I despise and immediately shirk from anything that gains immense popularity such as the Harry Potter series did over the years. I absolutely had no interest whatsoever in reading any of the books or watching the movies. I grouped HP with the Lord of the Rings movies the popularity bothered me so much (I once had to endure a 3 hour, terribly boring hobbit movie which made me want to gather every copy available and burn them....). Due to my true indifference for fourteen years, I managed to not know really anything about the HP series other than there was HP and he went to Hogwarts with some friends in Britain. That was really too much to know already if you asked me as I did not care a lick. After all, the masses, especially when led by children, are usually wrong. Well I've finally read the book and while I find myself no longer grouping HP with Lord of the Rings, I still cannot quite grasp why it became so popular.
If there is one thing I can say about this book is that it is charming. The writing reminds me of both Roald Dahl and Tolkien (the songs, why the songs? Ugh, damn hobbits) throughout, Dahl is especially strong while we are in the company of the Dursleys. I cannot really say there is anything truly original contained within, but I can somewhat understand why it would come to have such popularity with younger groups (adults loving it so much leaves me quite baffled). It is good book with likeable characters that is certainly geared towards children. Hagrid and Hermione were my favorite characters, although they both started getting soft near the end.