Sitzbook: "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"

This will be a fast review (at least I think… it seems I say that for every Sitzbook review, and then most of them turn out to be huge). But I’ve not got a lot to say about this book.
I read the first two Harry Potter books in 2001 (yes, 2001, not 2011), but that’s as far as I ever got on my first attempt. The second one just wasn’t good enough to catapult me to the third one, and eventually I started seeing some of the movies, as well –I think I’ve seen up to the fourth or fifth one– but then I just started getting confused. I liked the first book well enough, and the movies I saw were OK, but I still got the feeling that if I had read the books, everything would make more sense.
Last year I found out that Lucy had all the books, and they were in British English, as she was quick and proud to point out. For an Australian, she sure has a puzzling affinity towards British stuff. I think they may call that Stockholm Syndrome, but that’s a topic for a future post, I suppose.
In any case, Lucy loaned me the first book, which I quickly read last year. I decided that if needed, at least some of the H.P. books would make for quick reads on my book-a-week itinerary, so I’ve tried to not get them all at one time, in case I need to pad the list with fast, easy books near the end of the year.
So, how’s this one? Meh. It’s not as good as the first, that’s for sure. It’s got the magic and the wizards and the Hagrids and whatnot, but one gets the feeling that J.K. Rowling must have been as surprised as everyone else at the success of the first one, and it doesn’t seem as this book was really fleshed out and made part of the “bigger picture.” It hints at things that I’m assuming will come in future books, but just barely. 
And I really hate the “house elf” Dobby who visits Harry on a few occasions. For some reason, he just seems horrible and grating, but I guess maybe that’s what happens when you read books written for kids? There’s also a lot of snake-related crap and as you may know, I don’t dig that at all. 
Of course I’ll still continue the series because I know that all the books and movies are beloved by a generation that seems to have been born just after me, but after finishing this one, I got a bit of nostalgia for 2001, when I didn’t feel terribly compelled to keep reading, and when I told myself I could probably just see the movie versions and be OK.
Any thoughts?
Thanks for reading, and have a great new week!
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Sitzman

Errand-Running Monkey at Sitzblog
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