Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Top 7: "Harry Potter" Books

With the release of the final Harry Potter movie coming up, I've decided to run through the books upon which the movies are based, and rank them from my least favorite, to the book that I think is J.K. Rowling's number 1 literary masterpiece. As it is, all seven of these books are literary masterpieces, and in order to truly appreciate any individual tome, one must read all of the books, however as a fan who has opinions like anyone else, I have my personal favorite moments from the series, therefore this list of the Top 7 Harry Potter books! What is my favorite? Read on to find out:

7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

This was the book that started it all. While it is still one of the more inventive books ever written, the concept is greater than the prose. J.K. Rowling's writing still had a ways to go in terms of creating visuals in the minds of her readers with descriptive text. Regardless, the characters jump off the page, and the concept kicked off the series. Fantastic, but there are more enjoyable reads to come later in the series.

6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

This was when the books started to get longer and more adult, as teenage angst started to build up through the series. There are more allusions to death in this installment than perhaps any other entry in the series, and in terms of character development and richness of symbolism, this is one of the finer entries in Rowling's catalogue, but the story sacrificed the forwardness of plot and sense of adventure from the first two books for a more exploratory look at Harry and his past. Great, but nothing that really makes this one a good stand alone read.

5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The attention to detail is dizzying, as this may be Rowling's most fleshed out entry in the Potter series. If any fault comes with this tome, is simply that it is the longest of all of the books. There is a ton of filler, that is colorful like all of Rowling's writing, but does not have any forward momentum. When it takes nearly 300 pages to get into the new school year at Hogwarts, you know it's gonna be a long ride. Superb, but extremely lengthy.

4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Rowling's prose is livelier than in the first installment, she paints better pictures in the mind's eye of the readers through great descriptions, and also crafts an engaging and brisk mystery adventure tale that is as captivating and lively as they come. This is a great, fairly fast read, but looking back at the series as a whole, this is the installment that adds the least to the overall series in terms of character.

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The finale to any great series always winds up playing like a greatest hits album, reinvigorating why you, the reader, loved these stories to begin with. While the middle portions of the story drag, when all of the questions are answered in such a satisfyingly, emotional way, there is no way to not find this finale a must read.

2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The last hurrah at Hogwarts, since the trio do not return to the school in book seven, so this book kind of plays like "Fast Times at Hogwarts High" or something of the sort. The most comedic entry in the series, most romantic, and dare I say it, the most mysterious as the book also delves into Voldemort's past more so than any other installment. With a gut wrenching climax where Dumbedore falls to his death, this 650 page tome flies through your fingertips with no downtime in terms of entertainment.

1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The best of the series by far. This was Rowling at the top of her game. The comedy is crisp and precise. The moments of teenage angst are true. The mystery is clammy hand inducing suspense. And the sense of action and adventure, and just overall stakes, were never higher. This was also the first book over 700 pages long, the first novel that Rowling actually showed the full, worldwide expanse of the wizarding world beyond England, and the first Harry Potter book to end on a downer. Goblet of Fire is Rowling's greatest of her seven masterpieces and the most seminal moment of all seven books when Voldemort finally returns.

So that's it! Tune in Thursday as I rank the seven Harry Potter movies from my least favorite, to my favorite.

1 comment:

  1. I am really big fan of Harry Potter movies and I read all the books of Harry Potter series also. I like all the parts of Harry Potter but my personal favorite is Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince. These movies are superb. I just love them.