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the weekend read

Sick of Harry Potter? So Are These Guys

Every Friday Vulture finds a great story that's a little too long to read on the computer screen. Fiction, long-form narrative journalism, epic blog sagas — any of these could be your Weekend Read. Print it out on the office printer, smuggle it home, and curl up with it after brunch.

Have you about had it up to here with wizards, muggles, Quidditch, Horcruxes, and all the lot? Do you think the editors of this blog need to start acting like grown-ups and stop extolling a children's book? While it seems the culture at large is obsessed with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, at least two important voices agree with you, standing firm at the walls of literature: British novelist A.S. Byatt and literary critic Harold Bloom. In famous essays, one from the Times and one from The Wall Street Journal, the two complain that the J.K. Rowling's series is poorly written, derivative, and encourages infantilism in popular culture. "Can more than 35 million book buyers, and their offspring, be wrong?" Bloom asks. "Yes, they have been, and will continue to be for as long as they persevere with Potter."

Meanwhile, Slate's Chris Suellentrop wrote the definitive Harry Potter character assassination in 2002, with his perfectly headlined piece, "Harry Potter: Pampered Jock, Patsy, Fraud." For Potter haters everywhere, these three articles are your Weekend Read.

Harry Potter and the Childish Adult [Countercurrents reprint of NYT]
Can 35 Million Book Buyers Be Wrong? Yes. [Syracuse.edu reprint of WSJ]
Harry Potter: Pampered Jock, Patsy, Fraud [Slate]