Dec. 14th, 2016

resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] james asks: Which (if any) Harry Potter book is the best totally on its own, with no meta or context or fanfic to bolster it up?

First I eliminated Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. They're too tied up in the 7-book arc to be accessible to someone who hasn't read the rest of the books, and frankly they needed some editing that they didn't get. If you weren't already in love with the universe and the characters, I'm not sure you'd read them and say, "These are good books."

Then I eliminated Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone, because if you take it on its own instead of with its series, it's a children's book. It's the door into everything we all loved, but taken on its own, there's not enough to it.

At that point, left with Books 2 through 5, I was at a loss. So I punted the question to the kidlet, who just re-read the whole series last month.

After some thought (but not really very much thought), the kidlet said, "Prisoner of Azkaban. Because Voldemort doesn't dominate the whole plot. He's part of the worldbuilding."

Also: the Marauders in person, and their relationship with Snape; Dementors and Patronuses or possibly Patroni; Buckbeak; Time-Turners ...

I can't disagree.


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