Spoil Sports

July 20, 2007 at 7:15 am (Uncategorized)

I can’t fathom spoilers, I really can’t. I have a hard enough time coping with trailers and reviews these days, both of which seem hell-bent on telling me absolutely everything there is to know about the film/book/play/exhibition in question. Why do they have to wreck it for everyone by summarising the whole story or revealing the cliffhanger or naming the murderer? I kind of thought the idea was to enjoy getting to that part myself.

Yes, like everyone else on the planet, I’m talking about Harry Potter. Unlike everyone else on the planet, I’ve not read a single book in the series. I’ve not read one line. I’ve not seen any of the movies. I know J K Rowling is the author, and one very wealthy woman these days, and I know the young star of the film franchise, Daniel Radcliffe, caused a furore recently when he appeared on London’s West End in the buff. But I don’t know so very much more about the Harry Potter phenomenon. Which is not to say I have a single thing against it. On the contrary. Anything that gets anyone reading is brilliant as far as I’m concerned. Anything that gets this many people reading for this many years is absolutely stupendous. I’m a big fan of everything Rowling has single-handedly accomplished for children’s literature and the health of worldwide publishing in general. I couldn’t admire her achievement more, and I will one day sit down and read every single one of the Harry Potter books, if for no other reason than that they collectively represent a serious cultural moment in my time.

So I’m as outraged as any ardent reader of Harry Potter that some people have seen fit to spoil the thrill of the final instalment’s arrival by revealing the outcome. Who would do that? What on earth would possess someone to post the final pages of the novel on the web? It’s just so small and mean. I grant you, I’m a surprise kinda gal, I love surprises, whereas some people loathe them and just have to know, but I find it difficult to fathom why anyone would decide to send a wholesale wrecking ball through the centre of someone else’s party. It’s really very sour of them, and a genuine disappointment for all of Rowling’s many, many fans who have waited a long time to learn the fate of their boy hero. I’m galled on their behalf that the spoilers have been so busy about their self-appointed task. Boo hiss.

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