Top critical review
J.K. Rowling writes like a senile grandmother
Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2020
Imagine if your elderly aunt or grandmother, in failing health and confined to a nursing home, invited you over to talk about your childhood and share with you her favorite family stories. Imagine if your wheezy, dying nana or auntie periodically lost touch with reality and began to make inane, baffling comments about children who cast spells and keep rats as pets and play a game that sounds like flying soccer. Now imagine that your granny's inane mutterings earned her the praise of her nurses, which encouraged your granny to add lots and lots of extra detail to her tales of adolescent wizardry. That's what you get with this book. J.K. Rowling's talent lies in conceptualizing and marketing the Potter universe, not writing about it. She should have hired ghostwriters after the first novel. Although she has a great work ethic and is a wonderful self-made success story, her writing is astonishingly simple, dull and directionless. I can understand how kids like these books - after all, children don't have much in the way of critical faculties. What I cannot comprehend are the adults who fawn over these padded and self-indulgent stories. Perhaps the most irritating part about the Potter series and particularly in this book is how Ron Weasley is constantly losing his temper and threatening to beat his tormentors. None of his outbursts seem convincing. My point? Even the parts of the book that are rooted in ordinary adolescent issues (Ron and his bullies) fall flat and feel contrived. Everything related to imagination and magic feels similarly implausible. I encourage other parents to find a less commercial and more inspiring series of books to read their kids.