resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
[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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(no subject)

Date: 12/15/16 05:31 am (UTC)
out_there: B-Day Present '05 (Default)
From: [personal profile] out_there
Huh. Interesting.

I've never actually read the books -- I read the first, years ago, and never got around to reading the others. But I've recently discovered I can borrow ebooks from my library and read them on my phone, so I think that's a good excuse to try the series.

(no subject)

Date: 12/15/16 07:11 am (UTC)
miella: circle of green stones on sand (Default)
From: [personal profile] miella
I waited until they were all out, then binged them all in a month. I still couldn't tell you what happened in which book, but I was glad I didn't space them out, because I probably wouldn't have finished the series that way. Apparently their WIP game would not have been strong enough!

(no subject)

Date: 12/16/16 12:45 am (UTC)
out_there: B-Day Present '05 (Default)
From: [personal profile] out_there
I have limited patience for WIPs, unfortunately. Having to wait a few years between books does not suit me. (Unless it's something like the Discworld series, where it's a series but each book is a stand-alone story. If it's The Wheel of Time -- or any other huge sprawling story -- I lose track of people and lose interest.)

Even Hunger Games only worked so well for me because I read it after all books were published and could binge-read.

(no subject)

Date: 12/15/16 05:50 am (UTC)
amalthia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amalthia
I thought the 3rd book was most accessible/stand alone. Though the 4th is a close second in this regard.

(no subject)

Date: 12/15/16 11:18 am (UTC)
james: life is dumb and I want to sleep (Default)
From: [personal profile] james
I still have not read the Half-Blood Prince. :-) No reason, just never got around to it.

(no subject)

Date: 12/15/16 02:43 pm (UTC)
watersword: Keira Knightley, in Pride and Prejudice (2007), turning her head away from the viewer, the word "elizabeth" written near (Default)
From: [personal profile] watersword
Yeah, Prisoner of Azkaban is the only book in the series that I actually like. The rest of I put up with for fandom.

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