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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Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts, who joined an upstart NPR in 1978 and left an indelible imprint on the growing network with her coverage of Washington politics before later going to ABC News, has died. She was 75.
Roberts died Tuesday because of complications from breast cancer, according to a family statement.
A bestselling author and Emmy Award winner, Roberts was one of NPR's most recognizable voices and is considered one of a handful of pioneering female journalists — along with Nina Totenberg, Linda Wertheimer and Susan Stamberg — who helped shape the public broadcaster's sound and culture at a time when few women held prominent roles in journalism.
Indie press Galley Beggar has warned of the impact a no-deal Brexit could have on publishing after learning of "crazy" government requirements on distribution and warned it could put smaller publishers out of business.
The Norwich-based independent, which recently scored a Booker Prize nomination with Lucy Ellmann's Ducks, Newburyport, fears smaller publishers could be put out of business over legal uncertainty around Brexit.
Galley Beggar founder Sam Jordison outlined concerns around UK government and Publishers' Association guidance, and in particular government guidance suggesting that publishers will need to state country of origin or International Organization of Standardization (ISO) codes for their inventory. The government published its Yellowhammer contingency plan which details "worst case" scenarios for a no-deal Brexit last week. The document warned of channel crossing delays and disrupted trade across the Irish border...
... "We're terrified, we are genuinely terrified. There's all kinds of other reasons to object to Brexit but from a practical point of view it's going to completely screw us. The main concern is that this is potentially going to put people out of business. Not even potentially, it is going to put people out of business. Our margins are small so rising costs are already a nightmare – that's only going to get worse. Paper, transport are going to go up – even with a deal that stuff is problematic." ...
Elena Ferrante, the Italian author whose Neapolitan novels became a global phenomenon, is to publish a new book in Italy on 7 November – her first novel in four years.
Bestselling author Jojo Moyes has called on the government and the publishing industry to do more about the UK's "shameful" adult literacy record. In 2018, Moyes, writer of global hits including Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind, donated three years of funding to charity the Reading Agency for its Quick Reads scheme, saving it from closure when its previous sponsorship ran out.
While she was "proud to be able to help out as a private individual", she is furious at what she calls governmental and industry failure to understand the importance of Quick Reads.
Dorothea Benton Frank, author of 20 novels set in the Charleston area and a beloved figure who for years split her time between Sullivan's Island and the New York City area, died Monday evening after a brief illness. She was 67.
Amazon has broken the worldwide embargo on Margaret Atwood's The Testaments (Nan A. Talese), which isn't supposed to go on sale until next Tuesday, September 10, inadvertently shipping about 800 copies to customers. This has infuriated indies, led to early reviews of the book around the world--revealing basic elements, and caused exclusive excerpts to be published earlier than planned. Altogether, the embargo violation stained the release of one of the biggest books of the fall season, Atwood's long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid's Tale.
In response to the situation, publisher Penguin Random House issued this statement: "A very small number of copies of Margaret Atwood's The Testaments were distributed early due to a retailer error which has now been rectified.... Not naming Amazon and attributing the problem to "a retailer error" irritated many indie booksellers for a number of reasons: some pointed out that if their stores had sold copies of the book early, it would be considered an embargo violation and likely lead to punishments, such as not receiving embargoed books ahead of publication date in the future. Many speculated PRH will not do anything of the sort with Amazon.
In a series of tweets, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, Kan., succinctly outlined the problem:
"It should come as no surprise that a certain huge online retailer is selling this book very close to our cost; if we sold it at their price we'd make $1.73 per copy. We've discussed before how this is unfair, and how we deal with it.
But now, not only is the huge online retailer selling it for a price we can't compete with, but they shipped out copies a week early. This increases the likelihood that someone who got it early uploads a bootleg copy online, cutting into sales for everyone.
It also gave de facto permission to places like the New York Times and NPR to publish spoiler-heavy reviews, which deflates the mysterious buzz about what's in the book. It's likely that less mystery means less vital first-week sales for everyone. I hope we're wrong."
Chanel Miller was known by the pseudonym Emily Doe at the trial of Stanford student Brock Turner, who was sentenced to six months in county jail for the assault. The sentence caused widespread anger given that Turner could have been jailed for up to 14 years for the crime. Many believed Turner had been given a lenient sentence because he was a white athlete from a prominent university, Stanford. Turner repeatedly claimed alcohol was to blame and that the encounter was consensual, while his father called the attack "20 minutes of action".
Miller is now releasing a memoir, Know My Name, which her publisher says will "change the way we think about sexual assault forever". Miller's 7,000-word statement at the trial garnered millions of views around the world when it was published online in 2016. She will also appear on CBS's 60 Minutes later this month and extracts from the interview, including Miller reading the statement, have been released this week.
Hundreds of readers in the US have received early copies of Margaret Atwood's heavily embargoed follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale, The Testaments, after copies were shipped out early by Amazon.
Security around the novel had been as tight as anything mounted for JK Rowling or Dan Brown's blockbuster releases – the judges for the Booker prize, who shortlisted The Testaments for the award on Wednesday, were warned they would be held liable if their watermarked copies leaked. But since Tuesday, readers have been posting images on Twitter of their freshly delivered copies, a week before the novel's official release on 10 September.
And The Guardian have just published an (officially approved) excerpt--see link below:
The shortlist for The Booker Prize, the U.K.'s top prize for fiction, has been announced. The list includes two former winners, Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie--even though Atwood's book doesn't publish until next week:
Margaret Atwood (Canada), The Testaments (Vintage, Chatto & Windus)
Lucy Ellmann (U.S./U.K.), Ducks, Newburyport (Galley Beggar Press)
Bernardine Evaristo (U.K.), Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton)
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) An Orchestra of Minorities (Little Brown)
Salman Rushdie (U.K./India) Quichotte (Jonathan Cape)
Elif Shafak (U.K./Turkey) 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World (Viking)
Reese Witherspoon has named Lara Prescott's debut novel The Secrets We Kept as her September book club choice. This thrilling historical fiction, which publishes on September 3, is inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to infiltrate the hearts and minds of Soviet Russia with the greatest love story of the twentieth century: Doctor Zhivago. The Secrets We Kept is also a great hit with the 20 BookBrowse members who reviewed it for our First Impressions program--rating it a stellar 4.7 stars!