Harry Potter is 19 years old, and as Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them comes closer to the cinemas, I am continuing to read the Harry Potter series (and watch the films) for the first time ever. 400 million copies of Harry Potter were sold worldwide and was a global success, yet I ignored the fad…until now.
Last month I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. This month…The Chamber of Secrets.
First of all: I watched the film of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and thought it was awful. It felt like a student film with great actors in it. Rupert Grint was a perfect choice for Ron as was Alan Rickman playing Snape (although I mentioned this in my first HP blog).
Also the first act of the film felt rushed compared to the novel.
Onto Chamber of Secrets, (SPOILERS COMING) the second in the Harry Potter series. It started with the introduction of Dobby who felt like a blend of Golum from Lord of the Rings and Yoda from Star Wars. The mystery of his warning to Harry to not go to Hogwarts was a brilliant way to get the pages turning early on, while Dobby’s lack of appearance in the novel as a whole kept me guessing to who or what he was.
The first half of Chamber of Secrets could not compete with the excitement and intrigue of the first half of Philosopher’s Stone. I did however enjoy Gilderoy Lockhart and his story line, from beginning to end. Lockhart was my number 1 choice for the mystery heir of Slytherin that opened the chamber.
Tom Riddle made Voldemort all the more allusive. Chamber of Secrets showed enough of Voldemort’s back story to keep me begging for more without revealing too much. The diary which Riddle uses to perform his dastardly deeds was an imaginative, fantastic narrative device which is what makes Harry Potter very enjoyable indeed.
The final climax felt a tad rushed with the basilisk defeated a little too easily for my liking. Dumbledore just magicking (if that’s a word) a sword to Harry at the end felt a little too contrived. Also Harry freeing Dobby (Dobby’s story book-ending the novel) confused me – it didn’t come across well when read.
Perhaps it will be clearer in the film, which I will watch next. Also, I am one chapter down with the next, and what many say is the best HP book, the Prisoner of Azkaban. I honestly have no idea what to expect. Is the prisoner, referenced in the title good or bad? Gary Oldman plays him in the film…that’s all I know. All I know.
Thanks for reading.