Customer Review

Reviewed in Canada on May 1, 2001
When I was younger you couldn't find me without a fantasy or a sci-fi novel in hand. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone marks my long-anticipated return to this genre. I must say, it was not all that I had hoped for. It is possible that as I have grown older I have lost some of my appreciation for these works of fantasy, but I do not think that is the problem. Rather, I think that J.K. Rowling has taken a great idea but done only a fair job of carrying it through. No doubt, the story is fun and exciting, and I credit Rowling for not patronizing her young readers all that much... she gives them proper credit and allows them to puzzle some of the secrets out for themselves. However, I grew up on the fantasy books of C.S. Lewis, Peirs Anthony, Lloyd Alexander, and the grandfather of the fantasy genre: J.R.R. Tolkien. I feel as though these authors did better jobs of creating unique fantasy universes... Rowling gives her readers all the old standys: flying broomsticks, magic wands, etc. Granted, Rowling has a more difficult task in staking out new ground in the fanstasy world than her predecessors had, but I would have preferred something a little more atypical. Of course I understand why these books are so popular: unlike a book like 'The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,' the Harry Potter books are about a young wizard who attends a wizardry school, and by including the typical school elements (the school bully, the unfair teacher, playground antics, the girl who always has to get an A on her tests, etc.) Rowling gives her young school-going readers something to identify with. Of course the story moves quickly and is written quite cleanly, and that doesn't hurt either.
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