When one of the cable channels aired a biopic of J.K. Rowling, it seemed a good time to revisit the first Harry Potter. I have the complete set on my bookshelf, and it’s comforting to know that a single mother down on her luck was able to imagine a world of wizards and magic that would make a better place. Maybe it helps to be angry and tired to tap into words that are consoling.
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you…Ray Bradbury
Rowling was talented and imaginative and lucky. Other books have offered entrance into a magical world – sometimes wizards – but none had the following of Harry Potter. Rick Riordan’s superheroes series comes close in popularity, but Percy doesn’t seem to have the same appeal to adults as Harry.
Rowling cleverly gave the reader installments that teased into an excitement of expectation. What would happen to Harry in the next book? And the formula worked well – a poor orphan who was relegated to an unloving home, only to find himself a prince of the extraordinary. Doesn’t every little girl and boy – and adult – dream of being discovered and powerful?