I liked this book, and the hell with the naysayers. It's not great literature, and it's not Harry Potter either, but it's just so goddamned honest about what it's trying to say that I couldn't help but like it. (It's also extremely well crafted and readable, but that's almost a given with Rowling.) She clearly utterly, totally, uncompromisingly loathes these people and their snobbishness, parochialism and racism and all the rest, (or whoever these fictional people are a stand in for,) and would really like to beat them all to death with a hammer. That, however, being illegal, she wrote this book instead.