RARA-AVIS: Re: Hardboiled Harry Potter

From: tfine80 ( tfine80@yahoo.com)
Date: 29 Jul 2007

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Crider" <macavityabc@...> wrote:
> I can't resist calling your attention to J. K. Rowling's tip of the
hat to
> Mickey Spillane on p. 214 of the latest Harry Potter novel.
> "Harry," wailed Hermione. "How could you?"
> "It was easy," said Harry.
> Bill Crider
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Probably extending your comment too far, I noticed a similar tone to the book. Although I wouldn't say it was so successful, the novel does remind me of an classic hardboiled mystery where the detective is on some winding and twisting case for some lost object(s). The ending was also like some mysteries where a convoluted set of facts and clues falls almost too neatly into place.

Harry finally becomes a harder character who makes his own decisions and shuts down others who question him. Until the end, he becomes much more cynical, frustrated with Dumbledore and his own strange responsibility.

There were many scenes and style elements that reminded of this tone and inspiration. Even the classic alcohol motif was there: "The firewhisky seared Harry's throat. It seemed to burn feeling back into him, dispelling the numbness and sense of unreality, firing him with something that was like courage." (79)

In spite of this, I didn't really enjoy the book. In the process of becoming more "hardboiled," it lost much of its silly humor and joy, the main reason most people probably read the series.

Todd Fine

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