I read the original Harry Potter books back while they were coming out. I had about a 3 year lag, so I wasn’t ever waiting for the next one during a midnight Barnes & Noble release party. (NOT that I’m claiming high moral ground or anything. I’m totally that guy.)
I remember blowing through them at record speed and being pretty satisfied.
Well, I’ve come upon the Stephen Fry audio versions and, it being several years later, I figured I’d give them a listen.
I started back in November or so and have been interleaving other stuff between them.
It’d been a fun ride so far. I missed a bunch of detail in the hypnogogic haze under which I read most of them, clearly.
But I’m about half way through the fifth book (Order of the Phoenix) and the constant refrain of “why won’t the grown-ups listen to me” is getting under my skin something fierce.
Suddenly, on my way home, listening to a scene with the antagonist du jour flexing her authoritative might to keep the misunderstood kid who really could fix everything down, I snapped out of it. The Glasses of Disbelief Suspension came off. I started thinking about the characters and not one in 10 could be described by more than a couple words (appearance notwithstanding.)
All this pent up frustration with the tedium of the protagonist’s whining, waiting for some bit of neat magic description all just blew off over a span of about 25 seconds.
I feel like I’ve been freed from detention with Professor Umbridge.