‘More adult’ Harry Potter

The next person who says anything about the final Harry Potter being more ‘adult’ is going to get something thrown at them. What the hell is this supposed to mean? The storyline isn’t that much more complex, and, yes, the themes are heavier and it’s more emotional, but every kid of an age to read this type of book is going to have no trouble understanding it. Unless they’re drawing the ‘more adult’ line at there maybe being the odd moment a 9-year-old won’t understand, which there wasn’t1 in the previous books, I don’t know what they’re getting at.

Are reviewers mistaking ‘books about young people’ for ‘books that are incredibly simplistic’? And now the characters are older it’s therefore ‘more adult’? Wouldn’t surprise me.

I’m not putting it down, by the way: I think there are many ways in which Harry Potter surpasses much of the literature aimed at adults, particularly in terms of complexity of storyline and emotional development. I sometimes think there’s a sneering attitude towards literature aimed at children, and it’s patronising in the extreme. “Look, here’s a book aimed at children that I enjoy! It must therefore be ‘more adult’.” Gah.

Similarly, although not as annoying, ‘darker’. We quickly found out that Harry’s parents were murdered in cold blood, as I recall. I could possibly be won over on that one, though.

Ok, rant over.

  1. I think there was, actually []