What the Manolo Is…

Manolo says, it is Tuesday, time to see what the Manolo is…

Watching…

Listening to…

Reading…

Strangely, the Manolo has yet to read any of the books of the Harry Potter corpus. It is not because the Manolo is opposed in any fashion to fantasy and the worlds of make-believe, for indeed, clearly the Manolo spends much of his time in such places.

No, it is because the friends of the Manolo have built these books up so high, heaped upon them so much praise, that the Manolo is now afraid to read them, for fear that he will be disappointed.

Meanwhile, the Manolo has decided to dip his toe into the delightfully morbid world of Lemony Snicket. Who knew such joy was to be found in the suffering of innocents!

And speaking of finding pleasure in the fantastical predicaments…how can one resist the ridiculous premises, the flimsy pretexts and the beautiful waltzes of Strauss the Junior’s Die Fledermaus?

9 Responses to “What the Manolo Is…”

  1. La Petite Acadienne November 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    La Petite Acadienne does not think that the Manolo would be disappointed with the Harry Potter series.

    Is it grand literature that will utterly change the way you look at the world? No, it is not.

    Is it a ripping good yarn that will probably keep you up too late reading “just to the end of this chapter”? Yes. Absolutely.

  2. Vicki November 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Dear Manolo, I too bucked reading the Harry Potter books because I didn’t believe something so popular could be as good as all that. But I did start on Book 1 once Book 3 was out, just to see what the fuss was about. I wasn’t disappointed. Perhaps you won’t be either. By the way, I’m way behind the movies but that’s ok.

  3. marvel November 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    Oh Manolo, please read the Harry Potter books. You will be probably be disappointed in some aspects, because of the elevated expectations. And JK Rowling has none of the elegance or wit of the writing style of a Dorothy Sayers, nor is her world quite as established in the rich detail of Tolkien’s. But the books are playfully imaginative, with a wealth of unforgettable major and minor characters and plenty of unexpected, humorous asides. The core story is a narrative as old as time, with grief and loss tempered by grace and love. Also, they are a really quick read! Take the first one with you on your next plane flight. (You should read them in order.)

  4. Deborah November 23, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    Allow me to offer a contrarian view on Harry Potter: They are overrated. The writing is adequate, no more; each story is essentially the same; and Harry never, never learns from his mistakes (a particular peeve of mine with respect to characters with recurring stories). That the books encouraged children to read is fine, but there are a host of books out there for adults to read.

  5. raincoaster November 24, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    The further along you get in the Harry Potter series, the more she needed a good editor and the more she lacked one, but they ARE worth reading. The movies, however, are very, very good as well (and isn’t everything featuring Alan Rickman superior to everything that does not feature Alan Rickman?).

    Lemony Snicket is teh ossum.

    Now, STRAUSS is overrated! Please; he was the Andrew Lloyd Webber of his time.

  6. Mr. Henry November 24, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    Mr. Henry concurs with the amazing raincoaster, as usual. Strauss is fluff. His music is about as memorable as Vogue magazine.

    As writing, the Harry Potter series is what it purports to be, namely, a young adult story. For ambition, imagination, and wit, they are hugely successful. Reading them becomes tiresome rather quickly, but Jim Dale’s narration is pure genius, every bit as great as the films which may be the best film series ever made.

  7. Leigh November 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Lemony Snicket is most delightful. Have you heard any of the audiobook versions? They are made even more delightful by the addition of original songs by Lemony Snicket’s band between chapters.

    And if that is not enough to entice you, most of them are narrated by…Tim Curry.

  8. Miss Plumcake November 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    “Who knew such joy was to be found in the suffering of innocents!”

    Me! Me! I did! We’ve been working together for HOW long and you’re just now figuring this out?

  9. angelhair November 29, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    I also vote for the Lemony Snicket series, even though that gets repetitive as well. And talk about not learning from mistakes! The audiobooks are narrated by the great Tim Curry (with a couple of exceptions when the author thought he could do the job – uh, no) and since I could gladly listen to Mr. Curry read the phone book the audiobooks are a delight. The featured band is the Magnetic Field with Stephen Merritt. Another plus.

    Jim Dale also does an amazing job with the Potter audiobooks. Can’t go wrong there either. While neither series is great literature, I would give the edge to the Potter series. But both are worthy of attention.