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toomuchcoffee911's avatar

What genre are the Harry Potter books?

Asked by toomuchcoffee911 (6928points) December 19th, 2009

Could they not be realistic fiction? Because in the book the author explains that muggles (non-wizards; that would be most of us) don’t know about the wizard world because it is hidden so well and there are so many spells to keep it guarded.

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32 Answers

absalom's avatar

Children’s fantasy fiction.

Could they not be realistic fiction?


PretentiousArtist's avatar

Children’s literature

dpworkin's avatar

Home and Garden

jaytkay's avatar

Mind-warping anti-Christian blasphemy. At least that’s what I hear in the news

P.S. I am kidding. The first part, I mean. That actually does show up in the news occasionally

RareDenver's avatar

Erotic literature for children?

janbb's avatar

Too much coffee?

Ghost_in_the_system's avatar

young adult fantasy

janbb's avatar

I guess the point you are trying to make is that how do we know they are not reality since the wizard world is so well hidden from us Muggles. If you believe that, there’s a shire in MiddleEarth, I’d like to sell you.

dpworkin's avatar

what are you, @janbb, a trafficker in humans?

janbb's avatar

@pdworkin Yes, it’s a bad hobbit of mine.

absalom's avatar

@RareDenver: You’re thinking of Twilight.

laureth's avatar

If they could be considered realistic fiction because the wizards are so very hidden, then we could say the same of Star Wars (because who knows what-all happened a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away?).

edit to add: or, what @janbb said.

Fyrius's avatar

There’s a difference between “realistic” and “not absolutely impossible”. In order to be realistic, a series should be not only non-impossible, but also reasonably plausible.

Harry Potter? Nuh uh.

Seriously. Magic all over the place, dragons, goblins, ghosts, giants, centaurs, mythical creatures that we know are made up being real after all. Some of which defy basic biology, like the centaurs that have two more limbs and a longer spine than every other vertebrate known to man.
Oh, and they’re half human and half horse, two species that evolved independently since a very remote common ancestor. How did that evolve? And does it have two sets of lungs, and does its food pass through two stomachs?

What’s more, this series uses magic as its variety of applied phlebotinum. Spells can do (damn near) anything, they follow no particular patterns, nobody ever explains how they work and nobody really cares how they work. I think it’s a safe bet that this means Mrs Rowling doesn’t really care about creating a consistent universe, if it gets in the way of having living paintings and staircases with a mind of their own.

And it’s a children’s series, so that’s cool.

janbb's avatar

@Fyrius You raise a good point (or several.) I enjoyed Harry Potter as much as the next person, but I don’t consider it in the front line of children’s fantasy because it does not create a consistent maigcal universe. Other series such as The Chronicles of Narnia and The Dark is Rising are much more powerful works of literature.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Childrens Fiction or Childrens Fantasy. And I like Tolkien also, it doesn’t have to be one or the other.But I refuse to see the film versions of either. I don’t want my mental images spoiled,

janbb's avatar

Edit “magical” (Damned rereading.)

Jeruba's avatar

I’d call them fantasy. If I recall correctly, she did not set out to write children’s books and was not expecting children to be her main audience. Like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien (to whose standards her works do not measure up, I hasten to add), she was, I think, just writing—at least to begin with—and not targeting a certain group.

But there is no doubt that this is imaginative literature about a make-believe world, even if it does have trains and computers and elevators in it.

cyn's avatar

mystery, fantasy.
Out of this World

RAWRxRandy's avatar

Total Fantasy… It’s too far-fetched to be realistic fiction but i guess if you look at it that way then it could be…

Ria777's avatar

>Could they not be realistic fiction?

fantasy doesn’t mean anything can happen, though it can. fantasy does tend to have rules, you know. they call it worldbuilding. it doesn’t always have rules and it doesn’t have worldbuilding, but usually.

Berserker's avatar

Both poop and crap were taken? Damnit. Fanatsy? shit

avvooooooo's avatar

Awesomeness. :D

@janbb I LOOOOVVVVVEEEEE “The Dark is Rising!”

janbb's avatar

@avvooooooo And I know you don’t use “OOOOOOs” lightly. :-)

avvooooooo's avatar

@janbb Damn straight! :D

vbabe96's avatar


I have to second this. Harry Potter is fantastic and filled with awesomeness.

leopardgecko123's avatar

Amazingly wonderful best-selling books that are an entire topic and read my most everybody who can read and has a sense of imagination and what’s good. (ha ha just kidding! But, seriously they are amazing!!!)

I always thought they were fantasy/fiction children’s books?

leopardgecko123's avatar

Wait, the whole point of reading Harry Potter (well, maybe not the WHOLE point) is to let your imagination run free and wild and crazy and magical, right? At least that’s how it affected me. But I’m saying that Harry Potter wasn’t meant to be realistic and consistent. I mean, any story with magic and centaurs and giants is probably not going to be that realistic.
(I don’t mean to burst your bubble, though. Just my thoughts)
I personally think Harry Potter is one of the best children’s (and any age, for that matter) books ever!

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