Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - A Review
If writing was a religion, it shall be easy to deem 'Harry Potter and the half-blood prince' as the penultimate blasphemy, an utmost sacrilege. A book that discredits its own magnitude, it is a joke in the Queens' English that bravely illustrates the argument for its painful ineptitude.
J.K. Rowling seems to have found the ostentatious airs of a billion dollar grandeur luxurious and tempting, and so overtly has this affected her capability as an author that after scraping off powerful authoritative fictional successes like "The order of the phoenix" and "The Goblet of Fire", she has downgraded her own standards of preferential fiction. "Harry Potter and the half-blood prince", ironically speaking, lacks the magic.
Rowling underscores maturity in her characters and this maturity seems to accompany an intricate and moodily interesting loss of realism. Or is it artistic failure? The dialogues come out as surrealistic even for a surrealistic world like Hogwarts. The book seems to be dependant more on the ratio of its popularity versus its compatibility as a novel. It lacks the individual integrity that places a novel in conjunction with what authors relate to as a total mortality in script; the aggressiveness and energy is averted thoroughly and Rowling seems to be postponing the ideas or concocting ideas that postpone the entire strength of the story-line to what we might perceive will be the subsequent edition. The book seems to be a mere pillar poising the life and breath of the seventh Potter venture. It fails to rejuvenate interest stirred by the earlier specimens, and has more of an exhausted inclination to incite sheer pity for a wasted six hundred pages and a gracious lot of unlimbered bucks.
The book is a disappointment in stages. Anti-climax seems to be the understatement for Rowling's ability. A suspense that harbored on for the past five books seems to have lost the vigor, discipline and focus in the recent book; spontaneity against extreme mystery and the urged justice to delineate a normal hero in paranormal tribulations consolidates what Rowling has in mind for a novel that clearly banks on endless monotony, plot defiance, theme-oriented experimentation, inexcusable character shortcomings, etc. Rowling seems to be playing under her limitations. She seems to be enjoying it, too.
As an author, fictional intercourse with a tension of idiosyncratic subjectivity, has never been Rowling's foremost area of expertise, but the novel convincingly projects the fact that six books old, Rowling still is astonishingly inept, even amateurish. Under the brutal alibi of 'Children's Literature', which the current novel typically and leisurely defies with tinges of what one might term minor profanity, the book passes clear of some very feasible errors in inventive description, a great mishandling of inklings of Gothic and the author's obvious paranoia.
Part Hardy Boys, part Mills and Boons, the gall of the novel surpasses a proper coherency. It works inside a sphere, a particular boundary of solid circumstances supported by bleak and irresistibly weak reasoning; Rowling plays 'safe' with a mass repetition of tried and hackneyed formulas, grossly iterating some of her very own. A prudery, least expected in a narrative of epic proportions.
Also, in an attempt to amuse, a slight assortment of new characters and new elements come into the picture - Rowling's classic technique of steady plot expansion - which again, seem to be hollow and unworthy, adding to a menacing negativity; the attempt seems to be directed at elevating the heroism, proof of her undying motive to sensationalize an ensuing successor to the series.
The book seems more or less a rape of a grand concept and verily, an atrocious, dismaying member of a so far satisfying pedigree. Readers are forewarned to anticipate still more pessimistically.
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Fox 2000 has acquired the best-selling novel "Where the Crawdads Sing" and has tapped Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine to produce a feature film adaptation.
Witherspoon's involvement is not a great surprise. The Oscar winner has been a champion of the book, selecting it for inclusion in her Reese's Book Club.
An ongoing crisis in the Brazilian publishing market "that combined steady declines in the price of books with rising inflation" is raising concerns about the future of the book trade in the country, the Guardian reported. Book chain Saraiva, which had announced the closure of 20 stores in October, said late last month that it was filing for bankruptcy protection. Rival chain Cultura has also filed a reorganization plan to avoid bankruptcy. Brazil is in the midst of its worst recession in decades, and the recent election of far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro as the country's next president is "sending ripples of fear through the country's cultural community."
Daniel T. Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia, compares audio books to print books and concludes that each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior:
... listening to a book club selection is not cheating. It's not even cheating to listen while you're at your child's soccer game (at least not as far as the book is concerned). You'll just get different things out of the experience. And different books invite different ways that you want to read them: As the audio format grows more popular, authors are writing more works specifically meant to be heard.
Our richest experiences will come not from treating print and audio interchangeably, but from understanding the differences between them and figuring out how to use them to our advantage - all in the service of hearing what writers are actually trying to tell us.
The UK publishing trade magazine, The Bookseller reports on authors' concerns about the effects of Brexit on the UK publishing industry:
Novelist Joanna Trollope has warned that Theresa May's government will "fatally undermine the whole UK publishing industry" if it fails to protect in law the UK position on exhaustion rights ahead of a major Brexit vote next week.
Trollope joined fellow authors Linda Grant and Joanne Harris to urge the government to ensure the UK's reputation as a world leader in culture and creativity is preserved after Brexit.
The authors were speaking out in support of calls from the Society of Authors (SoA), published in a new briefing, that politicians must protect free movement, copyright and trade while warning the sector is "not to be used as a bargaining chip in future negotiations"...
The Strand Bookstore in New York City is asking its many customers to attend a public hearing on Tuesday morning morning to help the store "make a case against landmark status" for its store at 826-828 Broadway. The bookstore is concerned that, if the building is given landmark status, "for every repair and every upgrade, the Strand would have to go through the slow bureaucracy of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which adds to the expenses to keep the Strand alive.... The Strand currently runs on thin margins as a bookseller and retailer in New York City, fighting to survive in the era of Amazon. We have over 230 employees--most whom are unionized--and unlike large online retailers (like Amazon), have never asked or received tax breaks or other economic assistance to insure business profitability."
Ironically, it seems that the move to give the building landmark status is in response to the many new tech hubs that are being built in the area. And so, "in a trade-off, the Strand and a few other buildings along Broadway are now being calendared for landmarking."
The Literary Review has announced an all-male shortlist for that least-coveted of literary prizes, the Bad sex in fiction award.
Haruki Murakami, often named as a contender for the Nobel prize, makes the cut for passages from his latest novel Killing Commendatore ... The controversial US novelist James Frey was selected for a scene in his novel Katerina described by judges as "almost like wish fulfilment" ... continued
In the wake of increasing controversy over the naming of bestselling mystery author Linda Fairstein as one of next year's Grand Master Edgar recipients, Mystery Writers of America has withdrawn the award. Tuesday's announcement had sparked numerous protests on social media and prompted MWA to respond by saying it took the objections seriously and would reexamine the decision. The focus of the protests is Fairstein's role as a member of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in 1989's Central Park Jogger case, which resulted in the wrongful imprisonment for years of five minority teenagers.
The New York Times has an extensive and moving interview with Anna Burns, who won this year's Man Booker Prize for her novel, Milkman which will be published in the USA on December 4:
Burns is one of the more surprising recent winners of the Booker, one of literature's biggest awards. Milkman was this year's outsider, up against Richard Powers' ecological epic The Overstory and Esi Edugyan's heralded slavery-era Washington Black, among others. It was also labeled an "experimental novel" because its characters are nameless and its paragraphs sometimes run for several pages. Her victory provoked think pieces about the "bold choice."
"I don't understand," said Burns, when asked why it had picked up such an awkward label. "Is it the whole nameless thing? Is it really difficult? The book just didn't want names." (The tag does not seem to have put many off buying it. Faber, her British publisher, has sold over 350,000 copies so far...
Netflix will create an original animated series of Roald Dahl stories including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and The Twits.
"ald Dahl stories have long inspired award-winning feature films and stage productions," Netflix said in its announcement. "But now, for the first time, Netflix will bring together the highest quality creative, visual, and writing teams to extend the stories in this first-of-its-kind slate of premium animated event series and specials for audiences of all ages and for families to enjoy together."
Following two years in which Margaret Atwood's classic dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale saw a skyrocketing in readership and new cultural relevance, both on television and in society at large, the author has announced a sequel.
The Testaments, set 15 years after the final scene of The Handmaid's Tale, will be published on September 10, 2019, by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, with an announced first printing of 500,000 copies.