Monday, July 23, 2007

Potter's Field Day


from John James Audubon's The Birds of America,

Amsterdam Edition (1971).

Since I have a constitutional distrust of crowds, the whole mania bit, and no deep need to be part of an Event, I'll wait to acquire a copy of the last Harry Potter book.

And reading about plot points won't destroy my pleasure at the conclusion to the series in the slightest.

While I was delighted with the tale of Rowlings' rise from starving single mom to icon state and thought the first book a delicious set-up, it wasn't really until the second book that I became thoroughly entranced and found a deep and secret need satisfied.

You see - next to pink, plastic flamingoes and winking, jigging little green leprachauns - I despise those cutsey, grinning garden gnomes.

My fingers twitch convulsively when I come upon them, smirking from under someone's hosta plants or perched beside front walks.

And in the second of the Potter series, Harry helps his friend Ron deal with gnomish infestations by grabbing the little buggers by the heels, swinging them round and round, and letting fly.

Colour me beautific.

I have so wanted to do that.

34 comments:

Steve G said...

i have read one of the books and seen two of the movies. I can understand the enjoyment the young, and a few older folks, get out of the series.

Bernita said...

They are just - fun, Steve!

Jaye Wells said...

I will read these books when Spawn is old enough. I bought a set of the first four and will pick up the rest in time. Until then, I'm ignoring the bandwagon. Her story is pretty amazing though.

Demon Hunter said...

I have not read any books in the series, but I LOVE what it does for children---I love it when children read! I will eventually read them, though.

Bernita said...

And some of the names are pure genius, Jaye. I mean "Fluffy" (!) for the huge, slavering, three-headed dog?

Definitely a classic, my Demon.

Ric said...

As a Potter geek, turned on by my children, to the point of spearheading the drive to include the books in our local school supplemental reading over the hysterical objection of neighborhood churches, couldn't wait to get the last one read.

The story, the imagination, the fun (aptly said, Bernita).

But the real joy was watching my middle child get turned on to reading. He devoured the first books and then moved quickly on to Tolkein, Wilson, and hasn't stopped.

Even if you don't like the story, don't like the hysteria, Ms. Rowling has singlehandedly created a generation of readers - and, as writers, we owe her much.

Bernita said...

Good for you, Ric!
I had forgotten that rabid nonsense about the Potter books.
As you say, whether we write YA or not, we owe her much.

Danny Tagalog said...

I think it's a fun series and Rowling is a great influence - railing against celebrity culture and getting children to read read read.

But I couldn't get past book two. Will do one day - before the little one gets into it.

No contest vs. The Hobbit though.

raine said...

Have not read any of the books, but agree that her personal saga is certainly inspiring--and anyone who can get kids to read deserves all the credit in the world.

And LMAO at your reaction to the gnomes, Bernita!
Now I have this image of you tiptoeing through the neighborhood gardens at night, relentlessly dispatching the unsuspecting creatures one by one...

Charles Gramlich said...

A "gnomative" action for sure, Bernita.

Bernita said...

Thank you for dropping by, Danny.
Alas, Babylon, I never cared for the Hobbit.I don't really know why.

Raine, me as the Midnight Vandal? And I could blame the Potter books, too... Hmmmm...There's those resinous squirrels and racoons as well...
I loved Rowlings for that scene.

Ich dien, Charles...

Jamie Ford said...

How a gnome became the defacto spokes-thing for Travelocity, I'll never know.

My significant other reads the HP books to our kids when we're on roadtrips. It beats a DVD player any day.

kmfrontain said...

I'm so lucky. I'm in Quebec province. I'm in a very French area. Walmart still stocks the English release of Harry Potter novels on release day. No one lines up to get them. No one. Ha ha ha! So in I go and pick one up, from a pile that looks untouched, for a decent price that isn't the listed cover price and I'm out of the store in like...ten minutes because I messed about looking at something else before going to the checkout.

Anyhow, I haven't read it yet, but I was pleased to note, upon opening to a page in the last two thirds of the novel, the I was right about a certain incident/symbol meaning a certain thing for this novel. The book is still sitting on my dresser, pretty much untouched until I catch up on backlog editing.

takoda said...

LOL, Bernita! I never would have guessed...
Number gnomes taught my sons to count.

It's refreshing to hear your thoughts about HP. I haven't read any of them yet, but I really want to. Does the kid in HP grow up throughout the series? He looks like an overgrown 8 year old on the commercials (grin)

Bernita said...

I agree totally, Jamie.
Much better.

Heh, heh, Karen.
Will someone tell me if that little sucker, Malfoy, gets it? I hope so.

Yep, Chris, I'm guilty of specie prejudice.
And yes, he grows up.

Seeley deBorn said...

My garden has gargoyles, all of whom are present by invitation.

I haven't read any of the HP books. I prefer my fantasy and sci-fi in a graphic visual medium. Besides, The Boy is still a bit young for them; we're currently reading Where the Wild Things Are on a nightly basis.

I've never understood keeping plot points secret. It will not spoil the story for me to know before hand how it ends. (With the exception of Star Wars part 3....boring)

Jon M said...

The video game of the Chamber of Secrets has a gnome throwing game! I hope I haven't introduced a new destructive vice! :-)

Love the HP books, was at the release party at local book shop with eldest son, good fun!

spyscribbler said...

Then you'll be glad; those garden gnomes make a brief cameo in the Deathly Hallows!

I wish everyone would hurry and read it, so we can talk about it! Will you tell me/us the instant you finish it?

The Anti-Wife said...

I too have not yet read any of the books. However, if there is gnome bashing to be read, I may have to succumb. Do you think if I dressed all the slugs in my garden up as gnomes I could enlist your aid in dispatching them to another realm?

Bernita said...

Gargoyles, I appreciate, Seeley, though mine are all house-bound.
Never spoils my enjoyment either.

Children excited over books is a wonderful thing, Jon.

Delightful, Natasha!

Are you sure there's not a gnome around, AW? I wouldn't put it past the deceitful creatures to breed and introduce slugs.

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, I feel so left out these days. HP never did it for me and I gave up after book 2.

Bernita said...

Just left out?
You're lucky. I mentioned once I didn't care for Johnnie Depp and they almost formed a lynch party.

Gabriele C. said...

Well, I don't care for Johnny Depp, either.

And now I better stay away for a week until emotions have cooled down. :)

Dave said...

I enjoy the books and the movies. Harry Potter is a fun read, about 100 pages an hour for me. So I finished it on Saturday.

As for Garden Gnomes - with the deer, rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs and other wildlife, gardens around me are decorated with fences. Most mornings, I hear the hoof beats of deer behind my house. If I sit by my back windows long enough, they wander through the yard. Then there was that 7 ft black snake that wandered past yesterday.

And so I ask - we don't need no stinkin' gnomes, do we Bambi?

Bernita said...

We may find ourselves back to back and fighting for our lives, Gabriele.

I admire some garden decoration, Dave. I just don't happen to like painted gnomes.

LadyBronco said...

Bernita,
I can just imagine you in your garden at midnight, tennis racket a-swinging at those pesky gnomes shouting "Hi-YAH!" each time you nail one and send it flying.

*snort*

writtenwyrdd said...

Aw, I actually like those cheesy nordic gnomes! However, I am not going to fork out an outrageous amount of money for the really cool imported ones. I'll make my own out of concrete one of these days. Heh. But mind will be uncute and crude, like it's made of bark and stuff. Then I'll paint it with yogurt so it gets all mossy and hoary.

BTW, the last HP book was actually boring. WAAAAAY too much exposition. I read it yesterday afternoon. Nearly 800 pages. Kind of a waste of eight hours, but now I know that my favorite character (not Harry, Snape) was doing exactly what I thought he was doing...

But I totally agree that JKR has done more to turn kids on to reading over video games and the internet than any other writer. I hope some new writer comes along with another bit of lightning in a bottle to do it once more...

Read Inkheart by cornelia Funke (?) for another cool and hefty kid's book.

Bernita said...

A baseball bat, Lady B, a baseball bat.

A gnome au naturel, all mossy and lichened as you describe, Written, I would have no problem with at all.

Scott from Oregon said...

I have a friend who looks like a garden gnome who grew up. I should send him to your house to stand in your yard...

Bernita said...

Ummm.....do you hold his insurance policy, Scott?

takoda said...

I found Scott from Oregon's friend, and posted his picture on my blog. Also, today's blog is dedicated to Bernita (grin)

Cheers,

http://abenchpress.blogspot.com/

Bernita said...

Another reason not to like gnomes, I see...

Alan said...

I've read the last Potter book. I won't put any spoilers here, but Bernita, you can look forward to a satisfactory conclusion for the Malfoys!

And we all owe Rowling a debt of thanks, whether we are writers, parents or simply humans, for getting modern kids to read books again. A magnificent achievement on her part, regardless of how you may feel about the books.

Bernita said...

Delightful, Adam, thank you.
I have a crude and primitive sense of justice and really love it when bad guys get theirs.