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June 19, 2003

Call me a muggle

Daniel Radosh

but this whole thing about not wanting to "spoil the surprise" of the new Harry Potter book only proves that HP is less and less about literature (I like the books, except for Goblet of Fire) and increasingly about hype. After all, if HP loses value because readers might hear something about it, doesn't that give it a shelf life of about a week? Are the Narnia books or Lloyd Alexander or Wizard of Earthsea "spoiled" for kids, because the plots aren't a big secret? Of course not, but with Harry, the focus is now all on the big reveal -- and not on the followthrough (which is why after all the hype over GoF, most people never figured out how crappy it was). That means there's a good chance that these books, unlike the classics Rowling cribs from, won't be passed down from generation to generation.

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