How Harry kept Darren in line

By MIKE SCOTT

FIVE in the morning on Saturday and Darren Brazier is waiting in the dark in the carpark of City Centre Plaza, Rockhampton. Why? Because his family depends on him, he is a morning person and a "diehard fanatic'' of Harry Potter books.

At seven he gets first in line outside the Angus and Robertson bookstore and is gradually joined by other feverish fanatics waiting for the latest book's 9.01am release.

As soon as the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince makes it home the family readings begin.

The Morning Bulletin's Sunday catch-up call interrupts the afternoon reading session.

Darren, wife Nikki and their four children, Matthew, 9, Jaimee, 8, Michael, 4 and David 1, are already up to chapter 13 eager to know the identity of the half-blood prince.

Mrs Brazier is the reader and for six hours, with the odd break, they listened to the words of J.K. Rowling. "Everyone is engrossed,'' she said.

During the past four months the family has revisited the first five books in the series, reading them cover to cover in anticipation of number six.

"When we started book six we knew exactly what was happening,'' Mr Brazier said. "It is different. It is filling in questions. We spent all of Friday guess-ing who the half-blood prince was.''

But why does Harry Potter appeal to so many? Mrs Brazier reckons she has the answer.

"Because I think it's a story of a boy who's been mistreated for a lot of his life.

"He's the underdog all the time but he comes through because he works hard and has friends.



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