Saturday, June 5, 2010

HP and the Chamber of Secrets

No one should question my love for Harry Potter, but HP2 isn't my favorite book. (Though other people LOOOVE it. There's a theory--probably read it in Granger's book--that extroverts tend to love the even books and introverts the odd.) Anyway, it probably ties with Goblet of Fire for my least favorite HP book. However a couple insights:
  • Everyone knows the influence of classical literature (of the Greek and Latin mythology sort) on Rowling's writing. However having just read PJ5, I can now properly mesh the drakon Clarisse fights in the 5th book of the Percy Jackson series with the basilisk of HP2. Both are serpent-like, gigantic, and have eyes that kill. Does that mean we can also include the drakon from Pirates of the Caribbean??? Similar name, but no killing eyes.
  • I absolutely love Kenneth Branagh. I have since I watched Hamlet my senior year of high school. (I also love the David Tennant version of Hamlet. I'd have to watch them side by side to decide.) Anyway his portrayal of Gilderoy Lockhart remains one of the most indelible moments of Harry Potter movie/book history. I wish he could have been a better character, but I'm not sure who I would have cast him as... Rufus Scrimgeour? but even that's not better.
  • I also love Hermione in this book. The rather significant change in her demeanor from Book 1 to Book 2 is amazing and a testament to her friendship with Ron and Harry. And there's the beginning of Ron/Hermione shaping in this book.
  • I appreciate Book 2 for its parallels with Book 6 (another of my favorites--3,5-7 kind of tie followed by 1, and 2,4 for third--it's a tight pack). What we learn about Lord Voldemort is astonishing. And the hints at the Vanishing cabinet are glaring with Book 6 in your consciousness.
  • And because of Wizard Rock and Bridget Jones's Diary I hold a special place in my heart for Moaning Myrtle.
So unconventional book review, but you've read it already right?

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