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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, July 15, 2005

Barry Trotter, the annoying celeb

By Wanda A. Adams
Assistant Features Editor


We're probably far enough into the Harry Potter craze for this: A book-length parody by humor writer Michael Gerber, "Barry Trotter and the Unauthorized Parody" (Fireside, paper, $11). We know the books well enough by now to get the jokes. And J.K. Rowling surely is fair game for some gentle teasing. (Gerber dedicates the book to her "with impudent admiration.")

Gerber knows the Potter universe well enough to build his own version. Here, however, Muggles are Muddles, Hogwarts is Hogwash, Voldemort is Valumart and — here's where things might go sour for some — our dear, sweet Harry is lazy, vain and self-involved. What's clever is the inside-the-looking-glass technique that Gerber employs: Harry is full of himself because the books written about him have made him so famous that he's untouchable at Hogwash, so valuable is he as a draw for new students.

This book's target audience is a bit fuzzy. It's a bit too laced with bodily fluids for the average grownup. Some parents will be shocked at the near profanity and sexual innuendo. And Potter fans will either get huffy about it or think they could have written it funnier.