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Harry Potter Leaked Via Handheld Camera 427

Posted by kdawson
from the too-big-a-perimeter-to-patrol dept.
owlgorithm writes "Salon reports that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been leaked four days before it hits bookstores. It turns out that someone with access to the American edition of the book has taken a photograph of every one of the pages and made them available via bittorrent. Publishers may well be quaking in their boots, but in some places the quality is barely legible. On many pages the pirateer's hands are in the pictures with other pages needing a bit of Photoshopping just to make out the words. It appears many of the sites have been removing the content, naturally enough."
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Harry Potter Leaked Via Handheld Camera

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  • So? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Macgruder (127971) <chandies@williamson.gmail@com> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:47PM (#19895469)
    so? it's not like it's worth anything. Labor intensive, to boot
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:09PM (#19895687)
      Harry and Ron stepped through the fat woman painting into the Gryffindor common room in some consternation. "I hope Hermione hasn't passed us completely," Ron said. "I can't believe she took summer classes."
      "I would have if I could," Harry said, "but I didn't have the O.W.L.s to manage it. Remember, her last letter said she was going to go on to post-graduate work." They waved to familiar friends and began introducing themselves to the new students. Quite a lot of the younger students kept passing them and then looking back at Harry and stopping dead in surprise.
      After eight years, Harry was used to being stared at. The dark Lord Voldemort's attack on him as a baby left him a distinctive lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead, and the reputation of being the only person Voldemort couldn't kill outright did the rest, with some help from the reputation Harry had built for himself since. After discovering he was a wizard and could attend Hogwart's School of Wizardry, Harry had gotten wind of several of Voldemort's evil schemes and had thwarted them all. He had faced death, humiliation, basilisks, dragons, evil wizards, malicious spells, foul odors, the undead, and even the Inland Revenue and remained unscathed. Oddly enough, Voldemort's schemes seemed to be losing oomph, as if he could no longer pull together enough power to get a really good evil plan together. The last attempt had been to place Harry on a chain letter mailing list.
      As more and more students kept staring at him, Harry began to realize that there was a different class of attention. He recognized the star-gazers, the well-wishers, the groupies, the jealous, and the envious, but he kept noticing female students looking at him in a funny way, almost as if they were hungry. One pretty blonde student even went so far as to lick her lips and use her hand to smooth out the front of her robe, although Harry hadn't noticed any wrinkles..
      Ron noticed it as well. "Cor, Harry! You outta be able to get some serious schtank this year! And we're finally of legal age to learn Sex Magic, so you'll have an excuse and everything."
      "But why are they staring at me? Why not both of us?" Harry asked, blushing furiously.
      "Well, look at you. You've been playing tournament-class Quidditch for eight years, you're in fantastic shape, you've got the scar (chicks love scars, Harry), and Daniel Radcliffe turned out to be a hunk."
      "What?"
      "Look, there's Hermione!"
      Hermione Granger was standing at the bottom of the steps to the girls' dormitories. Harry and Ron dashed towards her and then stopped dead. Hermione had changed over the summer. The difference was so great that Harry was forced to realize that he hadn't really been paying attention the last few years. The mass of curly brown hair was still there, but it was arranged in an artful way to frame her face and curl over her shoulders. Her face was more angular, with high cheekbones and clear milky skin. The prominent front teeth were still there, but they only served to push her lips forward in a very interesting manner, making her look as if she was always just about to eat a strawberry. Her robes had changed as well; they fit quite a bit better, for one, and the neckline seemed much more fascinating than before. She had a thin leather belt around her waist, from which hung several small silk pouches and which incidentally accentuated her lush curves. Heavily orchestrated music began playing. "Hi Harry, hi Ron!" she called, and went to hug them both.
      "Um, cough, wow, Hermione, you're looking really, um, good," Ron blurted out. Harry just nodded and concentrated on trying to breathe normally.
      She preened. "Th
    • by mrbluze (1034940) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @10:45PM (#19896415) Journal

      Harry Potter Leaked Via Handheld Camera

      Harry Potter survived an electric shock to his wand recently after an unfortunate accident which occurred during an argument between himself and Hermione at the girl's toilets. Rumors are abounding as to the exact details of the incident, but it has been corroborated by the Ministry of Madness that a handheld PC running on high voltage cells was in the possession of Hermione at the time of the incident. Alternative accounts of the incident state that in fact Harry Potter was having a leak at the boys' toilets whilst holding hands with Hermione (hence 'hand held leak'), whereas others refer to Harry Potter misinterpreting Hermione's comment about his personal computer being rather small. "I am not pea sized!" he was quoted as saying, shortly before his wand exploded.


      Harry is currently recovering in bed and is due to have laser removal of a jagged tattoo that has developed on his lower body.

      (source: AFP/Routers)



  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:48PM (#19895481) Homepage Journal
    a single sale.
    • People dedicated enough to read the out of focus pictures will still buy a properly printed book too.

      The same really applies to those movie rip-offs shot with a video cam from the back row. Anybody buying a fuzzy/shaky rip-off will still buy a legal version later.

    • by compro01 (777531) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:07PM (#19895665)
      actually, i wouldn't be entirely surprised if this is intentional. take pics, deliberately making most of them (all the really interesting/important parts) illegible, put it on every torrent site from here to Des Moines, and build a little(?) more hype for the big release at midnight on the 21st.
      • by geekoid (135745)
        That's my thinking, PR Stunt.
        • by seaturnip (1068078) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:25PM (#19895797)

          By now the book has been distributed widely in preparation for the release, coming into contact with large numbers of people many of which are Harry Potter fans who don't take corporate secrecy particularly seriously. This was likely to leak just as critics' movie screeners, and published-submitted videogames commonly leak.

          There's no cause to believe the PR people did anything intentionally -- any marketer would have to be a total fool to attempt such a risky trick on a book guaranteed to sell millions anyway. If it backfired, his ass is fired.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by compro01 (777531)
            how would this backfire if the book is going to sell millions anyway?

            i highly doubt that someone will just download this and not bother with the book.

            there may not be any value added with a movie or a game (there might even be negative value added with DRM or copy protection), but a book is substantially better than these pictures.
            • by seaturnip (1068078) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @10:40PM (#19896383)
              The sales could be a few million less than predicted by analysts -- for whatever reason, it doesn't even have to be due to the leak -- then the publisher's stock would go down, and the guy who decided to implement the wildly unconventional marketing technique would be the scapegoat. Your conspiracy theory just doesn't jibe with the cover-your-ass mentality in large corporations.
            • by McFadden (809368) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @11:12PM (#19896607)

              how would this backfire if the book is going to sell millions anyway?
              Well it'll piss off a lot of fans (not that I'm one personally) when some prick decides to do a 'drive-by spoilering' outside a bookstore on launch night so that he can video it for youtube.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:18PM (#19895757)
      On the contrary,

      the publisher and author are claiming losses of 68 trillion US Dollars in US sales alone because of the leak.

      They figured the number based on the claims made by software and Music publishers over the past few years.

      Unfortunately now, every man woman and child in the UK will now have no electricity, heat, water or spicy food for 15 years because of this. The economic destruction that it will cause will probably bring the roman empire back to london, Make all beer taste sour, and disrupt peace in the middle east.

      See how damaging Piracy is!! SEE!

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Shakrai (717556)

        bring the roman empire back to london, Make all beer taste sour

        How is that different from British beer now? *duck*

    • by Trogre (513942)
      How do you figure? Are you seriously telling me that not one person is going to read this (badly) scanned work and, when the book proper comes out, decide they've "done that" and no longer want to own it?

      No one is going to attempt an OCR on it and upload it in Plucker format, or HTML? I read most of my books on my PDA these days...

  • heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:48PM (#19895489) Homepage Journal

    Crappy cam quality. Can't they telesync a book nowadays?
    Oh wait...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:49PM (#19895497)
    I mean... Harry Potter is Luke Skywalker's father?!
    • Damn you! You're supposed to put SPOILER in big letters or ROT13 your post when you give away the ending like that, you insensitive clod!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I double ROT13'd it, and I put SPOILER in spoiler tags, which must've made them invisible.
    • by gbobeck (926553) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:52PM (#19896005) Homepage Journal
      You must have read the UK version. From what I read, at the end Harry wakes up after being in a coma for 7 years and realizes that the past 6 books were all a dream.
    • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @01:10AM (#19897329) Homepage
      That raises an interesting question. Is the Vader thing still a spoiler?

      On the one hand, it's something like 20 years old.

      On the other hand, the Star Wars movies have become pop classics, and cultural icons. Thus, it is safe to assume that many people of each generation will want to watch them, and so we should try not to spoil it.

      But wait...what order will they watch them? If they start with TPM, then they are going to already know about Vader when they get to the "I am your father" scene. It is no spoiler.

      However, many of them will be lucky enough to have someone tell them the right way to watch the movies. (Start with ANH, and go forward until "I am your father", then gosub to TPM, AotC, and RotS to get the story behind Vader, then return and finish the series). It would be a spoiler for these people.

      I think the Harry Potter books and/or films might end up in a similar position.

      The rule should probably be that for any story (whether book, movie, comic, erotic flip book, whatever), you don't give away story details that might be spoilers unless you are sure you have an audience that already knows, or won't care.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eln (21727) *
        Sorry, but if a movie has been out for more than 3 or 4 months, you can't reasonably expect people to avoid mentioning spoilers about it. It cripples the conversation too much if you have to constantly be worried about "spoiling" a movie that's already out on DVD for someone. Seriously, if they really cared that much they probably would have seen it in the theatre.

        If you're the kind of person who finds it impossible to enjoy any movie if you know how it ends, I would suggest either seeing every movie on o
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bint (125997)
        However, many of them will be lucky enough to have someone tell them the right way to watch the movies. (Start with ANH, and go forward until "I am your father", then gosub to TPM, AotC, and RotS to get the story behind Vader, then return and finish the series). It would be a spoiler for these people.

        No, the right way is obviously not to watch TPM, AtoC and RotS at all. And live happily ever after.
  • The main problem... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:50PM (#19895505)
    On several sites that allow commenting, people are posting the spoilers. I've already had the book ruined for me unexpectedly :P (since it was a week before release)...
    • by lecithin (745575)
      So, somebody MADE you read the spoilers?
    • by nmb3000 (741169)
      On several sites that allow commenting, people are posting the spoilers. I've already had the book ruined for me unexpectedly

      Hell, that sucks. Although I haven't read the books but I'm trying to avoid spoilers. Really, I don't worry that much about explicit ones. Rather I am more concerned about subliminal spoilers. Yeah, the tinfoil hat is at full power.

      Don't worry about it I guess. In the end the result should be the same. Either you'll enjoy the book or you won't. Subliminal messages are what you want
    • by bfields (66644)

      I've already had the book ruined for me unexpectedly

      It won't be ruined. I think it's a bit of a myth that the feeling of suspense really has anything to do with not knowing a few small facts that are revealed at the end. I can't give a definition of suspense, but I know from experience that it's something you feel in pretty much the same way whether or not you've seen some spoilers, and even when you've read a book before.

      • by Ironica (124657) <pixel@NOspAM.boondock.org> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @11:25PM (#19896683) Journal

        It won't be ruined. I think it's a bit of a myth that the feeling of suspense really has anything to do with not knowing a few small facts that are revealed at the end. I can't give a definition of suspense, but I know from experience that it's something you feel in pretty much the same way whether or not you've seen some spoilers, and even when you've read a book before.

        Having something "spoiled" is not simply a matter of having the suspense taken away. Yes, you can still enjoy the story if you know how certain things are going to be... but you don't enjoy it *as much* as if you're figuring out things as you go along. Ever watch a movie or read a book a second time? Ever notice things you didn't notice before... certain foreshadowings, links, etc.? It's a different experience when you know what happens than when you don't.

        I accidentally got the books out of order in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy; read 2/3rds of the way through Blue Mars before I read Green Mars. Then, realizing the mistake, stopped Blue and read Green. It wasn't nearly as much fun, knowing how the war would turn out and who would die and who would get captured and have a personality transplant and whatnot. (It's not nearly as interesting as it sounds; I wish I had those dozens of hours I spent slogging through the series back.) Reading the remainder of Blue Mars was much more diverting (the first 2/3rds was sort of confusing, for obvious reasons).

        In fact, my husband and I have started avoiding trailers for much-anticipated movies, because even that spoils our enjoyment some. There are some movies or books that are better if you "know what to expect," but most of my favorite media experiences have been when I went in cold, knowing nothing about what to expect or what would happen.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Khomar (529552)

          In fact, my husband and I have started avoiding trailers for much-anticipated movies, because even that spoils our enjoyment some.

          An example of a good trailer was the original Matrix trailer. It showed a little bit of action and the Gothic look and ended with the enigmatic "Unfortunately, I can't tell you what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." Awesome. I will never forget the first time I saw the film in wonder at the things that Trinity was doing as she fled the cops or the shock of the

  • Can someone who has it please tell me if it is suitable for OCR?
    • by geekoid (135745)
      Nope, not at all; which is why I think it's a PR stunt.

    • by timeOday (582209)

      Can someone who has it please tell me if it is suitable for OCR?
      What would be the point? Just to reduce the file size?
  • by lecithin (745575) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:53PM (#19895545)
    I really doubt it. When this stuff happens the media reports it. that is advertising.

    And for you folks that read this and/or the spoilers, too bad. You could have closed your eyes.
  • Great marketing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by future assassin (639396) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:54PM (#19895551) Homepage
    This could be a marketing strategy. Just make sure the readable pages don't expose much of the story and make the unreadable pages contain bits of juicy writing. Just enough to make book worms salivate for more Potter action.

    I should pattent this method of advertising.
    • by lecithin (745575)
      I agree.

      Won't it be funny when we find out that the *WRONG BOOK* was leaked?

      Honeypot???

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @06:58AM (#19898751) Journal
        You know, a lot of people were complaining that Harry Potter was not encouraging children to read the right kind of books (seriously. Wikipedia has references). Maybe this is a plot by some of these people, who have scanned in a copy of the complete works of Shakespeare and are seeing how many children they can make read it before they realise it's not really Harry Potter. I figure it will take the average 1337 kiddie a good two plays and a sonnet before they figure it out...
    • by STrinity (723872)
      There are only about five pages that are wholly unreadable, and only one of them contains anything significant.
  • by viking80 (697716) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:55PM (#19895553) Journal
  • I read it until I realized that if I keep reading this, it'll ruin it for me when the book actually does come out.

    • by Shakrai (717556)

      I read it until I realized that if I keep reading this, it'll ruin it for me when the book actually does come out.

      Yes, much better to have it ruined by reading the book itself rather then have it ruined by reading a scan of the book ;)

  • by nebaz (453974) *
    This isn't "lone gunman are dead", but the fact that there is a "Harry Potter leaked info" story right now is just the place for trolls, etc, to post spoilers. I'm avoiding all of the Harry Potter forums as is to avoid this -- I'd rather not have to avoid Slashdot.
  • Full Spoilers (Score:2, Informative)

    by kzkq (1129491)
    I already read the whole low quality photo thing (remarkable how well your eyes can read horribly blurred jpg compressed text) and posted a summary here for anyone who is interested: http://harrypotter7spoilers.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] there were really only about 4 pages and a few more paragraphs that were illegible. Put it did take some zooming and effort to get through the whole thing in about 6 hours.
    • by Ka D'Argo (857749)
      If those spoilers are true, that indeed sounds fucking awesome.

      Only downside is, it's a new book. So the paperback edition won't be out for a while, and even most discount stores will want like $25 for the hardcover. Libraries will have it for a free checkout but the local libraries here have a 7-day checkout time for "new releases" whereas other books can be checked out for just over 3 weeks.
  • Just Fraking Great (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rlp (11898)
    I was planning on picking up the book on Saturday morning and I was going to avoid the Web, TV, and radio till I finished. Now I've got to start the self-imposed media blackout now.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      Read it: Harry dies.

      HA! Just testing if you actually put your self in a black out.

      I haven't rad it..or have I?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by glwtta (532858)
      Yeah, well, going to slashdot to read about the leak is a great way to start that blackout.

      BTW, the Lone Gunmen are dead.
  • by SEWilco (27983) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:00PM (#19895611) Journal
    How do we know it was done with a handheld camera? Looks like magic to me.
  • The hands. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:03PM (#19895639)

    I have slept with J.K. Rowling, and I can state, with absolute certainty, that those are her hands. They are absolutely unmistakable, so the woman has leaked her own book. Way to drum up interest!

  • Just kidding. Made you look! ;)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My copy showed up on the doorstep today. Online vendor, I won't say which one, but a medium-big name that you'd recognize. Pretty funny, I got the free "slow" shipping option. "Slow" turned out to be nearly a week before the release date...
  • I really do find it sad and pathetic that some people live to spoil things for others. I couldn't care less about Harry Potter but many people do. It's in the same category with defacing artwork to feel a sense of self importance. If they have no talent themselves they feel it gives their lives meaning to destroy some one elses work. Obviously it's not on the same level but it is the same kind of mentality of people that do things like shoot John Lennon. No one knew who the guy was before or cared but now t
  • You know, folks are wanting to see or read the ending before they invest the time and energy into something when they might not like the ending. I don't watch 24, they always kill the folks I like. I found out how the Transformers movie went before going - didn't much like the cartoon movie where Optimus dies so I didn't particularly want to see that either. There are enough surprises out there and nobody wants to pay for a bad surprise so you know, the folks will noodle the facts out as soon as possible.
  • by rhiafaery (982734) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:36PM (#19895873) Homepage
    ...what possible perverse pleasure anyone could get out of spoiling something wonderful for other people. I sometimes go looking for spoilers, but for something I am really, really looking forward to, I won't do it. I LIKE to anticipate, be surprised, feel the "magic," however you wish to put it. I know, so don't look, but I just can't help feeling sorry for people who walk through life with all the wonder ripped out, and feel that everyone else deserves to have theirs ripped out, as well. Whatever anyone thinks of Harry Potter, anything that encourages reading, imagination, excitement, and wonder is something worth preserving intact.

    I have a Sorting Hat replica I won from hollywood.com years ago, and yes, I will be wearing it to the midnight Harry Potter party, looking ridiculous, embarrassing my kids, and loving every minute of it. LoL. Enjoy life, you only go around once.
  • by coren2000 (788204) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:39PM (#19895899) Journal
    Harry is gay.... ... and proud.
  • by jdberry (847417) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @09:51PM (#19896001)
    I hear the perp left his Canon's serial number in the Exif data for each picture. I wonder if he registered the camera? Will Canon protect his privacy? ;)
  • ...go through the trouble to deal with such a photo leak has got to need psychiatric help.

    I mean come on... Haven't pirates found out about OCR scanning and text certainly compresses better than images.

    But then again, a genuine fan would want something that fits collector status in at least a minimal way. Like buy the book and hope to get it autographed.

    Pirated works are not collectible except to a pirate maybe, and then its not even for the work as much as it is for the act of piracy.

    Of course there are th
    • by ultranova (717540)

      But then again, a genuine fan would want something that fits collector status in at least a minimal way.

      Why ?

  • Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mal-2 (675116) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @10:04PM (#19896099) Homepage Journal
    The fans won't want to read this low-quality capture, the non-fans weren't buying anyway (except as a gift, which they'll still do), and besides, reading the book has never hurt the movie that follows from it. Having a crap copy is either going to do (1) nothing, as it's not worth the effort, or (2)make someone want the book.

    Now if someone OCR'd it to a text file, THAT might actually cut into sales a little bit. But in order to do that, the capture would have to not suck.

    This is like a .MOD file vs. an .MP3 -- the latter is sometimes a suitable replacement for the medium it came from, but the former is not. It may get the point across, but it's just not the same thing.

    Mal-2
  • by toby (759) * on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @10:23PM (#19896235) Homepage Journal

    An Insightful Guardian columnist has finally come out and said what literate people have known all along. J.K. Rowling's writing is RUBBISH. [guardian.co.uk]

    ... I don't think I'm going out on a limb here. Of course, if she has turned into a first-class writer with her forthcoming Potter book, I will happily, no, joyously, eat my words.

    But until then, we have to swallow hers. ...

    ... Do I need to explain why that is such second-rate writing?

    If I do, then that means you're one of the many adults who don't have a problem with the retreat into infantilism that your willing immersion in the Potter books represents. It doesn't make you a bad or silly person. But if you have the patience to read it without noticing how plodding it is, then you are self-evidently someone on whom the possibilities of the English language are largely lost.

    This is the kind of prose that reasonably intelligent nine-year-olds consider pretty hot stuff, if they're producing it themselves; for a highly-educated woman like Rowling to knock out the same kind of material is, shall we say, somewhat disappointing.

    (If you find that revelation shocking, just don't ask about Dan Brown, ok?)

    Predictably, a chorus of twit commenters felt driven to argue that the Potter Phenomenon's sheer Scale and Success makes it self-evidently Valuable to Society (much like B. Gates must be an Important and Clever Person because he's Really Rich.) Uh-uh. Crappy writing is not good for anyone, just like crappy food [supersizeme.com] (this may also come as a surprise to some [overlawyered.com]), and on this point I agree wholeheartedly with Mr Lezard:

    Children exposed to this kind of writing aren't learning anything new about words, or being stretched in any way; as Harold Bloom said, they're not going to be inspired to go off and read the Alice books, or any other enduring classic.

    All the Potter franchise does, like 99% of TV and Hollywood output, is entrench the hold of pointless and mediocre culture. The only thing unusual this time, is it's Made in Britain.

    • by ChaosDiscord (4913) * on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:46AM (#19897215) Homepage Journal

      I'm re-reading the Potter books for the first time, and yes, Rowlings weaknesses as a writer do shine through.

      So what?

      It's still a fun series. Not every movie needs to be Casablanca; the occasional plot light, special effects heavy movie can be fun sometimes. Not every song needs to be the Ode to Joy, sometimes it's fun to just sing along to some mindless, repetitive pop. We should eat our veggies, but the occasional candy is just fine for our health and a pleasant treat. Not every novel needs to be Brave New World, sometimes I want to enjoy some light fantasy about a kid exploring a magical world.

      As for the claim that Potter is somehow bad for kids, that is utter nonsense. The reality is that most American kids really don't like reading. Hell, most American adults don't like reading. Forcing them to read "good" books (for just about any definition of "good") will just make them resentful and believe that books are something unpleasant to be avoided. I believe that's why so many Americans don't read; their emotional response to books linked mandatory book lists full of books that don't interest them. I can assure you that absent the Potter series those kids aren't going to magically start reading the Alice books. Books that the kids enjoy, even bad ones, encourage kids to read, convince them that books and other long form reading can be good. They may not enjoy any given "enduring classic" (for whatever definition you like), but any kid whose made it through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix isn't going to be terribly daunted when facing 1984. Indeed, during my childhood I was strongly encouraged to read, but given wide freedom in what I read. I chose to read trashy fantasy. When I grew up and was assigned, say Madame Bovary in translation*, I blew through it while my classmates were bitching about how long and hard it was. After reading the first few Shannara novels in grade school, it was nothing. Reading begets reading. People who become serious readers tend to devour anything they can get their hands on. Maybe the bulk of their reading diet is romance novels, technothrillers, or fantasy, but they do occasionally read branch out and read other things. The people who fear books never do.

      You and the Guardian writer are not enlightening all us ignorant savages that Rowling is a bad writer. No, you're just being a pretentious ass. It's not enough for you to enjoy the books you enjoy, you need to reach out and actively piss on the books other people enjoy. You're not changing anyone's mind. You're just enjoying being superior by your own tortured definition of superior. That makes you an ass.

      * (Unless your goal is to make kids resent books as a source of long, boring, completely pointless crap, don't assign them Madame Bovary. I promise you that high school students will not appreciate it on any level.)

      • by NoMaster (142776) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @03:16AM (#19897959) Homepage Journal

        (Unless your goal is to make kids resent books as a source of long, boring, completely pointless crap, don't assign them Madame Bovary. I promise you that high school students will not appreciate it on any level.)
        I couldn't be bothered reading it for my book report, and rented the movie of "Madame Ovary" instead.

        Boy, was that a mistake...

      • by wiredog (43288) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @08:04AM (#19899047) Journal
        Isn't that a requirement to write for the Guardian?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Hatta (162192)
        Sure, and by the same token not every post needs to be +5 informative. Sometimes it's fun to just troll.

        You are not enlightening us that trolling is bad. No you're just being a pretentious ass. It's not enough for you to enjoy the posts you enjoy, you need to reach out and actively piss on the posts other people enjoy. You're not changing anyone's mind. You're just enjoying being superior by your own tortured definition of superior. That makes you an ass.
    • by argStyopa (232550) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @08:55AM (#19899509) Journal
      There are two kinds of fiction readers.

      1) people who enjoy tales of all sorts, and just have a good time escaping into an engaging story.

      2) people who read books so that they can either be seen reading them, or can wave the experience about as some sort of intellectualist validation.

      Reading - and the pleasure therefrom - is an intensely personal experience. While I can even agree with the critic's comments regarding Ms. Rowling's predictable, repetitive plotting, farcically two-dimensional characters, and generally unchallenging language, I take great exception to his second-level conclusion: that any respectably intelligent person must not enjoy the book. I agree, JK Rowlings' writing IS rubbish; that doesn't mean it cannot be enjoyable. Not every meal needs to be nutritionally constructive either.

      And, it must also be said, for him to dismiss categorically the value of getting children INTO reading - getting them to understand that the words on the pages can convey a story as rousing, fascinating, or frightening as any movie or video game - is simply ignorant. I rather suspect that Mr. Lezard has no children nor really any interaction with same, except perhaps as frightening little beasts underfoot that must be tolerated when the family comes over for holidays.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by swordgeek (112599)
      "An insightful Guardian columnist..."

      From what I recall of the Guardian, the primary purpose of their entertainment and lifestyle columnists is to derisively sneer at everything not esoteric or unattainable. If more than six people in London like something, it is inherently crap.

      I approached the Harry Potter books with a great deal of cynicism and distrust, and actually found that they're GOOD TO READ! They're not complex stories, the writing isn't Nabokov or even Gaiman, but they're better than most.

      Consid
  • Here. [schneier.com]

    Here's the essence of what he has to say:
    "I don't think it was possible to keep the book under wraps."
    "There are simply too many people who must be trusted in order for the security to hold."
    "My guess is that the publishers will lose zero sales"
  • This thing reads like the script for a Jerry Bruckheimer action movie.

  • Pirateer (Score:5, Informative)

    by Le Marteau (206396) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @11:41PM (#19896799) Journal
    On many pages the pirateer's hands are in the pictures

    Perhaps you mean 'pirate'? 'Pirateer' is not a word ('privateer' is, of course, a word, but clearly not meant here).
  • Table (Score:5, Funny)

    by SnarfQuest (469614) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @02:13AM (#19897631)
    To do this properly, you are supposed to use a WOODEN table!
  • by hemorex (1013427) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @08:46AM (#19899389)
    "Harry Potter, do you want your possessions identified? (y/n/q)"

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