"We've seen Harry grow from a spindly, messy-haired 11-year-old into a heroic young adult. Children have grown up with him, finding in his battles metaphors for their own. This volume alone sold 15 million copies in the first 24 hours after it was published. Whether wickedly skewering suburbia, or bringing Harry, Ron and Hermione into mortal danger, Rowling is never less than absorbing. Some may sneer at her books, but they are triumphant sagas about the defeat of evil that tap into our basic hunger for stories. Most importantly, she makes reading a 700-page book seem easy. This one even has a quotation from Aeschylus as its epigraph. It stands as a cornerstone of the decade, a melding of high and low culture that appeals to all ages and nations. "
And I couldn't agree more. Unlike most literary phenomenons, Harry Potter transcended all demographics, and not just because it was written with broad, clunky prose (cough, The Da Vinci Code) or a very niche fanbase (cough, Twilight). I remember being in Qatar when Deathly Hallows was published and seeing it proudly displayed in the windows of Arabic bookstores and pausing to reflect at how widespread its popularity had become.
But hey, what say you? Have you remained outside the Potter-mania? And if so, do you have a better alternative for a book that best represents the collective interests of an entire decade?