Potter to live.. for now

Well, at least until the next book. For our younger readers and older nerds (you can decide for yourselves which category you fit into), the sixth and penultimate (as far as we know) book in the Harry Potter series – The Half-Blood Prince – will go on sale on 16 July 2005.. announced via a coded message no less.. no news, yet, on when the gaeilge version will hit the shelves.

  • unionist_observer

    good, good, I’d prefer it came out after my finals are over so I can dedicate a few days to enjoying it!

  • peteb

    Younger reader or older nerd, UO? 😉

  • unionist_observer

    older nerd I’m afraid peteb!

    The books are great, wonder when the next film is coming out?

  • Ziznivy

    Oh Lord! This is a catastrophe! I already have to spend interminable hours listening to the intricacies of Harry’s world. This’ll drive me up the walls! 🙁

  • StrayToaster

    Ziznivy: No need for intricacies. It goes like this:

    Harry goes home for summer hols, hates it, gets into bother, gets saved. Goes to schools, gets into bother, nearly expelled, gets saved/saves others. Term ends, he goes home for summer hols…

    Dear God won’t someone save us from these interminally boring books. Niether well written nor interesting. If it turns children on to books that is good, then they will realise there is really great literature out there, and how bad HP is. Take the 5th book (No, please, take it &lt/70s joke>. It might have been good, had she had an editor.

    And don’t try reading them out loud to your children. I swear if I ever have to say ‘Harry, Ron and Hermione’ in the same breath again I shall go on a machette rampage.

    Note to all who do read it to your children: Everytime you read ‘wand’, you will now think ‘wang’. Harry whips it out quite a lot.

  • Alan

    Toaster – grow up.

    UO – film out in November according to my 11 year old. Harry the Po has got her reading, surfing the net and working for hours on riddles to glean the tiniest amount of information about the new book. It is an advertising phenomenon and really uses the internet to hook kids.

    Ask any principal and they’ll tell you that it has been the key to getting boys reading again – real competition for the X-box etc. So more power to your elbow, JK.

  • StrayToaster


    If it was HP that got yours reading, fine. Though I preferred to get mine reading without having to wait for such a thing, and indeed they did, from no age at all.

    The key to getting boys reading isn’t to give them badly written pisspoor secondclass fantasy. It is to show them, from as early an age as possible, that books are good. To see their parents, both of them, reading, to be read to and to cherish books.

    If HP is the key, then it is another nail in the coffin of the dumbed down educational system. Take some control of your own children’s education. Don’t wait for phenomena, to assuage your guilt. If you think it is good for your children to read, you should have been taking them to the library from before they could speak. And reading to them every night.

    As my eldest read the first one when he was five, I read the whole sequence to them as well. It wasn’t meant to be read aloud, perhaps that is why I don’t like them.

  • Davros

    ST- it’s still better that they want to read, even if it’s not what we would prefer them to read.
    I really enjoyed reading the Animals of Farthing Wood to the kids. Now I see them reading The Duncton Wood series ….Very dark!

  • StrayToaster

    Davros: I am not denying that, of course it is better that they read *anything*, as then they can move on to bigger and better.

    I really enjoyed the Series of Unfortunate Events, truly great books to read. (I haven’t seen the film yet, and am loathe too.)

    I am unaware of Duncton Wood (and it seems to have been out when I were a lad. Though I was all Asimov/Bradbury/whatever Ballymena library had in the early 80s) but I may partake.

  • Davros

    The Duncton Wood series is awesome. Farthing Wood is Bambi, Duncton Wood is Nightmare on Elm Street!

    If anybody likes the dark fantasy of Stephen Donaldson then they will probably like William Horwood’s Duncton Wood series. Older kids love them as well.

  • StrayToaster

    I quite liked some of Donaldson, though not overly Thomas Covenant (though I note there is a new one out, I may partake.) Gap into Power was a bit awful too. What was the other one? With the mirrors and all? It was great. I think. In my 15-year old’s view, anyhow.

  • Davros

    It’s years since I read them ST:) Did you read any of the Julian May series ? They were magnificent.
    I always have a picture of the Shinners as Firvulag and the DUPers as Tanu! (Pleistocene series)
    Milieu series was excellent.

  • StrayToaster

    Frig, Dav, The whole Saga of Exiles (with Intervention and the Galactic Mileiu) is one of my all time top series. Ever. I love them. I was pleased my name was spelt with a ‘c’. 🙂

    Oh, well, if we are on to books *we* like, the best sci-fi ever would be ‘Neverness’ by David Zindell, or ‘Martian Chronicles’ by Bradbury.

    Non-sci-fi, ‘The New York Trilogy’ or indeed anything by Paul Auster just rocks.

  • unionist_observer

    what about enid blyton with her magical faraway tree and enchanted woods, thats what got me started reading!!

    As for political comparisons, Lord of the ring comparisons are always fun – DUP = the jeering orcs and UUP = men and elves.

  • Davros

    What did you make of the Belgariad series by David Eddings ? Haven’t read Zindell, Loved Bradbury. The Robot Series were great. Enjoyed the Book by the scientologist nutter, although the film was cruddy.
    Never could get into pratchett and just too many Anne McCaffrey

  • StrayToaster

    OK, I loved the Belgariad when I was young, hated it when I reread it. Robots and Empire, *sigh* there is my childhood. (My children spotted the twist quite early on in ‘Second Foundation’, too.)

    Battlefield Earth was a fave book of mine, sullied indeed by the film. It was just *wrong*

    Oh, I also used to love the DragonLance series, but when I reread some of them (while still

  • StrayToaster

    while *still <16 they truly sucked.

    Don’t use less than signs. Naughty me.

  • Davros

    And the Culture series by Ian Banks were also excellent.

  • StrayToaster

    Excession. Hmmm, yes. Though I liked his non-Culture stuff too.

    And the Illuminatus! trilogy, too. Rollicking was invented for that type of read.

  • Davros

    The Wasp Factory ? One of the best books written !

  • StrayToaster

    Being a biker, and also liking a bit of the old philosphy, I also like (wait for it…) ‘Lila’. (And ZaAMM too)

    Oh, and ‘Diceman’, and, and, and…

  • Davros

    I never managed to finish Lila, But Zen and the Art is a wonderful book.

  • DCB

    Potter is a great read, though I prefered the Pullman Trilogy, talk about dark though, in the first chapter the “goodie” tries to poison the hero’s father. It gets only gets far, dar darker from there.

    Just finished the new Tom Wolfe, its a treat, as good as his first two novels

  • Alan

    Yes, HP is a very well constructed narrative – that is the key. JK is a great yarn spinner.

    (Stray – you only did what the rest of us did – all kids are different and develop at different speeds.)

    I found that Pullman’s series didn’t really make the grade. The first two books were excellent, hooked you early and rushed you forward. But the Amber Spyglass really let the series down. It felt like a rush to pull too many threads together, and the chorlton and the wheelies creatures unsuspended my disbelief.

    Good to hear that Zaamm is good – I’ve just bought it.