Sunday, April 06, 2008

Harry Potter and the Hallows

The road to hell is paved with adverbs.
- Stephen King

This quote appeared in my iGoogle Quotes of the Day box and reminded me of what King had to say about J.K. Rowling last summer during The Anticipation:
(from "Deathly adverbs" by Jan Freeman of The Boston Globe")

Even Harry Potter's most loyal fans would concede that his creator, J.K. Rowling, has a weakness for adverbs. Four years ago, in an otherwise admiring review of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," Stephen King observed that Rowling "never met [an adverb] she didn't like." Harry, he noted, "speaks quietly, automatically, nervously, slowly, and often -- given his current case of raving adolescence -- ANGRILY."

King found this flaw "endearing rather than annoying," but not all readers are so indulgent. In December, when the title of the final volume was announced but "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" was not yet finished, a writer at the online review Blogcritics told Rowling it wasn't too late to improve her style.

"Ms. Rowling, I have a challenge for you while you're still in the editing stage of book seven," proposed M.J. Ryan. "Take a highlighter and mark those adverbs up. Get rid of them. Release yourself, and your readers, from 'Adverb Hell.'" And start at the top, said Ryan: "'Deathly' is an adverb. In the title. How lazy can you get?"

That said, there better be an 8th book. LEGACY AND SERIES CONCLUSION BE DAMNED.