Sunday, December 15, 2013

Storyteller vs Writer

To make my cardio on the gym treadmill less tedious, I am listening to the whole Harry Potter series. I am very familiar with and fond of the movies, so I thought I'd see how the two genres differ.

Two notes.

JK Rowling is a much better storyteller than she is a writer. She finds it hard to describe a feeling, emotional or physical, without some over-the-top simile. People are never just angry. They are overcome with a rage like red hot lava gushing up from the pit of their bellies. It gets almost funny after a while.

All the characters are less likeable in print than they are on screen. The three cute kids in the movie do not match the unappealing trio in the book. Harry is a far more flawed hero: full of doubt, extremely short of temper and likely to distrust and resent people who are trying to do him good.
His relationship to Dumbledore in the book is stormy and testy. Ron is bipolar. And Hermione Granger is an insufferable prig for about 90% of the time. Ginny Weasley, however, is a far more interesting and engaging character than her mannikin on the screen, with Harry's attraction to her much more developed.

Well, back to the treadmill.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you finished the books? In hindsight, it's bewildering that Ron and Hermione ended up together with their constant bickering. The number of times Ron reduced Hermione to tears is high, to say the least. Hermione levels out in the later books, I think, more willing to bend and break the rules as necessary. She is definitely a conceited brat at times early on. Your observation about Ron is interesting, what bipolar symptoms does he display? I chalked his temper up to stress or anxiety or something, living in a family where he had a lot of pressure to succeed and being in an environment where a lot of explosive anger was being constantly displayed, even if it wasn't directed at him. All in all, perhaps a more cynical portrayal of the id/ego/superego than the one shown in the movie.

Yes, Ginny is definitely more developed in the books, she actually contributes to the plot. And Harry's feelings for her actually have a build-up, rather than, "I'm suddenly attracted to my best friend's sister." Harry/Hermione, Harry/Luna, or Harry/Cho were much more interesting in the movies than Harry/Ginny. I also read a little latent Oedipal attractions on Harry's part into his feelings for Ginny, on accounts of her resembling Lily in both appearance and personality. Am I wrong?

-Sean

DrAndroSF said...

Into the last volume.

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