The Sunday Trumpet
I'll probably hear it from Atilla The Mom on this one but I'm going to stray from the typical Gasbag protocol. You see we usually review a trashy romance novel, b-rated movie or some other sort of pop culture drivel. However I don't have much of a stomach for that sort of thing and, since I'm a slow reader, I can't justify spending time on a pointless book just to make fun of it. So at the risk of drawing the ire of nearly everyone on the planet, including FrankenKrsitin, I'm going to attack a sacred cow or more accurately, an excessive windbag (no, not Oprah).
The book I chose to discuss is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Now don't get me wrong, I like Harry Potter, I really do. And since I figured 50 bazillion people couldn't all be wrong, I dove in with a mix of excitement and anticipation. However, by the time I finished slogging my way though all 734 pages of the Goblet of Fire I found myself screaming at the top of my lungs, "GOOD LORD WOMAN, GET AN EDITOR!" I mean really, if you're going to write a book that long, and expect us to remain interested, you had better have damn good reason. Not so with this one.
Oh, I know, were all hooked on your little Harry Potter empire and we dutifully show our reverence by purchasing every last piece of snot from Harry Potter Inc. But let's be honest here, do you really think these prepubescent imps and their magical little friends warrant 734 pages? Were not talking Tolstoy here, it's friggin' Tolkien Lite!! Either Ms. Rowling is under the influence of an incredibly strong babbling charm or she has lost control of her Quick Quotes Quill. Either way this book is in desperate need of a once-over with the Reducio spell.
If I were an editor here is a partial list of the suggestions I would make:
*Sure we're all impressed by how you invented Quidditch and we understand that need to introduce Krum and set him up as a main character, but do we really need to devote a quarter of the book to the World Cup? I'm as much a sports fan as the next person but even I was hoping for a rainout so we could just move on already.
*Yes, Dobby was essential to The Chamber of Secrets and it is realistic that to assume that he and the rest of the elves would play some sort of minor role through the subsequent books, but what the hell is the nonsense with SPEW? First of all, it's just stupid and has absolutely nothing to do with the plot. If your trying to establish it as a subplot at least have the decency to wrap it up at the end of the book. SPEW is introduced as another of Hermione's little crusades (which, by the way, leaves her coming off as more histrionic than sympathetic) and then...nothing. It's as if that part of the story is completely forgotten. Make a decision, either in or out - I say out.
*Dispense with the Scooby Doo ending. If nothing else, J.K. Rowling has demonstrated an incredible imagination and has created a wonderfully fanciful world filled with some of the most creative people, places and creatures. So for all her creative genius are we really supposed to believe that the best she can come up with for and ending is to have them remove the villain's disguise and force him to spill his guts once he is finally captured? I almost thought I saw Shaggy, Scooby and the gang in reflected in Foe-Glass. The only thing was missing was to make Barty Crouch Jr.'s last words, "I would have made it too if it weren't for you meddling kids!" Surely you can do better than that.
*If your going to steal from your literally influences, at least don't make it so obvious. When it comes to the classics I'm not terribly well read but even I can spot Tolkien, Dickens and Shakespeare when I see it.
As I've said I do like Harry Potter and I'm committed to reading the rest. Plus FrankenKristin assures me that The Order of the Phoenix is better. But I'm still skeptical.
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