Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter’

New Release: The Casual Vacancy

September 27th, 2012 No comments

By J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company | 512 pages
Release Date: September 27, 2012

Today, rabid fans can finally get their hands on The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling’s eagerly awaited adult novel. The story begins with the unexpected death of good-natured parish council member Barry Fairbrother, which throws the small village of Pagford into upheaval. The surface of Pagford may be story-book perfect, but underneath roils a a toxic combination of anger, lust, racism and pretentiousness. Some of the less ethical members of the council, lead by businessman Howard Mollison, angle to fill Fairbrother’s empty seat with one of their own, in a ploy to foist responsibility of their undesirable council estate (British version of the Projects) onto a neighboring village. With their hands washed of what is perceived as a blight on their community, the residents of Pagford will no longer be obliged to educate the children of the poor and downtrodden in their local schools. Rowling paints a sociological portrait of Pagford, revealing various states of the human condition, warts and all. Though this story is decidedly directed at more mature audiences, there are themes in The Casual Vacancy that run parallel to the Potter series. “I think there is a through-line,” Rowling explains in an interview with The New Yorker. “Mortality, morality, the two things that I obsess about.” Read more…


Race to Find The Magical Quill Begins on Pottermore

August 1st, 2011 No comments

Happy Birthday Harry Potter and JK Rowling! Yesterday, July 31, was the shared birthday of the boy wizard and his creator and the beginning of The Magical Quill hunt on Pottermore. According to the Pottermore home page now posting the headline “7 books, 7 days, 7 chances”, early access to site will be granted to those lucky few who find The Magical Quill and complete the registration process. “Each day, from 31 July to 6 August, a clue will be revealed here. Solve the clue and you will be taken to The Magical Quill. Be quick, The Magical Quill won’t be there for long and registration will only be open while spaces are still available each day.” Read more…


New Chapter for the Harry Potter Generation

July 15th, 2011 1 comment

The Harry Potter Alliance turns the lessons learned from series into real world action.

The debut of the final film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in theaters early this morning signifies a new chapter for the Harry Potter generation. Rather than an end, fans like Harry Potter Alliance Executive Director Andrew Slack, see the release of the eighth movie as a new beginning, an opportunity to turn the lessons learned from Harry Potter into action. In an article for the CNN website Slack writes of the gifts that JK Rowling’s creations have given to millions of readers. “Reality is mysterious. And the reality is that a fantasy book aimed at children has forever changed writing, publishing, literature, music, sports, social media and social activism.” Read more…


Wishing for a Bit of Potter Fantasy in the Real World

July 6th, 2011 No comments

©2011 Warner Bros.

The end is nigh, Potter fans. On Monday, people in the UK started camping out in London’s Trafalgar Square in anticipation of the world premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 that will take place on Thursday, July 7. The Guardian reports that prior to the screening, members of the cast and crew will stroll from a staged Diagon Alley set up in Trafalgar Square to the Odeon theater in Leicester Square. Fans outside of Britain have already made plans to flock to theaters next week, when the film is released world-wide. Yet, through all the excitement and anticipation, this ending is bittersweet. Many who have grown up with the books and movies, feel as if they are bidding farewell to their childhood. In a separate article, Naomi Alderman reflects on the enduring popularity of the series, and muses with a few friends on 7 bits of Harry Potter fantasy that they wish were real. Read more…


Rowling Continues the Magic with Pottermore

June 23rd, 2011 No comments

For the past week, the Muggle world has been furiously guessing about the details of JK Rowling’s new website, hinted at with a mysterious splash page that pointed to a countdown video on YouTube. Today, Rowling released the details at press conference held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. “Pottermore has been a really great way to give back to the Harry Potter readership, who made the books such a big success,” she announced. In a video screened at the conference, and now posted on the Pottermore home page, the author thanked her readers. “No author could have asked for a more wonderful, diverse and loyal readership.” Rowling then went on to explain the particulars of the site.

“Digital generations will be able to enjoy a safe, unique online reading experience built around the Harry Potter books,” stated Rowling. “Pottermore will be the place where fans of any age can share, participate in and rediscover the stories. It will also be the exclusive place to purchase digital audio books and for the first time e-books in the Harry Potter series. I’ll be joining in too because I will be sharing additional information I’ve been hoarding for years about the world of Harry Potter.” Read more…


Adult Audiences Flock to See “Deathly Hallows”

November 23rd, 2010 No comments
©2010 Warner Bros.

©2010 Warner Bros.

Last weekend’s ticket sales have proclaimed The Boy Who Lived to be king of the box office with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I raking in $125.1 million in the U.S. This is the biggest opening for the franchise and the sixth largest opening for any film. Ever. President of domestic distribution for Warner Bros., Dan Fellman attributes a large part of the franchise’s success to young adults (age 18-34) “and their aging process.” “When we first started Harry Potter and cast 10-year-old Daniel Radcliffe in the title role, parents drove their 10-year-olds to see the movies. Today, those same kids are now driving themselves to the midnight shows,” he tells The Wall Street Journal. When the first film was released, only about 10% of the audience was in the 18-34 year old demographic. But, with the 7th (and penultimate) installment, 25% of the audience is now in that age group. Read more…


Harry Potter Stars Featured in ALA’s READ Posters

November 12th, 2010 No comments
Daniel Radcliffe poses for ALA's series of Harry Potter Celebrity READ posters.

Daniel Radcliffe poses for ALA's series of Harry Potter Celebrity READ posters.

In honor of the Harry Potter books and the contributions author J.K. Rowling has made in encouraging literacy and inspiring young readers, the stars of the film franchise recently posed for the American Library Association’s Celebrity READ posters. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Alan Rickman are featured in a series of four posters holding books of their own choosing. Radcliffe, the film embodiment of the boy wizard, spoke with American Libraries about the book he selected and how working in the Harry Potter films has turned him into a book lover. The young actor posed with The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. “I’ve been obsessed with the novel ever since I read it about a year ago. I’ve always been a huge fan of Magical Realism. It’s an inspiring genre in which writers can just let their imaginations go wild and wonderful…I’ve read it twice now, and I just received an English first edition (Collins and Harvill, 1967) with a beautiful cover as a birthday present. That’s the one that appears on the READ poster.” Read more…


The Harry Potter Decade

January 8th, 2010 No comments

jk_rowlingThe Guardian has proclaimed JK Rowling the winner of the last decade, as far as book sales go. The Harry Potter author dominated the bestsellers lists during the “noughties”, selling more than 29 million books, prompting the New York Times to create a new bestsellers list for children’s books, and racking up sales of over $360 million (£225.9 million). Though she characteristically shied away from the press, Rowling’s personal story became mythologized as well: A struggling single mother, toils away in obscurity on a story about a boy wizard, only to hit it big with her first published novel. Really, really big. Though Rowling’s first royalty check for the UK publication of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (published in the U.S. as Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone) was a meager $960.00 (£600), she was a millionaire just one year later. Thanks to the continued popularity of the Harry Potter books, movie franchise and merchandise licensing, Rowling is now reported to be worth about $1 billion (£545 million).
Read more…