Saturday, April 18, 2009

Harry Potter: the Sequel

So, I did my Reading List review of Harry Potter I on Wednesday. Naturally I hoped people would be all freaked out that I dared call the beloved children's classic out on any particulars, but by and large people were just like, yeah, whatever. It's tough being a blogger.

I called HPI by its American name, Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone. It is well known that the publishers decided to change the original title (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) for the U.S. market because they felt that Americans were too slackjawed and ignorant to be able to pronounce "philosopher." Or something. It was all very flattering.

Less well known is that J.K. Rowling agonized for months over the title of the second book in the series (the review of which is coming up on Wednesday or thereabouts). However, due to my special access to the author -- what? you didn't know that J.K. Rowling and I both attended the University of Exeter? Well, we did! But no, I'm not going to tell you whether we ever dated. Or if she's a good kisser. It wouldn't be gentlemanly of me, so don't even ask.

Anyway, due to my special access to the author, I am able to produce for you here, for the first time ever in print:

J.K. Rowling's Top Twelve Rejected Titles for the Second Harry Potter Book!

12. Harry Potter, Run

11. Harry Potter and the Pot Au Feu

10. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Wizardry

9. Potter, P.I.

8. If On a Winter's Night Harry Potter

7. The Importance of being Harry

6. P is for Potter

5. Harry Potter 2: Electric Bugaloo *

4. The Autobiography of Harry P.

3. The Wand in the Willows

2. Harry Potter, Superstar

1. Are You There, God? It's Me, Harry Potter.
*This one's for you, DrSchnell.

Happy Weekend!

Only a week until the Decathlon. Better rest up.


Yankee in England said...

Okay I just about wet myself laughing and I am not ashamed to admit it.

I forgot to mention the other day that the only reason I started reading the HP books was that our very kind but creepily Christian Fundamentalist neighbors mentioned her sister had sent their kids the books but she was not allowing them to read them as they were satanic. Well this peaked my intrest and I asked to borrow them, I was only allowed to borrow them if I also read a "companion" book they owned outlining the evilness of HP I accepted the first three books and lied about my intent to read the "companion" book.

I have to thank Christian Fundamentalist for bringing my attention to HP, DaVenci Code, and His Dark Materials trilogy. I would like to curse them for the time I wasted watching The Passion of the Christ, which the only high point was the Roman guards saying idoit in Latin repeatedly.

I would just like to publicly let his Holiness know I will be watching Angels and Demons in theaters in a couple of weeks, maybe they have learned there lesson as I have heard very little outcry from the Catholic church in regards to this film.

Ben said...

Since so much of Harry Potter and the Chamber of secrets takes place in, well, the bathroom, why not:

Harry Potter and the Secret Potty?

Elizabeth said...

I think it was because we weren't expected to know about the Philosopher's Stone, which was what alchemists were looking for for centuries, because it would change lead into gold. Maybe immortality was in there, too.

Also probably because "American" and "philosopher" are not often used in the same sentence.

Rebel said...

Just wait until you get to book 7 "Wizards go Camping."

Chance said...

Hairy Pooper and the Sorcerer's Bone

Elaine said...

I once scrubbed and wrapped a large, smooth stone and gave it to my brother-in-law at Christmas. (He was a philosophy professor at York University.) He thought it was funny.
I think JK and her publishers underestimate everyone...

especially since ALL of your titles are better than theirs!

Jennifer said...

Oh, very nice! It makes me want to play too. I've been Potterfying Shakespeare play titles (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named of Venice; Harry Patronicus) and blog titles (The Life and Times of Harry5000; State of the Witchcraft) ever since.

(I know, I know, you're inimitable--but sincerest form of flattery and all that, yes? :-) )

Morgan said...

You, Michael, are weird. Even weirder than this!I actually heard this somewhere: they changed the name because Sorcerer sounds cooler than Philosopher. Which it doesn't.

Michael5000 said...

@Yank: You almost wet yourself laughing because you have an excellent sense of humor. I dunno about your decision not to read the HP companion book, though -- it might be pretty hilarious.

@Elizabeth: I've heard that too. I can't say, though, that I would expect the average bloke on the street to be any more or less familiar with the practices of alchemy than his American cousins, and any event the concept of the stone is spelled out in the book.

@Morgan: I don't like to think I'm weirder than THAT. I am apparently evil, though; you can ask your sister if you don't believe me.

Kritkrat said...

I wonder how many porno's are named after the HP movies...

DrSchnell said...

OK, I've gotta play too, especially after the shout-out in #5. It's harder than it looks at first glance, as you can see by my mediocre entries below:

1: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Wizards
2: Sgt. Potter's Lonely Wands Club Band
3: Moby Potter (much better than the other obvious permutation on these names!)
4: Cruciatus and Punishment (you may not know that one yet - don't think it makes its appearance until a later book - it's a murderous forbidden spell)
5. The Audacity of Harry
6. The Conscience of a Death-Eater
7. Huckleharry Potter
8. Hogwarts Valley Landscapes
Really, I should get back to work and do my job.....

Jenners said...

Hee Hee Hee.

DrSchnell said...

Sorry, just thought of another one on the way to work today:
9. Harry Eyre

Michael5000 said...

@Jenners: I was hoping you'd see these....

@Doc: "Harry Eyre" is worth coming back for. And will spawn the eventual sequel/critique "Wide Hogwarts Sea."