What is behind the phenomenal success of the Harry Potter series?

June 4, 2008 6:01am CST
The success of this series came from an unusual combination of smart mass-marketing and genuine literary worth. Author J. K. Rowling tailored the universal themes of magic and wizardry and of good and evil to the needs and wishes of a particular generation of readers.The series has helped open the minds of this generation to the power of the printed word and to the enchantment of story, creating a wider audience for the printed word and insuring that it will survive a bit longer.
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5 responses
@micpie94 (358)
• United States
13 Jun 08
Just to comment on one of the things u said. about the printed word surviving. I heard on t.v. that eventually people will just be reading the books on the computer or a digital device. I think it's bs. People will always want to read from an actual book because- well- well it's just better. HARRY POTTER RULES!!! Sincerely, Michael Pietrzykowski
• India
6 Jun 08
its to do with the imaginative and brilliant world that JKR has created...with stunning details and imaginary skills
• Philippines
5 Jun 08
Great plot and characters that people could relate to. With an enchanted magical world, it became a favorite of many people. Plus I like the fact the Rowling was able to seamlessly integrate the story in all books. Just think how she had gotten away with the Horcruxes. It had been good! Harry Potter was no pushover, a very ordinary boy born with amazing valor and wit, he's a hero for everyone.
@aplaza (631)
• Netherlands
4 Jun 08
I'd read the first two Harry Potter books before the hype started. Actually I'd already been "eyeing" them for a while before I actually did buy them. I agree that it's a good thing that "hypes" like these come along once every so often because it does introduce a whole new generation to reading. Although the movies are done beautifully I am not really a fan of them. Maybe this is another case of "the book is better than the movie" syndrome.
• United States
4 Jun 08
I am an adult who used to laugh at people for their obsession with Harry Potter. Then I saw the first movie with my daughter and I was hooked. I have read the whole series and seen every movie so far. It is an extremely well written and engaging story. There is enough action to keep people interested in the story. It's clean which is a rarity nowadays. The detailed world she has created is easily imagined. I have seen kids who don't like to read pick up the books and read them through. Regardless of the controversies centered on the witchcraft angle I think the books have had a very positive effect on kids reading. As my 12 year old daughter said to me when she was about 9, "it's fantasy...duh. Why don't they get that?" The phenomenal sales worldwide are a testament to it's effect on young readers.