Is the Harry Potter series worth all the fuss for audiences of mature taste?

I'm 48, and I've read and enjoyed such fare as Boris Pasternak's "Dr. Zhivago", Thomas Mann's "The Magic Mountain", and Dickens. But I'm also a big fan of the Harry Potter series. They're not intellectually deep, but they're just sheer fun to read, and the characters are very engaging.

I regard HP as "family books" rather than "children's books", much as the Pixar movies are family movies rather than children's movies. Meaning they're designed to appeal to both kids and adults, not just kids alone. So they usually have multiple levels to them.

The tone changes distinctly as the books go on. The first books is all bright colors and the mind boggling wonders of magic and the sheer fun weirdness of the Wizarding World. It gradually gets darker and a bit more mature, especially by the last book, when there's a massive war, beloved characters dying left and right, with budding awareness of romance and jealousy.

The series also has a way of casually mentioning people and events early on, that seem like throwaways, only to become significant elements of the story in later novels and my mind gets blown...

And stuff gets stated about the corruption of the Wizarding government, about bigotry, and the use of fearmongering and deception, in order to seize power, that strikes me as surprisingly deep for a supposed children's story.

Don't expect War and Peace or Les Miserables though. It's a British fantasy, centering on children, featuring goblins and flying on dragons and wizards and witches and good versus evil. Mostly escapist fun, mostly for kids. But here and there there's enough deeper stuff and emotional power and surprises to appeal even to adults.

Rowling has a real gift for creating very likeable and compelling characters. And putting them into the most confounding situations.

/r/books Thread