The Spectator

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hype

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hype
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Writing on the eve of the most over-hyped book release in history (dare I mention the title), I find myself lost. Never in history has such overexcitement surrounded a book franchise. So what happens when I, a 16 year-old boy, am surrounded by Harry Potter gossip? How do I respond? With a blank expression and a shrug of the shoulders.

I am of the opinion that we’ll never see anything like it again. I see the Harry Potter series as just another marketing ploy to extract money from us young’ens. It was preceded by the boy band craze in the 90s, and likely to be superseded by something just as superficial, simply because I don’t think Harry’s that special.

I haven’t followed the books religiously since their first publication. I’m not even that bothered about the films. Constantly the media is searching for the ‘next’ Harry Potter. I laugh mockingly at them. Inexorably, there will be no ‘next’ Harry Potter. His time has come and gone; if you’re a fantasy or magic writer, now’s the time to send your book to the publisher: the bubble will burst and soon people will be saying, “Harry who?”

Anyway, teenagers who seek escape in books are becoming a rarer and rarer breed. I find my own escape, just like many of my contemporaries, in a half-decent DVD or chilling out on my bed with my iPod, Gloria. Without even realising it, I have just demonstrated my next point perfectly: my generation doesn’t have a sentimental attachment to books, even those who’ll stick around to read The Deathly Hallows. Rather, I resort to naming my iPod. God knows how I’d react if she ever broke down on me.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that contrary to popular belief, my lot are not all Potter-crazed fanatics who’d queue for hours outside a Waterstone’s just to pick up a copy before anyone else. We’ve moved on.