Friday, December 02, 2005

My Vacation So Far

Let me get the bad news out of the way right now: I haven’t yet watched any daytime TV during this strange little vacation I’m taking all by my onesies. Not even Turner Classic Movies, which is my favoritest of all favorite channels. I know, I know — the life of dissipation I thought I would enjoy has so far eluded me. Hell, I don’t even know which channel Oprah is on. But if this is any consolation, I plan to see either the 11:15 or 12:15 showing of Harry Potter today at the Loew’s Cineplex. That means I’ll be rubbing elbows with the chronically unemployed and kids skipping school, which will help me feel a little more like a deadbeat.

I consider myself a pretty big Harry Potter fan, by the way. I think J. K. Rowling is an amazingly gifted storyteller and deserves all the popularity she has. At the risk of sounding like a heretic, she reminds me a little bit of Dickens, but don’t tell anyone I said that. I read the first four books until I discovered the excellent audio versions performed by the incomparable Jim Dale. Now I’ve got ’em all on CD and I’ve listened to each of them twice. I have my old road bike set up on a trainer in the basement and, while I make myself breathe hard and sweat pedaling it, I have lately been listening to my second run-through of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. (Incidentally, I’ve got a little theory about Dumbledore’s fate for all who’ve read The Half-Blood Prince: think horcruxes. Huh? Huh? Am I right?)

Anyway, I’ve been occupying my time by biking, reading and writing. I’m on a Sherlock Holmes kick again (they run in three-year cycles) and I unearthed a summer 1990 edition of Story and read a perfect little work of short fiction by Bobbie Ann Mason entitled Tobrah. And, of course, I’ve been reading the blogs. There’s lots of good stuff to read there.

And that’s The Schprock Report for Friday, December 2, 2005. Have a great day everyone. Over and out.


Blogger boo said...

i'm reading herman hesse's {the glass bead game} & re-reading {knulp} & {journey to the east}, plus jd salinger's {nine stories}

i wish i was on vacation, i needs one *envy*

7:33 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Hmm, so Dumbledore knew ahead of time and set up a horcrux? Crap, I've already read it twice, now I have to read it again to find out how you make a horcrux.

I wish you were right, but I don't think you are. E-mail me your take on Snape. When I first finished the book I went CRAZY trying to find somebody with whom to discuss it.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Okay, rethinking horcruxes (how do you pluralise that word?) and I just don't think so. Remember how he was pretty disparaging of Voldemort doing it?

8:10 AM  
Blogger NYPinTA said...

I have no idea what you guys are talking about. LOL. But I like Snape. *shrugs* Don't know why.

I'm taking some time off the week after next. I'll get to go and hang with the terminally unemployed and kids at the mall to see Narnia.

10:46 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

I'm with you on the Narnia flick. Well, not with you, NYP - that's too far just to go to a movie. But I'm taking my sis to it for her anniversary and all that.

I don't do Harry Potter, but I did just finish An Unfinished Life by Mark Spragg. Quite good.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

The thing about the Harry Potter books, is that once I've been away for some time, I can't remember the details anymore. Why is that? Old age? I think someone disguised as Dumbledore got killed, but I already forget the guys name. It was the reluctant professor. Dumbledore, or the imposter, says something that is an expression of the other character. Something like, "Oi." I forget. Either way, he's still around, and will make a dramatic comeback. You can't kill Dumbledore. Think LOTR and Gandalf.

11:51 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"i'm reading herman hesse's {the glass bead game} & re-reading {knulp} & {journey to the east}, plus jd salinger's {nine stories}"

I read the Salinger book a long time ago and loved it. I was expecting something like "The Catcher in the Rye," but instead discovered the other way Salinger wrote. What the hell made him stop writing I wonder?

"E-mail me your take on Snape."

Knowing my theory about Dumbledore, you can easily guess what I think of Snape. (BTW, Dumbledore never did explain his blackened hand, but he promised Harry he would sometime. Dumbledore would never go back on a promise.)

"Remember how he was pretty disparaging of Voldemort doing it?"

Wasn't it mainly the fact that Voldemort made so many, when usually you only made one? When I come to that part again, I'll listen harder.

"I'll get to go and hang with the terminally unemployed and kids at the mall to see Narnia."

I'm kind of interested in Aeon Flux. I expect that's right up your alley, Nypinta.

"…but I did just finish An Unfinished Life by Mark Spragg. Quite good."

I just read the Boston Phoenix's review of it and the critc more than agrees. I've been looking for a novel to read. Thanks, Trina.

"Think LOTR and Gandalf."

Exactly, Scott. Exactly.

1:34 PM  
Blogger :phil: said...

I saw the Harry Potter movie last weekend for Dyl's 12th birthday. It was great. He's a big fan and so are the rest of us. I have not read all of the books but I do enjoy the movies. Hope you had fun.

1:08 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Hey Phil, that was my second time watching the movie and I think I liked it better the second time.

12 years old, huh? He's growing up, isn't he?

1:28 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Well, I'm a Harry Potter fan, but I don't even think Rowling was writing the books after the first two. This is common for big name authors ... ghostwriting, that is. The style, the wording, it's completely different. So, there's one of my wacky theories.

As for Dumbledore, I think he's dead.

Also, both Harry and Hermione (the real life kids) believe the series will end with Harry AND Voldemort dying. One can't live without the other ... well, Voldemort can't live without Harry so in order to really get rid of him, they both die.

Anyhow, I watched an interview with these two and they both said it (they weren't together). They felt this is where the books were headed.

As for Snape, it upsets me. I really did think he was a good guy underneath, but all the jealous of Harry's pop. It makes more sense now.

Kind of like kids who are bullied are through school then end up shooting up the classroom. It would make a more grown up tale if Snape were in fact evil.

There are a lot of holes though, but I won't go into them.

Can I just say Dickens is my favorite author? I don't think Rowling is anywhere near his league, but I do enjoy her writings (and her staff's ghostwritings) tremendously. =)

1:15 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

sorry for the typos ... hope it makes some sense

1:16 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

One can't live without the other ... well, Voldemort can't live without Harry so in order to really get rid of him, they both die."

Isn't the prophesy something like one can't live while the other does, or something like that? Meaning one of them has to go, but not necessarily both?

About Snape: when Harry saw what a dick his father was when he witnessed Snape's memory in the pensive, that would have been the perfect time for him to apologize to Snape for his father. Maybe things could have been better between those two. And my belief is a) Snape is a very brave good guy, b) everything was planned and c) we'll see Dumbledore again. Remember that the horcrux Dumbledore had in his hand wasn't even Voldemort's as it turned out? That's because it was his.

Ghost writers? Who? Nearly Headless Nick? The Bloody Baron?

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Dreadmouse said...

You actually took time off? I would have lost a little money on that one... I thought the caustic crone of catalogues would have found a way to suck you back in. I don't suppose you feel like coming to work for me? No? Harumph...

With respect to Dumbledore, I would be very pleased if you turned out to be correct in your horcrux theory. It would neatly explain a few of Albus' less inspired tactical choices and Snape's place in the tale. However, I'm not sure I buy it. It seems like wishful thinking, and Ms. Rowling has proven to have no compunctions about killing off her characters. But I hope you're right!

I'll stand by saying "her characters," as well. I, for one, believe that she wrote her own books.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Chloe said...

I've had the first four HP books in my closet for two years now. you've inspired me to finally read them. Thanks Mr. Schprock!

12:55 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"You actually took time off? I would have lost a little money on that one..."

One or two people in the office would have preferred me to put off the vacation another day, but I put my foot down. There was a couch with my name on it and it was my duty to plant myself there.

Hey Chloe, they're an easy and enjoyable read. I hope you find the time.

1:16 PM  
Blogger NYPinTA said...

I don't do Harry Potter... Course not. He's too young.

Can't believe I went there...

3:07 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Oh man, I could think of several things to say, but modesty forbids.

Let's just say there's a whole wing of Azkaban for repeat offenders.

6:19 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Okay, I believe Dumbledore is actually dead and that Snape is NOT the bastard we're supposed to think he is. I think he was working Dumbledore the whole time and only pretending to go back to Voldemort, i.e., as a spy.

If you re-read/listen to the books and read it with Snape as good guy - it's feasible.

In regards to both Harry and Voldemort dying at the end of Book 7, I've thought that too, but think of what it would do to future sales. I think she would do it to get out of the pressure of writing more books with Harry as auror, but really think it would be an incredibly stupid move. For one thing, let us remember that these books are ostensibly for children!!! Killing off the main protagonist in a kid's book is just stupid.

9:10 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

I definitely think Harry will be alive and triumphant in book 7. I have, as you know, been relistening to the Half-Blood Prince, and doing it with this little bone of contention in mind regarding Dumbledore. Slughorn did explain to Tom Riddle that it took an act of evil — a murder — to create a horcrux, so that might make it less likely that Dumbledore would create something like a horcrux for himself at the cost of another's life. However, he had been lately going around killing parts of Voldemort's soul, which could be argued as a kind of murder. I don't know — my gut tells me we haven't seen the last of Dumbledore.

9:27 AM  

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