As is to be expected from websites like Hypable, Buzzfeed and various other online “News” sites the recent frenzy over a “short-story” about Harry Potter has been blown ridiculously out of proportion. One expects their version of the truth to be seriously distorted and confused but rarely is it quite so misinformed.
Today it was reported that a new JK Rowling short story about Harry, Ron and Hermione was to be published on the Pottermore website (a Rowling run Potter fansite which often has exclusive writing about the Wizarding World).
As a massive fan of the series (who isn’t?!) I jumped at the opportunity to read about the famous trio with their now greying and thinning hair but was a little underwhelmed by what I found. The “Short-Story” is little more than an essay length article by fictional gossip columnist Rita Skeeter on the subject of The Chosen One’s appearance at the Quidditch World Cup.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the article as much as any fan would. The glimpse at characters, who are like old best friends who you haven’t spoken to in years, was a pleasure and a enjoyable treat but it was hardly a short-story. In fact, it said little other than what has been revealed by Rowling in the Epilogue to Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, or invarious interviews and articles over the years. It speaks of Harry’s career, children and various other familiar character’s relationships and careers. Hardly spellbinding stuff.
Can I blame Rowling for the disappointment I feel? Of course not, she is doing a wonderful thing by serving her millions of fans with stories and articles about a world they simply don’t want to let go of. I blame the excessive nature of the internet hype: “JK ROWLING JUST POSTED A HARRY POTTER SHORT STORY” screams one link, “Everything You Need to Know About JK Rowling’s Brand New Harry Potter Story” states another. What such articles can find to speak about on the topic of a 1500 word page I don’t know but I certainly won’t be fueling their putrid gossip mongering and exaggeration by clicking to find out.
A JK Rowling news story is undeniably hard to ignore, she is the second biggest selling author alive today (Danielle Steel, the romance writer, has sold an incredible 500 million books to Rowling’s 450 Million) but what stings most is that these sites choose to publish a hyped up press release about a 1500 word gossip report instead of discussing the Author’s most recent excellent novel The Silkworm.
Perhaps they enjoyed this more because they can relate to the writing style of Reeter Skeeter.
To Read the Reeter Skeeter Article, Ginny Weasley’s Coverage of the Quidditch world cup and other JK Rowling content sign up to Pottermore.co.uk for Free.