Proposition: the reason that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is less interesting than the first book is that the story is mostly about someone other than Harry.
ETA: I've booklogged this book & its predecessor.
There is much to tell about the last couple weeks, and I was going to tell it tonight, but I decided instead to treat my tired self to a novel. After some deliberation, I went back to reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series.
I'm not done yet. I made myself stop reading most of the way through. But I would just like to say that it is much more disconcerting than I would expect to find that Wolves of the Calla uses the same font for chapter titles as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix did.
That's all. Good night.
Non-HP-fandom people, ignore this.
FictionAlley has started posting listings of new fics to LiveJournal, and so I read a few while killing time.
(I think this one pushed me over the edge:
Desperate to prepare Harry for what lies ahead, Dumbledore attempts the one thing that can help him - to split Severus Snape in two. Desperate to start climbing the nine steps to bliss with Ron, Hermione attempts the one thing that can help - get him in the rose bush.
That is all.)
(Non-HP-fandom people should ignore this post.)
Ahem. lizbee's terrific gen short story "The Language that God Speaks"? (Summary: Pratchett reassured us that all libraries are one, and Gaiman told us about one particularly unique library. Hermione discovers a twenty-year-old experimental potion which allows her to access the Dreaming.)
Right, I have things to do, but had to get my fangirling out of the way first.
I read Order of the Phoenix yesterday in one big gulp, from about 11:30 (went out to get it in the morning) to about 2:30. The rest of the day I spent socializing (we have a houseguest) and intermittently trying to digest.
What follows is my impressions after a night's sleep, but not after a re-read: a detailed one is up next. These are my impressions of the whole book, and therefore have huge, book-destroying SPOILERS.( I'm not kidding, ENORMOUS SPOILERS lurk behind this cut tag )
So I'm taking a break from my present project by keeping current on jurisprudential developments, and in the Ninth Circuit's opinion in United States v. Gonzalez [8 page PDF], I read:
Gonzalez contends that a temporary zone of privacy was created when he was alone with Standifer. It is doubtless true that "the Fourth Amendment protects persons, not places." However, "the extent to which the Fourth Amendment protects people may depend upon where those people are." . . . Here, however, the defendant . . . chose to conduct his criminal activity in a public area.
Gonzalez would have us adopt a theory of the Fourth Amendment akin to J.K. Rowling's Invisibility Cloak, to create at will a shield impenetrable to law enforcement view even in the most public places. However, the fabric of the Fourth Amendment does not stretch that far. He did not have an expectation of privacy in the public mailroom that society would accept as reasonable.
It was . . . disconcerting.
Last night, we were driving to my parents, listening to Chad's new mix tape. I was singing along to the Afghan Whigs' cover of "Lost in the Supermarket," and then John Mayer's "Your Body Is A Wonderland" came on, and I thought of Chad's weblog post calling the song "indescribably cheesey."
I said, "One of the weird side-effects of getting involved in a fic-writing fandom is that, when certain songs come out, you just know that there will be a flood of bad fics using the song's lyrics. This one, that Avril Lavigne song 'Complicated' . . . "
Chad made an affirmative noise.
"Having said that, though," I said, "I now have this horrible image of a songfic based on 'Lost in the Supermarket.'"
"Yes, that would be strange," said Chad.
"On the other hand, if the Dursleys had only lived in an apartment, it would work perfectly."
(And then I laughed for far too long, because I was tired.)
(This will probably make much more sense if you know the lyrics to "Lost in the Supermarket," which are behind the cut tag.)
( Lyrics )