Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Boomer, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. Boomer

    Boomer BANNED

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2003
    Messages:
    2,124
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Ratings:
    +10 / 0 / -0
    Like Goblet of Fire, OTP (Order of the Phoenix, for short) was a hefty tome of myriad characters and further setting development and overall story arch as it relates to YOU-KNOW-WHO. It seems to me that the last two books have been more along this theme then the stand-alone, gripping adventures of the previous three books. Of course, the first three books were an excellent adventure of a boy trying to find his place in two worlds, haunted by his past; the last two books are of a marketing juggernaut trying to make the world shout out the words, "cha ching!"

    Review from gauvaine

    Usually, I don't give book reviews. After all, every person is different, their opinions fluttering here and there like mad ducks on the wing, meandering all over a bright blue sky. But with all the recent madness of the launch of HPATOOTP (Harry Potter and the Order the Phoenix, for the uninitiated) I deemed it noteworthy to post my thoughts, unfocused as they might be.



    Keep in mind that Potterage is supposedly meant for kids, i.e., adolescents and teens, though it's obvious every demographic is now affected by this phenomenon. After all, 90 percent of the books purchased since last week have undoubtedly been done so by adults doing so for themselves, their children and grandchildren. So opining from the point of view of an adult should be given some consideration. A smidgen. Just a drop.



    Like Goblet of Fire, OTP (Order of the Phoenix, for short) was a hefty tome of myriad characters and further setting development and overall story arch as it relates to YOU-KNOW-WHO. It seems to me that the last two books have been more along this theme then the stand-alone, gripping adventures of the previous three books. Of course, the first three books were an excellent adventure of a boy trying to find his place in two worlds, haunted by his past; the last two books are of a marketing juggernaut trying to make the world shout out the words, "cha ching!"



    Has JKR started to believe her own immortality and infallibility? Has she lost her focus as a writer and embraced the capitalist ethic of intrepid enterprise? Who knows, but it seems obvious that more is definitely not better.



    Our intrepid hero, our noble man thrust once more unto the breach, dear friends . . . is a belligerent, whining, spastic, bi-polar git. How the mighty have fallen. Within the 879 pages, I am quite certain that Harry lost his temper 1234 times. I'm not sure. That comes out to roughly 1.4 times per page. Anger management therapy is definitely an option in book six, rumored to be titled "Harry Potter and the Bi-Polar Flubberworms of Death."



    Granted, 15 year old boys are moody and conflicted with hormones and tangled emotions, but not like this manic-depressive Munchausen Syndrome candidate. Our modest Harry, our victim of circumstance, our protector of the common weal, makes Bronte's Heathcliff look like Tony Robbins. He fumes. He rages. He yells. When he is not being quiet, self-absorbed, and withdrawn, of course. A couple of times he was happy and smiled. Such mood swings are symptoms of something much more serious than pubescent metamorphosis. Maybe Madame Pomfrey has some Prozac in the medical wing of Hogwarts that she can grind up into some Bertie Bott's Every Flavor beans.



    Of course, the whole gang was in this book, plus some new faces. Sirius Black, Professor Lupin, Mad-Eye Moody, the Weasley's and Malfoys. Even Dobby turned up here and there. All good things, if not a bit disappointing for their 2-dimensional standing. Characterization is not one of JFK's strong points, after all. Protagonists don't protag as much as they are steered by secondary characters that have no life or color to them.



    For example, after nearly losing his life and still being in mortal danger, Arthur Weasley had no epiphanies or emotional outbursts. Neither did his wife. It seems emotion is only sparked from Molly Weasley when she is needed for comic relief to yell at Fred or George, or just to yell in general. She visits her husband in the hospital and pats him on the shoulder after his near murder. No tears. No emotional scenes of love and endearment. That would have been too deep and normal. I guess only Muggles act like they have committed, loving relationships, if even then—the Dursley’s leave that to question; everything else is the stock, juvenile gobbledygook that represents life in the adult world of JFK's books.



    Her attempt at darkness and making Harry have to overcome real world, life and death choices has turned into a mish mash of bad characterization, inconsistent theme, and long-winded plotting. It's a disappointment.



    Having said that, there are, of course, some highpoints. Ron and Hermione had more to do, though they still remain 2-dimensional, as does everyone else, though some clarity was given to Snape and his hatred of everything Potter. Neville Longbottom had a larger role to play, as did Ginny Weasley and several others. Dumbledore was absent until the end, when there was the rollicking, Gunfight at the O.K. Coral finale. And Hagrid was a non-entity except to fill a plot hole that Rowling had backed herself into and couldn't seem to get out of very adroitly.



    There was a lot to this book. A lot happening. And nothing happening. That's the only way to explain it. Much Ado About Nothing. It was like watching the Matrix Reloaded. It was okay, but you knew that there was another movie coming that was going to be a lot more clearer and exciting. Treading water. The rumors of writer's block were true, I’m afraid. A post-adolescent diatribe about the merits of fame, fortune and destiny only can go so far. Dialogue, characters, and theme . . . they all matter. You can't coast on expectation and fame. Even Harry knows that.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. mz-readaholic

    mz-readaholic Use The Force

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +9 / 0 / -0
    Hmmm, I understand a bit of where you're coming from. I read th seven Harry Potter novels in 8 weeks (I know, a long time for me, but I was at school so couldn't so much extra reading) so they all seemes to flow on together a bit. I noticed that the first 2 books really were just children's stories, but at book 3 they turned into remarkable books that everyone could enjoy. I did find that this book went on a bit long, and that Harry was quite self centres, but it is to be expected, with all the things that have happened to him. He has seen Cedric die and Voldemort regain human form, and now has to cope with a tough new teacher at school (tough is an understatement, try evil and sadistic!). All this was bound to catch up with him sometime. I;m surprised that Harry has managed to keep it together for as long as he has. I don't quite agree with your point about all of the other characters being 2 dimensional. On the other hand, I think that JK Rowling generally does a good job of making her characters seem realistic. I didn't like Cho, but I think Rowling did this on purpose: she didn't explain much about Cho so that we WOULDN'T like her. This books definitely wasn't the best, but it wasn't as terrible as you describe it to be. Book 6 was even better than the previous 5, really becoming a BRILLIANT story, not just an extremely good one, but then I read book 7. And I was overwhelmed. It was amazing. Beautiful. A masterpiece. You're probably thinking that I'm crazy right about now, I know... But this book really touched me. One of the most moving scenes was undoubtedly Dobby's death and then Harry burying him. It was really a turning point for Harry, and I was pleased that JK Rowling showed the emotional journey of her characters so well in this book. She wrote brilliant battle scenes, heartfelt, emotional pieces, but for me it was the character development that did it. What a superb piece of writing.
     
  3. Wulfred

    Wulfred New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    I also was surprised at how whiny Harry was in this book and agree with the top review. After reading the entire set though, I can say 2 things.

    1. This book was the worst of the lot and the last 2 got better
    2. This was the one case I know of in Harry Potter and maybe even almost all fiction, where the movie was better than the book (at least a lot more entertaining for me).
     
  4. SenDaye

    SenDaye Sen Daye

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    No one knows...
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Well... I dunno
    I didn't really find anything wrong with the 5th book albeit that it was a bit boring at the beginning than the others but i still loved it
    but I agree, the 7th book is, really, seriously, the BEST.