think the Harry Potter series is extremely average. Not crap or particularly poorly written, just ordinary.

    Of course these days my main criteria for selecting books is pink covers with curly writing and cartoon girls on them, but hey, I was damn literary as a child, and let’s not forget, HP is written for children.

    “Five Children and It”, the Nurse Matilda series, the Narnia books; all miles ahead of HP. For people over the age of ten, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, or the Hitchhiker series (by Douglas Adams) are hilariously funny and still in that fantasy realm.

    Anyway that’s my 2 cents.

    : )

  6. He he! I like Southernbelle!
    Oh, and Chris, you really must be careful when blogging whilst angered; in that comment you left out a crucial * so the little key thing didn’t make any sense, and I think you meant to put “book-related”…
    Merely trying to help! 🙂 (hugs!)

  7. I don’t know if that’s a fair comparison, southernbelle – none of us are really the same people we were when we were children, so we can’t really view things the same way.

    I find the Harry Potter books pretty good for what they are (and they’re ideal for reading on a long journey, I have found). One thing she has done extremely well is she’s advanced the reading age of the books along with the age of her audience, and similarly increased the complexity and maturity of the plot and themes to match. (Of course, this also makes things different for parents of the future, who will read books 1 and 2 to their children, and then have to stop for a good five years!)

  8. you’re probably right stephen. perhaps i am viewing my childhood reading list through slightly rose-hued glasses.

    ; )

  9. Sigh… What kind of impression must I give out?! Why on earth would I mind someone giving their own, perfectly valid opinion?!

    It is okay to think Harry Potter is okay; it is also okay to think it is crap. You can stop sniggering behind your hand though, Taffarella – at least SouthernBelle has read it!

    Harry Potter is no Anna Karenina or Great Expectations but it is a good kids’ book. It starts off (Philosopher’s Stone) being a bit over-edited and ends up (Goblet onwards) being a bit under-edited (one of the pitfalls of massive success I suppose) and is fun, which should always be a main criterion when looking for a book, esp a children’s one, throughout.

    It has some subtext, and has a bit of an emotional side.

    So, all in all, I like them. And yes, I have been using “it” and “them” interchangeably, and I can’t be bothered to go back and change!

    I have to disagree on the Narnia books; I find the imagery too heavy handed, and the jokes… non-existent. I do like a laugh, and C S Lewis doesn’t make me. But I know I am in a massive minority here! That is okay, you can’t like everything!

    Anyway, Welshy, I wasn’t angry… hmm, I did miss a hyphen out, which is upsetting, but doubt that many people minded the confusion between * and **, after all, both footnotes read the same thing!

    The other thing, which dovetails with what Stephen is saying, is that Harry Potter is more than just a set of books – it’s a phenomenon! What I mean by this is that the kids who started off reading Philosopher’s Stone at 10 would now be 20 and have kind of grown with the books. It’s not often you get that experience – unless you have extraordinary self control and limit yourself to one book per year (or are a really slow reader!). Equally, it is rare I get to discuss a book I am excited about before, during and after reading it, but with Harry Potter you can do that.

    But, you know, it is just a book!

    Two more things!

    Another anagram that amused me: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson rearranges to give Cue fine new film drama starring Potter lad– Welshy, please Google before asking who these people are!

    And secondly, a word must go out to all the crazy people who think that Harry Potter is in some way Satanic.

    As with Dungeons and Dragons (I recently learned D&D has had similar claims levied against it, although presumably for much longer) it is hard to know where to begin when explaining how foolish this is. Yes, there are witches in this book… Yes, they do magic… It is fiction! There is a clear distinction between right and wrong, and as it is fiction and not real life, I confidently expect the bad guys to get their comeuppance, thereby teaching our young uns a valuable lesson.

    Right, that’s me done (again). Blimey, it’s only Harry Potter, who’d have thought there would be so much to say?!

  10. Chris – I totally agree with you on the Hating Publishers Changing Covers. I had to buy the Thursday Next Boxed Set and then give my random single editions away… And then howled when I heard Jasper Fforde is doing another TN book.

    Oh! The Humanity!

    And Harry Potter – while not a literary masterpiece, is good at what it purports to be: a rollicking fun journey that draws people in. My own children love both the HP and the Narnia series, not needing to pontificate on the worthiness of either, just enjoying the read. And surely, at the end of the day, this is what matters: children reading.

    Oh. And, um, hi! *waves*

  11. Damn, what a good point… I am going to go delete your comment now so I can make it myself… No hard feelings, right?

    Hooray for children that read, I don’t know how I managed without HP when I was young…!

  12. I know who those people are; I saw the Daniel person on Jonathan Ross’s show a few weeks bad. Arrogant little scamp, isn’t he?!
    Anyway, I was not laughing and you forget (you forgot something! You! YAY!) that I have read at least some of the first one: in German! And I didn’t like it. But that’s ok. Or, I thought it was. You’re not just saying you like hearing other people’s opinions and are then going to have a big sulk, are you?

  13. Ah, if you think changing the covers is bad, how about this…

    William Gibson’s first ‘trilogy’ of books, “Neuromancer”, “Mona Lisa Overdrive” and “Count Zero” had nice matching covers when I started reading them (with a borrowed copy of the first one). At the point where I had bought books 2 and 3, and decided to pick up a copy of book 1 for completeness, I found that not only had they changed the cover, but they’d changed the size of the books!

    Suddenly, I didn’t have to rebuy just that series, but every single book I owned, just so they’d match!

    Or do what I did, which was to leave a gap in the series.

  14. The worst one for changing covers has to be the neverending Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Thankfully I started buying them after the last change but I live in dread that they’ll start giving them different jackets again before he’s finished the series!

    There’s another TN book? Fantastic!

    I must admit that I do sometimes fold the tops of pages over (NEVER on hardbacks though) but only if I can’t find anything to use as a bookmark.

  15. The WHeel of Time will never end! Every time he thinks he’s coming to the end, he realises he’s got another five thousand pages to write, about Egwene deciding whether to drink a cup of tea or not (because it might be poisoned, but then again might not, or perhaps it is… for about 200 pages, after which it turned out it wasn’t); about Elayne wearing different outfits (all described in excruciating detail); about Elayne moaning about being pregnant; about Elayne moaning about men; about any of the female characters moaning about men, sniffing dismissively, folding their arms under their breasts, or failing to communicate vital information properly; about any of the men moaning about women, swearing colourfully (but not actually quoting said oaths and profanities), or failing to communicate effectively; about how awful it is the the taint it there (or not); about nothing in particular…

    When Douglas Adams did “a trilogy in four parts”, and then five parts, it was funny. The Wheel of Time was originally intended as a trilogy, and the author is now taking the piss. (Swears colourfully.)

  16. I couldn’t believe it when Ellie mentioned The Wheel Of Time… “Oh no,” I thought, “now Stephen will bang on about that cup of tea again!”

    I was not disappointed.

  17. I don’t really get any of what you guys are on about. Clearly I read the wrong books.

    I once studied a book (Gargantua, it’s in French which should spare you guys from having to read it!) in which a whole chapter was devoted to deciding what to use to wipe his arse!

    I am a naughty page-folder-downer. Chris gets really angry about it. What do we reckon to folding down pages of library books? Is it acceptable? How about folding down the pages on books you’ve borrowed from Chris? Or books you and Chris have bought jointly? (I realise the rest of you probably don’t frequently buy books jointly with Chris. I probably do it more because I go out with him. Maybe you could refer to your own relationships and book-buying habits…)

  18. Juliet, I am horrified! Folding down pages on any book, whether bought or borrowed is criminal! You should be locked up for it!!!

  19. I once had an English teacher who advocated that we actually write notes on the books themselves! I was horrified.

    Some bright spark needs to come up with an invention that will help people mark their place within the book, without defacing said book. I’m not sure quite what form such a ‘place-indicator’ should take. Perhaps a slightly-adhesive green dot?

  20. Gargantua and Pantagruel… Good old Rabalais. It is available in English translation, worry not.

    Is that the one where the protagonist is born out of someone’s ear?

    Anyway, Stephen is onto something… Hmmm… Marking your place within a book… A markbook? Hmmm… the invention is good, we just need a name!

    Let me know if you come up with anything!

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