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and the earlier ones on more than a few occasions – kids like watching and rewatching so I am more than familiar ...
on 24 October 2015
It is very hard to review a book when you come to it with so much familiarity that it is hard to look just at the written word. Therefore I feel as though my three star review might not be as fair as it might be, while at the same time I cannot help but think that taken in context it is fair enough.
It has taken a long time for friends and family to badger me into reading the Harry Potter books, but it is not something that can be avoided – I’ve seen the films, and the earlier ones on more than a few occasions – kids like watching and rewatching so I am more than familiar with the story before I even picked up the Chamber of Secrets.
And herby lies the problem. I know what is going to happen before it does, when I read the setpieces I’ve already seen them countless times and it is the images from the movies that fill my head. And I believe that in this instance, the film is superior to the book.
I feel that the book is one of the smaller ones of the series and the director and writers felt the need to fill it out a little bit more than originally shown in the text. The result was not too different added more excitement to some of the action scenes. Of course they are scenes that probably work better on the screen, yet show something lacking in the novel.
It also starts with a walloping great recap of Harry Potter and his past, the Dursley’s hatred of magic and wizards, and his first year at Hogwarts. These are all things that are not needed, anyone reading the book has almost certainly read its predecessor and does not need a chapter of clumsy exposition before the true adventure begins.
There is though, something pure and magical at the heart of the story, the very thing that has made the Potter series such a success. It is easy to say that I feel the film is better than the book, but it also has to remembered without the novel there never would have been a movie.
I’m pretty sure as the series progresses and the books get bigger the trend will reverse itself, and there will be more on the printed page than made it to the screen.
I promised those that did the badgering that I would read the first book, and made no such promise about future books, but on the strength of this I am just about prepared to give the third one a try.