Friday, July 22, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Print

Pirated copies of the latest Harry Potter are all over the city. Funny thing is, I haven't seen anyone carrying one around. Except for the boys selling them at signals.

Now surely at 300 bucks (less than half the price at bookstores - even after 'discount') there must be enough takers. Only, they're quietly reading the cheapie copies at home, while those with the original hardbound version are busy flaunting it.

Yes, despite the fact that the 600 + page book is hardly 'portable' I've seen folks hanging onto it in the bus and train. A fan in my office lugs it to and fro everyday. And last night at the local mall I spotted one with the salesgirl manning the juice counter... Jai Harry Potter!

Potty thoughts
As for me, well, I did devour it on the first day itself. But I didn't feel like writing about it. I mean, whether it's a 'good' book or not is really a technical point. If you've read the first five books you ARE going to read the sixth one - no matter what.

In a nutshell, Book no 6 is much more interesting than no 5 - which was way too long, dark and in parts dull.

Plot-shot chhodo, what I have always liked about Harry Potter are the small touches - the names of the potions and spells, the creatures and teachers. And all the parallels between the magical world and the real one.

In book no 6, for example, I thought the "Apparition" test was cool. A neat spin on the driving test we muggles take as we 'come of age'.

And J K R has got the whole teenager-in-love bit just right. Ron and Lavender's mouth-to-mouth marathons are unlikely to be seen in India. But we've all known our share of 'chipko' andolan couples :)

The thing I really admire is that Rowling does not talk down to her audience. Using terms like 'Pensieve' for example - you might think it will go over the aam young readers head. But what it does is build a multi-layered experience.

Maybe the readers age 9 and 10 don't 'get it' but that doesn't stop them from enjoying the story. Whereas for the older kids and adults it raises the level far beyond a 'children's book'.

It's a strategy which Walt Disney uses in its animation films. The genie in Aladdin is a perfect example. His wisecracks were for the parents, antics for the kids.

May magic continue to enter our lives - in the form of books - long after Harry Potter. Amen.


  1. I don't know the actual price of the Harry Potter book 6. But it is certainly more than Rs.700. I think thi price is too much for middle class people like me. I will never buy such priced book. I will choose other options such as pirated books. As I know they are cheating us by keeping price too high. If you want to download pdf copy of this
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,
    click this link

  2. I know that a lot of kids around the age of 10 and 11 are reading this book. I simply hope that the snogging bit doesn;t rub off the wrong way. ;)

    As for the book, it sets up Book 7 really well by throwing at us more questions than anwsers. Rowling also makes use of references from previous books. For instance, she mentions about a locket full of dark magic in OoTP. It must have been the Slytherin locket.

    RAB= Regulus A Black?

    Only time will tell!

    Or Rowling sure will :D

  3. My biggest contention is this. I have a right to be annonymous. I have a right to mess up, I have a right to pass snide remarks, I have a right to crakc bad jokes, and NOT be known for it. WHY? What do you care about the individual comment passers who have evolved from doling out back bench wisdom? I have a right to pretend to be Schrizophrenic, or however they pronounce that obscene word, and pretend to be many people at once.
    In short, I wanna be annonymous, why the hell are you stopping this??????

    About the prince... pretty good book, but is turning out to be an overly mortal series - like TOI.

    And this is just for fans
    1) Yeah, RAB is Regalus Black, who else?
    2) The .pdf file is real. i read the other one, which was fake, where duddly was the half blood prince, his mom was a witch in hiding, and they become friends. Good thing is Dumbledore does not die in this one, bad thing is he turns out to be Voldy's dad. I was shocked when i saw that this .pdf file was indeed the real thing. Woah - these guys are fast.
    3) Like TOI, Hinustan Times, and Mumbai mirror suggest, Read the last parts carefully, you will see the damning thing betwen the lines. The chapters are: the phoenix's lament and the white tomb. Really amazing fact shines right through once you see it.

    The whole series is a rip off of LOTR anyway...


  4. I saw the Harry Potter film recently on Cartoon Network and I kept wondering what's the kiddy element in it - it was more suitable for an adult audience with the complexitites. But I guess certain elements keep the children addicted.

  5. Harry Potter will keep you occupied for a min. of 6 hours and if u're a slow reader - maybe even a couple of weeks. Given that, the price is not all that high. Around 675 after discount, isn't it?

    The average middle class person spends at least 200 bucks if not more on a single visit to the multiplex. So I would say skip a couple of 2 and 3 star films and read this instead. As a book - NOT a pdf. I can't imagine reading 600 pages on a computer screen would be any fun at all!

  6. Sorry Rashmi. I took just over four hours, and I know quite a few people who were even quicker.;)

  7. Try 'The Lord of the Rings'. It's got so much info crammed in every line, it's actually fun!

  8. In all your dark posts Rashmi, this is like the please-it one, the Yash Chopra post I'll call it...

  9. Hi,

    I agree about reading a book online not being half as much fun as the actual thing!
    Specially something as priceless as an HP!

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