Monday, July 23, 2007

books: Harry Potter wraps up

I realized Friday night that if I didn't read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows immediately I'd be exposed to spoilers from sick and twisted people with no lives (aka Dementors that suck the joy of life). So I walked the dogs down to the local bookstore at 12:30am and bought a copy.

Man. It doesn't quite have the power and tenderness of the scenes with Dumbledore at the end of book 6, and lacks the near-perfection of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It has a ton of "Harry shouted" reported speech (though not his endless ALL-CAPS whining in Book 5). No matter, it's a brilliant, exciting, packed, rich end.

At the start I used Wikipedia to remind me of plot points from book 6 and characters from earlier books, risking an errant spoiler, but soon gave up and just plowed through. Which Weasley is Charlie? Is Slughorn good or bad? The books need a special online companion that lets you search the entire series from the start up unto as far as you've read and no further.

J.K. Rowling's pacing is all over the place, the characters spend weeks doing nothing between breathlessly intense scenes. I'm not sure why, as the book doesn't need to be tied to the flow of the terms at Hogwarts.

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