Harry Potter 'a temporary crowd-pleaser'

  July 14, 2003 at 12:33 PM ET
  grae     The Leaky Cauldron (via The Spectator)

In his reviewopens in new window of The Order of the Phoenix, Philip Hensher agrees that "the phenomenon itself is astonishing" - but as far as the book goes, well that's another story.

Here are a few brief examples of his thoughts:

Rowling is not a subtle writer, and one of the tiresome things about this book is how routinely it resorts to turning up the volume, rather than describing anything vividly.

There is a pervasive banality which is much more embarrassing in this book than previously.

None of this would matter, but claims are being made for this book on the grounds of psychological gravity and, to be honest, what it most resembles is an episode of Scooby-Doo extended to the point of lunacy.

It seems to me that claims for Harry Potter’s place among the classic children’s books, or even, extravagantly, as a work of literature, are seriously ill-founded. The great children’s books are, without exception, very well written.

Quite simply, these are books which will be remembered very fondly, but which their readers will, in the end, grow out of.

Hmmm...is it just me, or does Mr. Hensher seem like someone who enjoys listening to sound of his own voice? Anyway, if you're truly interested in more of his thoughts on JK's obvious lack of talent, just click on the above link.


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