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The Harry Potter Phenomenon

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers' Stone - J K Rowling etc. Now I know what you may be thinking here, is it a new one??? No - that is the US title, which would be a bit of a con 'cause it was the Philosophers Stone that I read... Never mind eh? I will not bother giving any details of the stories, as they have already been covered with each review and I don't want to give anything away! I will just say this - I left off reading them, mostly because of the hype, until about a month ago.

At that time I was a week away from going on holiday, and I went into a Co-op with a friend of mine. As this friend was shopping I followed along (as some blokes do, laughing at the various people, adverts, etc.) until I came upon a special offer that looked quite good, the last two Harry Potter books. I thought to myself 'Ah! Holiday reading' and I bought them. Anyway a day or so passed, and I finished the book that I was reading at about 23:00, and I opened up the Prisoner of Azkaban, thinking to just try a few pages, unfortunately I was at work the following morning at 8:30. I say unfortunately because I had little sleep that night due to reading straight through from beginning to end, and was thus a bit worse for wear that day. I still went to work and did a full day, (I always look half dead...) and then started on the Goblet of Fire. Which was equally good, although due to excess fatigue and the extra length, it took a little longer to read. I still did not own the first two books though, although I did consider getting them in town that weekend. (Mansfield does actually have them!!!) I left it though, not much point with only 4 days to go before I was on holiday.

Anyway, there I was in the Airport with 4 hours to waste, and only then realising that I needed something from the shop. I went in to Manchester Airport John Menzies. I had a roam around, and everywhere I went Harry Potter beckoned and waved, so I thought 'Sod it!' and bought the other two! This gave me 5 books for on the 'plane. Two Harry Potter, a Matthew Reilly 'Temple' (Thanks Dad!) and a couple of others that I have read previously. I soon discovered that I cannot read on a plane any more than I can read on a bus, so I gave in and watched the films. (Which weren't bad!) So there I was, first night in America and reading Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. We then had a full day of travelling ahead, so it took me until the next morning to complete it. Then a couple more for the second.

While I was in the States I was watching the TV one morning, waiting for my mates to wake up, and there was a talk show on. A Religious Talk Show!!! The topic of the conversation was Harry Potter, and I was quite amazed, and highly amused by it. The host was a Holy man of some description, and the guest was an 'Expert on World Religion'. Apparently J.K.Rowling is corrupting the minds of children, and indoctrinating them into Witchcraft. Now readers in the UK may not realize this, but according to the 'Expert' the most popular religion in Britain is Witchcraft. This amazed me, as I truly believed that most people were becoming Jedi. Or was that just one of those joke e-mails? The only Witch that I have heard anything about was the guy from down in the South, who was placing a curse on it all because the movie depicted the Broomstick being flown the wrong way around; what wouldn't you give to be cursed like that???

What a load of Warlocks.

These books are fantastic; I would recommend them to children of all ages. I have now reread three of them and I am part way through the fourth again, (I thought I'd redo them in order!) They are still brilliant the second time around. If anyone thinks that they are just for children, they haven't read them! Go for it...

Find out more about the author J. K. Rowling here.

See Lesley's opinion of Harry Potter here.

Victim - 1st November 2001

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