...in wondering what the hell all the fuss is about Harry Potter.
I read the first book a few years ago. It was okay, I guess, but it certainly didn't have me running out to buy the rest. Last night, chatting amongst the crew here at Oleg's, I brought this up. One of the guests remarked that he'd had to read the first three books when he was in high school, "back in the day."
"If you were reading Harry Potter books in high school," I replied, "it was not 'back in the day'."
"Well, we had the choice of reading them, or re-reading How To Kill A Mockingbird."
I stood there stunned and blinking, as politely as I could, and very carefully did not say "I weep for the future of America."
The great excuse for the existence of the series is that "They get kids to read books." This is weak tea to someone whose unabridged paperback copy of Kipling's The Jungle Book was held together with a rubber band before she was in second grade; I mean, comic books get kids to read, too, but nobody's holding up The Uncanny X-Men as a classic of Western Literature.
Or if they are, I don't want to know about it. Please.