This article, written by Jonathan Myerson and published in The Independent, is "meant to" offend adults who read Harry Potter. I guess I'm not really a part of his target audience, as I was younger than Harry is in the first book when I first started reading it; Harry was a part of my childhood, and I am just dipping my little toesies into adulthood. Surely I am beyond reproach. However, full-fledged, card-carrying grown-ups do not receive the same kindness from Myerson, who suggests that adults read such classic literature as his own, faaar more relevant adult novels - not trash like Rowling's childish ventures (hmm, yes, how droll). Apparently, Myerson considers appropriate reading material for adults to be novels with covers that look like they're straight out of a crack whore's nightmare.*
I know this article ran in 2001 - only about a month after Prisoner of Azkaban came out - so he couldn't have had a chance to see the series develop a greater moral complexity and depth as it explores serious and universal issues. Still, I sincerely doubt that the man had even read the first three books before flippantly dashing off this smug little article, probably with a self-satisfied smirk playing about his melting skeleton face (I looked up a picture of him). Just a fad, he must have scoffed, rolling his eyes and turning back to his Kafka, his Dostoevsky, his Hemingway and Dickens.
I think my favorite part is when he asks his hypothetical, just-as-snooty readers, "So how do these grown-ups manage to get through it?"
I only wish I could muster the level of pretension that Mr. Myerson achieves here. I tip my hat to you, you big jackass.
*I do admit that I have never read his books and that I literally am judging a book by its cover. I have become a walking cliche.
Image via The Mady Hatter.