Albert Francis E. Domingo, MD

my flight of ideas

Listening Spells Harry Potter

Posted on | September 15, 2007 | No Comments


At exactly 4:17 pm today after a marathon two months (coinciding with my Internship in Surgery), I finished absorbing all seven books of Harry Potter written by J.K. Rowling. Absorbing – because I read through the first two and part of the third, before finishing the third up to the seventh by listening to Jim Dale’s animated narration of the unabridged text.

Getting Potter-ized suddenly and in so short a time frame is a unique experience. I never thought that I would actually get hooked onto the series, let alone be driven to finish it all fast.

I enjoyed the way Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows complemented each other, the former spinning a lot of mysteries that would, after a great deal of suspense, be resolved in the latter.

I also agree with the school of thought that perhaps J.K. Rowling’s work should not have been classified entirely as “children’s” books, even as the first three do spin a sort of magical, feel-good tale appropriate for the magical thinking of young ones and those who have controlled episodes of regression into youth. The moment Goblet of Fire starts weaving its plot, suddenly Harry Potter seems to have breached into the shelves of Teen Romance, ultimately ending up in Adult Fiction by the time Deathly Hallows wraps up.

Did Ms. Rowling plan Harry from the beginning as a market-winning franchise capable of adapting to the growth of its readers? The ideal reader in this line of reasoning should therefore have started Sorcerer’s Stone when s/he was thirteen, give or take a few years. Maybe the appeal of the series is precisely in that style of “growing with the story”; older readers like myself find that we are once more brought into the innocence of pre-puberty, the angst of adolescence (Order of the Phoenix!), and the maturation expected of those “who have come of age” – seventeen for wizards and witches, eighteen for us muggles, but in truth not quantifiable and manifest in different ways among different cultures.

My experience being different in that the novel was read to me (thanks Jim Dale) by today’s modern storyteller of an mp3 player also played a role in my enjoying the story.

A sequel would be pushing Harry too much…

…but I’ll definitely be going to the planned Harry Potter theme park once it opens.

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