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Reviews Comments: The Cons can outweigh the Pros. Harry Potter And The Methods Of Rationality fanfic review by Namonaki Rei

The story has interesting points and it pokes at many holes in the magical world, it has entertaining humour on occasion, and brings some concepts down to earth from the idealized stand they are in on the books. It makes good arguments, and has accurate science, but...

Harry is an obnoxious child whose emotionality and sense of empathy have been developed very little. Growing in a supposedly loving home, one is hard pressed to understand this lack of empathy and respect for other's emotions. Also, his anger management issues. He attempts to see everything as a science experiment, forgetting that life isn't a science experiment. I find many of his actions cruel, and while some people do need a metaphorical slap on the head, the way he goes about it is the most desensitized possible. While this is something that wouldn't be implausible to happen to a child prodigy in a home where neither parent understands him, this is not the case: His father is a scientist and would likely be almost an intellectual par with his child, though given how condescending he can appear, he probably doesn't take Harry as seriously as he should, and any attempts from intellectually-inferior Petunia are unlikely to be taken into account; this probably explains his anger issues, but not his lack of empathy toward others.

Quite honestly, while part of this bothers me for personal reasons, it's also wildly out-of-character, and there isn't enough of actual storytelling to make this worthwhile for me. For a manifesto, it's quite more entertaining than many, but for a story it leaves quite a bit to be desired.

That's just me, though.


  • Linna
  • 30th May 14
It has a pretty interesting plot. The anger issues are cannonical, so I don't know what your problem is there. Child prodigies tend to have the emotional maturity of their age, so I think you have very high standards for an eleven-year-old's EQ. Really, he could have Asperger's.
  • roo
  • 1st Jun 14
I totally agree with this review, actually. The main problem is that Harry is horribly unlikeable in this story, and it just seems strange that a Harry from a stable and loving home would somehow be less socially and emotionally well-adjusted than a Harry from a ridiculously abusive home.
  • YlvaThorgalsdottir
  • 3rd Jun 14
Personally, I found Cannon-Harry far less likeable than Methods-Harry.
  • PrettyCoco
  • 7th Jul 14
And that's why you dont have any friends Ylva.
  • Terrie
  • 8th Jul 14
Agreed. It's got some interesting ideas, but it fails as a story.
  • Ymirsdaughter
  • 11th Jul 14
What does it lack in order to be a story?
  • Terrie
  • 13th Jul 14
Ymirsdaughter, it's a colloquialism. It has all the elements of a story, but fails to put them together in a way that is engaging and entertaining. Just like when a person says that they "fail as a human being" that doesn't mean they're not human. Its just that they're really shitty at it.
  • Ymirsdaughter
  • 13th Jul 14
Thank you for that extremely patronising explanation. Now please tell me what the actual answer is.
  • doctrainAUM
  • 13th Jul 14
I don't see anything patronizing in it.
  • Ymirsdaughter
  • 14th Jul 14
It fails to answer the question presented, and instead gives a couple of self-evident "insights".
  • PrettyCoco
  • 15th Jul 14
Its not patronizing. Its so ironic that fans of a rationalist fic are so slow of mind.

THAT was patronizing BTW.
  • Ymirsdaughter
  • 16th Jul 14
So what's a way to put those elemtents together in a way that would be "engaging" to you?
  • Terrie
  • 19th Jul 14
I'd prefer a work that is less didactic, because Methods routinely sacrifices characterization in favor of presenting its concepts and ideas. "Harry" is not a character who can be related to, because he's not a character, he's a mouthpiece for the author's lessons.
  • KrytenKoro
  • 9th Jun 16
Ymirsdaughter — here\'s a complete rundown —
  • Pannic
  • 9th Jun 16
That blog covers two chapters and hasn't updated since 2010...

Holy shit, he actually insults the author by calling him a "white knight." I'm sure if he updated today he'd call him a cuck, too.
  • Charsi
  • 24th Aug 16
Yeah, I also got the impression that he sometimes acts like a sociopath and talks like a Straw Vulcan. I am relatively at the beginning of the fic, but his Suspiciously Specific Denial about not growing up in a cupboard was pretty suspicious. Canon!Harry didn\'t seem particularly traumatized to me, merely angry at the Dursleys. In that light, his anger management issues and paranoia here do make some sense.
  • esemesnet
  • 22nd Jan 17
Toplu sms gönder
  • Ronfar
  • 7th Apr 18
thread necromancy

The final arc explains a lot about why Harry has such an unusual personality; it's supposed to be a mystery for the reader to think about. (I really don't want to post any spoilers here, but it has a lot to do with what happened on that night Voldemort killed his parents.)
  • Elmo3000
  • 8th Apr 18
Hi Ronfar,

I haven\'t been reading the story but from what little I did read, years ago (so I fully appreciate that I may be completely wrong here) if the final arc explains a lot about why Harry\'s personality is the way it is, then there are two likely possibilities.

A) Eliezer Kapowski is an extremely talented genius man who had every detail of the final story planned out from the very beginning, and the people who dislike the story because Harry seems like a mixture of irritating self-insert OC and condescendingly perfect Marty Stu have actually just fallen into a cunning trap that he was planning on resolving all along. Although it\'s not much of a trap, given that so many of the readers who disliked the story, such as myself, are no longer readers of the story for this very reason.

B) Eliza Dolittle wrote such an unlikeable, self-aggrandizing, self-important, self-absorbed little shit of a main character, that he had to incorporate an explanation as to why he was so very punchable, partly in an attempt to save the story, and partly because every fanfiction writer puts a little bit of themselves into their main character, and if I wrote a story named \'Harry Potter gets a TV Tropes account and negatively reviews video games\' and everyone said Harry was an unlikeable shit, I\'d probably take it pretty hard too.
  • Terrie
  • 15th Apr 18
Ronfar, a twist only works if you can get through the story to the twist.
  • KakitaOCU
  • 16th Apr 18
The \"twist\" is a fairly obvious concept and idea that sprung up just in fan theory of the canon series. The Canon-series even almost does the same thing but doesn\'t quite go there.

The twist stems around Harry and Riddle\'s similarities. The twist stems around weirdness in Horcruxes (IE the Diary soul fragment was Tom Riddle in School still and had to learn about what he had done later on in life).

It\'s a very obvious \"twist\" that many folks saw coming from the get go and many canon-fans speculated about before Deathly Hallows jossed it.

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