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Canzonett


Member

Posted Fri Feb 16th, 2007 12:10pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness
Whether you love or loathe the bespectactled and lighntning-scarred wizard - there is no way of denying that the publication date of Potter ultimus is approaching. Nor that the eminent subject general of this forum is deeply involved in the business of rowling pottery.

How about you?

Would you count yourself to the eagerly expecting or rather the harriedly ignoring? Are you already planning how, where and when to pick up and read your copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

I am facing a major dilemma here since my choir is to sing Bach's St Matthew Passion to accompany the performance of John Neumeier's brilliant Hamburg Ballet in Oberammergau just on July 21st and 22nd. Since the general rehearsal is scheduled for July 20th, I am not sure whether we are supposed to spend the night in Oberammergau or return to Munich and go back the next day.

Don't worry about my cultural priorities, folks. I wouldn't want to miss the St Matthew Passion just for Harry Potter's sake. But I am trying to make this a "both-and", not an "either-or" affair.

So the big problem is where to acquire the book. Mail orders are completely out of question - not only do I prefer to buy books in real bookstores, I also haven't forgotten the publication day of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when my brothers fetched their copy from a bookstore in central Munich at half past seven in the morning (you can imagine their triumphant telephone call) while I had to sit and wait until two o'clock in the afternoon ...

Will there be a bookshop in Munich opening early in the morning on that Saturday, which would allow me to purchase the book for breakfast in case I could spend the night before at home? (As far as I know, there haven't been any midnight ceremonies round here when volume 6 was published.)
In case I will spend that night in Oberammergau: Will the hybrid little bookshop/office supply store just round the corner from the Passion Theatre be prepared to assuage the needs of one Bach-singing bookworm?

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Fri Feb 16th, 2007 12:43pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness
I will certainly buy the last volume of the heptalogy. Now that I´ve come this far I want to know how the story ends.
Since it won´t be a problem to get a copy in any larger German book store there is no need for mail delivery. But even if, for example, Hugendubel, decided to open their stores at midnight I shall wait until the morning. I´m not that desperate a fan.
I don´t know if there are any plans for pre-opening yet. Though the last volume (in English) lead the German bestseller lists for quite some time the readers are mostly adults and might not be that interested in midnight-opening events.
I also don´t know if there´s a book store in Oberammergau where you could buy an English copy. You could always check the Yellow Pages, ring the Oberammergau book store that hopefully exists and ask them if they´ll have the book...

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Fri Feb 16th, 2007 3:19pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness
Didn't read the sixth volume, won't read the last one. Never liked the whole Potter series. Too kiddie for me. Not like ALice in Wonderland or a Kipling book.

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Canzonett


Member

Posted Fri Feb 16th, 2007 7:52pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness
I don't mind reading and enjoying well-written children's books. Which said, I wouldn't recommend the forth, fifth and sixth Potter volume for children under 12 years of age ...

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Mon Feb 19th, 2007 7:42pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness
I've pre-ordered my copy on Amazon as I've done before. I pre-ordered the fifth and sixth books with them and both arrived first thing in the morning of release so I didn't even have to wait. Plus it's cheaper to pre-order it on Amazon. It's only £8.99.

Assuming direct control...

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Mon Feb 19th, 2007 8:14pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness
I don't mind reading and enjoying well-written children's books. Which said, I wouldn't recommend the forth, fifth and sixth Potter volume for children under 12 years of age ...

I can't really see the appeal of the books for anyone *over* twelve. I mean, the idea isn't bad, but one can tell the author has bitten off more than she can chew. She just doesn't have the general knowledge of the human history of magic to pull off constructing a believable world. She has only a limited idea of what "magic" ought to look like, and it's a very childlike one. I read history of science in college, and you can't talk about the origins of science without digging into the origins and development of natural magic (when I was studying in Germany, for instance, my focus was primarily on Paracelsus). The rituals and scholarstic traditions of magic has a very rich history in just about every culture; certainly in the West, where it ties intricately into religion, medicine, and what becomes later known as science. It's a vast playing field, full of fascinating stuff, and the most she could squeeze out of it was some bastardized Latin and misappropriated "potions ingredients" like bezoars. Arithmancy is a byword, Astonomy is reduced to studying Jupiter's moons every year for like five years, and the rest is wand-waving and blood rituals that could've come from mass-produced, mass-marketed romance/horror novels for bored housewives. All of that overlaying an archetypical Savior story liberally sprinkled with pubescent politics and puppy romance. Heady stuff when you're twelve, I'm sure, but what on earth do older people get out of it?

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Mon Feb 19th, 2007 9:09pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness
For me it´s just harmless entertainment. I know about the shortcomings of the story but oddly enough they don´t bother me.

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Mon Feb 19th, 2007 9:39pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness
They don't bother me either because it's a children's book so I have different expectations for it then I do for an adult book. I started reading it because it reminded me of The Worst Witch series which I was obsessed with as a child. Of course the two series are very different in many ways and both hold a place among my favourite children's literature. I like J. K. Rowling's style of writing, the names she comes up with for characters and places and I love the world she's constructed and all the stuff that happens. I love the characters she's created, they're characters you want to read more about and find out what happens next to them. I can read the books again and again and never get bored of them. I'm hard pressed to choose a favourite book. The background history of magick isn't an important factor in this for me. Afterall if I want any kind of depth or accuracy with that stuff I'd read the relevant books, I wouldn't be reading a kid's book.

Assuming direct control...

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Mon Feb 19th, 2007 10:02pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness
They don't bother me either because it's a children's book so I have different expectations for it then I do for an adult book. I started reading it because it reminded me of The Worst Witch series which I was obsessed with as a child. Of course the two series are very different in many ways and both hold a place among my favourite children's literature. I like J. K. Rowling's style of writing, the names she comes up with for characters and places and I love the world she's constructed and all the stuff that happens. I love the characters she's created, they're characters you want to read more about and find out what happens next to them. I can read the books again and again and never get bored of them. I'm hard pressed to choose a favourite book. The background history of magick isn't an important factor in this for me. Afterall if I want any kind of depth or accuracy with that stuff I'd read the relevant books, I wouldn't be reading a kid's book.

I guess my expectations of it were higher when it first came out. The thing is, a couple of sci-fi writers had already written about a very similar magical world coexisting with a "normal" one back in USSR in the 1960s. Their novels were primarily written as a vehicle for academic humor (the setting was a research university as opposed to a public school) and a satire on the stuffiness and incompetence of the Soviet bureacrats. But despite that, their world was integrated so well into reality and history that magic in it almost seemed like a natural extension of physics. (One of the writers was a professional astrophysicist.) So I guess when I picked up the first Potter book I was instinctively measuring it against the Soviet version, which was also marketed towards children, albeit of high-school age. (Its humor is very well-layered, so when you read it at 12, it's as funny as when you read it at 24, but on different levels.)

At some point my friends and I had an argument on LJ whether or not it was possible that Rowling got some of her ideas for the Potter universe from that book. It's not out of the realm of possibility, since a (very bad) translation has been available in Britain since the 70s. It was a fun discussion. We kept finding more and more parallels between the books.

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Gertrude Susanne


Member

Posted Wed Feb 21st, 2007 12:53pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness
I pre-ordered my copy at the local book store, only 2 minutes´ walk from where I live (actually, most shops and even work are not much further than 5 minutes away from where I live, now picture the size of the place I live in ). In fact, it is not even for me, because, well, I got stuck on about page 30 of the first volume :-// all those years ago and could not be bothered to pick up another HP book since then. As for audiobooks: not even the prospect of bathing in Mr Fry´s voice for hours on end could make HP more palatable for me… just does not seem to be my genre.

(Does Stephen actually read the books in their entirety?? Probably a silly question, but I am asking because a couple of weeks ago I went audiobook hunting in Vienna, specifically one read by Oskar Werner (Austrian actor, “Fahrenheit 451”), and found “Hunger” by Knut Hamsun on a CD of about 2 hours´ duration. The shop assistant tried to convince me that it was the entire book, but after I had had a look at the paperback which had 140 pages in tiny print I just could not help going back to that little so-and-so to tell him that not even Oskar Werner would have been able to read so fast as to get through that amount of pages within 2 hours! But I wish the era of audiobooks had begun at least three decades earlier to give OW a chance to do loads of them – he had such a beautiful and versatile voice (unfortunately he died more than 20 years ago in his early 60s)!

On the other hand, if HP gets children to read rather than watch the telly or play computer games incessantly then the advent of Harry Potter was a blessing (by the way, I read somewhere that one large book store will open some sort of helpline for those who fail to come to terms with the events to take place in the last volume, to provide counselling… can anyone confirm that please )

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Wed Feb 21st, 2007 1:58pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness

(Does Stephen actually read the books in their entirety??
Yes, as far as I know the audiobooks are unabridged.

(by the way, I read somewhere that one large book store will open some sort of helpline for those who fail to come to terms with the events to take place in the last volume, to provide counselling… can anyone confirm that please )

And another yes from me, I heard that, too. this is what the daily telegraph writes about it. Reminds me of the days when Take That split up and they had to install helplines for suicidal fans. I never know how to react to phenomenons like that. It's all very well to immerse onself into a story, but to completely lose your grip on reality, I don't know.

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Gertrude Susanne


Member

Posted Wed Feb 21st, 2007 3:19pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness

(Does Stephen actually read the books in their entirety??
Yes, as far as I know the audiobooks are unabridged.

[
And another yes from me, I heard that, too. this is what the daily telegraph writes about it. Reminds me of the days when Take That split up and they had to install helplines for suicidal fans. I never know how to react to phenomenons like that. It's all very well to immerse onself into a story, but to completely lose your grip on reality, I don't know.

Thanks for the confirmation and link, Soupy Twist (!) I also find it somewhat difficult to understand that some people lose grip on reality over a book, but who I am to judge? Apparently there will be help available to those who do need it! Reassuring.

The HP audiobooks are UNABRIDGED? Unbelievable! How long it must take to read out loud hundreds and hundreds of pages, endeavouring not to make any mistakes (which would make the whole process even lengthier), remembering all the different voices … The power to concentrate… the PATIENCE Remarkable... (that is the sort of dad you want to read you bedtime stories! You wake up hours later because you want a drink of water, only to find that daddy is still reading away merrily X-D – sorry :-// , I´m about to lose my mind over proofreading 30 pages of chemical compounds – but if Mr Fry can read HP unabridged, then I should take a leaf out of his book and return to my arylsulfanyls and arylsulfonyls … Must not grumble…. )

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Wed Feb 21st, 2007 3:44pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness

The HP audiobooks are UNABRIDGED? Unbelievable! How long it must take to read out loud hundreds and hundreds of pages, endeavouring not to make any mistakes (which would make the whole process even lengthier), remembering all the different voices … The power to concentrate… the PATIENCE Remarkable... (that is the sort of dad you want to read you bedtime stories! You wake up hours later because you want a drink of water, only to find that daddy is still reading away merrily X-D – sorry :-// , I´m about to lose my mind over proofreading 30 pages of chemical compounds – but if Mr Fry can read HP unabridged, then I should take a leaf out of his book and return to my arylsulfanyls and arylsulfonyls … Must not grumble…. )

Yes, reading, or I should say 'acting' an audiobook is quite an achievement. Though I don't know how many edits they make per chapter, i.e. how much text he has to read at one stretch. The publishing house that I have written a book for wants to publish it as an audiobook come autumn. I won't read it myself (thank god) but it's my job now to provide an abriged manuscript. 65,000 characters take about 70 to 75 minutes to read. With Rowling's thick volumes the recording must take ages.

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Wed Feb 21st, 2007 8:04pm Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness
I would have expected the HP audiobooks to be unabridged. They contain so many discs and are so expensive, which is why I haven't bought even one yet. I've always wondered how long he spends reading sections. Like does he read a chapter at a time or is that too long? I've been wondering the same thing about Pocoyo. Does he do it all in one go? Episodes are only short I know but then it took him 18 minutes to record his beat in MirrorMask and he was only in it for a bit.

Assuming direct control...

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Gertrude Susanne


Member

Posted Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 8:40am Post subject: Potterian Pensiveness
[quote="Soupy Twist
The publishing house that I have written a book for wants to publish it as an audiobook come autumn. I won't read it myself (thank god) but it's my job now to provide an abriged manuscript. 65,000 characters take about 70 to 75 minutes to read. [/quote]

You have written a book, how exciting Is this the one you mentioned in the other thread, i.e. about the history of Christian orders? Do you find it very difficult to take out "junks of text" ? ( you must be feeling like Mozart when he was criticised for using "too many notes" in Die Entführung aus dem Serail ) to "deflate" it to 65.000 characters ?
What are the other books about? But I guess this is the wrong thread...

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