Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Book three for the year.

How many of you will watch a movie before reading the book? I will, but just about every time I’m disappointed. You can’t tell me Kubrick’s The Shining is better than King’s. Well I guess you could, but I’m going to argue with you the entire time. This is why I haven’t watched any of the Harry Potter movies yet.

Don’t get me wrong, I never really intended to read them before my daughter fell in love with the stories, but I never watched the movies because they didn’t look all that interesting to me. Now that I’m working my way through the books I’m excited about watching the films with my wife and daughter who are ever so patiently waiting for me to finish.

Enough of that, though. Let’s get on with the book.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I had previously known of Dementors only from Michael Scott

There’s something about that cat and rat not getting along that seems out of place. That’s the feeling I had about half way through the book. Up till that point it was difficult to see where the plot was going. The set up for the climax in TPA is a lot slower than in the first two books. Harry and friends do their school thing at Hogwarts with peril remaining largely on the periphery. I suppose that’s where you want it in real life, but this is the wizarding world and I’d like a little action, thank you (Quidditch doesn’t count. I don’t watch soccer in real life and am only somewhat entertained by Harry’s skill as a seeker).

What one can see in the first half of the book is increasing tension between Ron and Hermione. It’s good to read too, as Harry’s problems of bullies and a neglectful family are getting a little tired. Given the age range I’d say love is in the air, but don’t spoil it for me.

In a bit of departure from the first two books TPA seems much more brooding and dark. Sure there are frighting elements from the beginning of the series, but the level of whimsy brightens through the gloom represented by you know who. It’s an excellent direction as the horror aspect of the story needs to advance as time goes on. They are wizards after all.

I may be generalizing here, but it seems like Harry would have a much easier time if he just followed the rules. This is likely a meta theme in the series. Harry breaks rules, gets into dangerous situations, and then is saved because of his popularity among the magic users in Britain. Seems oddly Bieberesque to me. Just once I’d like to see him fully accept the consequences of his actions. Maybe Malfoy has a point. Maybe Harry ought to be the Prisoner of Azkaban.

On the Shelf

I’m going to take a short break from Harry Potter in my light reading and check out Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen. My old roommate Brian used to read Hiaasen and talk about how terrific his books were. I’ll finally find out if he was right or not.

Is God Anti-gay?, Sam Allberry

The Jesus Way, Eugene H. Peterson

Native Tongue, Carl Hiaasen

Martin is the Preaching Minister at Glennville First Christian Church and 52% of the Two Bearded Preachers. Click here to listen to his podcast.