France falls under the Potter spell

30th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 1 (AFP) - At the stroke of midnight on Friday the French language edition of 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince', the sixth in the series of J.K. Rowling's blockbuster series of children's novels, hit the streets in France.

PARIS, Oct 1 (AFP) - At the stroke of midnight on Friday the French language edition of 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince', the sixth in the series of J.K. Rowling's blockbuster series of children's novels, hit the streets in France.

Predicting a rush of Pottermania, bookshops across France remained open into the early hours of Saturday. Others opened up at midnight.

Publishers Gallimard have printed a record two million copies of the latest addition to 'Pottermanie', translated in French as 'Harry Potter et le Prince de Sang-Mêlé.'

Unable to stand the wait, some 100,000 French people have already bought English-language copies of the work which first came out in July.

The first five books of the series have sold more than 17 million copies in French translation, and 300 million worldwide.

Major book and record seller FNAC turned its Champs-Elysees branch in central Paris into a fantasy forest full of scary creatures and apprentice magicians.

Ten-year-old Octave, amongst the midnight queuers in Paris, has read every volume of the antics of the young sorceror Harry Potter and his friends and declared "I'm even going to start reading volume six tonight".

Outside a bookshop in central Paris's Opéra disctrict, Chloe, 13, and her 11-year-old brother Theo were also waiting to get their hands on the assured bestseller.

Theo, an ardent fan, knows that a key character will die in the latest book. His anglophone uncle has already read the English version and told him that much, but no more. Theo hopes it's not Harry's Hogwarts school friend Hermione.

Further down the line was evidence that the Harry Potter spell is not restricted to pre-teens. Marie, 19, and sister Louise, 17, were also eagerly waiting for the bookshop doors to open. "It's so good, it's magical yet realistic," Louise enthused.

The two-million copy original print run for the French edition is double that of the last Harry Potter book, and triple that of volume four.

The Harry Potter magic is certainly working for French bookselllers.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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