Harry Potter and What’s All the Fuss About?

by Matt Tarrant

I was lucky enough to have been introduced to Harry Potter not long after Philosopher’s Stone was released in the UK, during which time the HP phenomenon was still a twinkle in the eye of the literary world.

At that time, I remember thinking that the book was OK, but nothing to cry home about. The snob in me refused to allow J.K. Rowling’s book a place with the other fantasy classics such as Lord of the Rings. In my honest opinion, I thought the book was rather dull. It became nothing more than a paperweight on my desk, such was my opinion about it.

But then something happened. A veil of ignorance lifted itself from my eyes and through the persistence of some of my friends and the sudden media interest in The Boy Who Lived, I decided to re-read Philosopher’s Stone two years after its release. Now, call it brainwashing or subliminal suggestion, but the buzz that was now floating around in my mind made me see the book in a completely different light. I got into the story, the tragedy of Harry’s orphaned upbringing, the unbreakable loyalty of his friends and the sheer attention to detail J.K. placed in her writing.

After that I was hooked. I bought Chamber of Secrets and read that to death. Prisoner of Azkaban received an equal amount of attention and then Goblet of Fire reared itself and any misconceptions about J.K.’s ability to deliver a thoroughly compelling story vanished and I am now a proud member of the world-wide community of Potterites waiting impatiently for Order of Phoenix to fly onto the shelves and feed our minds.