I was determined not to like the Harry Potter books. They’ve been out since I was in high school and I’ve managed to avoid both the books and the movies all this time. The 7th book came out when I was on vacation in NYC last month. My friend Angela – big fan of both books and movies – convinced me to give it a try. So I bought the first book. It was just ok. It’s truly a children’s book and so very predictable. The characters were fun, but the plot was so-so. I told Angela this. She made me buy the second one – swearing that they get better.
I kept thinking to myself that surely all of this worldwide frenzy couldn’t stem from this slightly-better-than-mediocre children’s book — they HAD to get better. So I agreed to read the second one. It was more of the same. Same basic plotline, the characters developed into people you care about — but nothing earth-shattering. I began to have my doubts about society – have we reached the point at which we are entertained by reality TV and Harry Potter?
Angela again promised that they get better and I would be in love starting with the 3rd book. I believed her. And have since finished both 3 and 4 and have cried twice. I can hardly believe I am caught up in the nonsense I have gone this long not understanding and, thus, ignoring. What’s amazing is that so many people pushed through to the 3rd book — but I guess back then there wasn’t mass hysteria and there weren’t movies and action figures and whatnot so there was no hype to not live up to.
So last night. I officially and totally succumbed to the madness. I had a dream about Harry Potter. The best part is, though, that the dream also included one Gus Pike! For those of you who are tragic enough not to know Gus Pike – he was a character on a TV show called Road to Avonlea which was a spin-off of Anne of Green Gables on the Disney channel when I was a little girl. We watched it over and over and over, and – even in college – Andrew and I would bust out a VHS he had of some of the episodes and watch them after a particularly hard day of Cal 2. Mmmm. It brings back such great memories.
This morning as I awoke from my Harry Potter/Gus Pike dream I realized that my subconscious made a connection that I never could have — Gus Pike was the Harry Potter of the early 20th century! Gus Pike was the unlikely hero, the scruffy-looking boy that was often overlooked by the reputation-obsessed other characters, always getting himself into some spot of trouble only to get himself out with a little help from friends and a lot of luck.
I realize this is complete nonsense to those of you who don’t know Gus Pike as intimately as I do, or even for those who haven’t read Harry Potter – but it’s refreshing to know that in a world filled with Flavor Flav and Britney Spears, there are characters like Harry and Gus to keep us grounded.