A beggarly account of empty boxes

August 8, 2007

Harry Butthole Pussy Potter

Filed under: Books, Current Events, Media — Liz @ 6:29 am

harry-potter.jpgI admit it – for the first time, I got caught up in the Harry Potter hoopla.  I don’t know what came over me; I have always enjoyed reading the books and looked forward to each edition in the series, but I never stayed up all night to read them, or bought the newest book on its release date.  My usual pattern was to re-read all the previous books once the latest one was released; then I would go to the book store or the library or a friend about a month later and buy or borrow the latest one.  But this time, I pre-ordered.  Maybe beacuse it was the last book, maybe I just had to know what happened as soon as possible.  But it arrived on Saturday, July 21 (it actually arrived much later than I imagined it would – it came some time in the late afternoon).  The UPS carrier (who was not our usual delivery person) told me how everyone was working overtime and that Harry Potter was basically all they were delivering.  She said there were 310 copies being delivered to my zip code alone, and that it was the smallest number for any of the zip codes in the Richmond metropolitan area (come on, 23223, we need to represent!).  Amazon packaged it in a cute box with the words, “No Muggles allowed” (or something to that effect).  I eagerly opened it . . . and then decided that I might wait to read it.

See, we had plans to go see the fifth Harry Potter movie that night.  And I thought to myself that it would be a nice refresher to see the movie prior to reading the last book.  Then, we had time after dinner but before the movie, so we decided to go to the book store, where I purchased the sixth Harry Potter, since I did not own it (I think I borrowed Stephanie’s during my last reading).  Then, on Saturday night, after having my memory refreshed by watching the fifth movie, I opted to re-read the sixth book before delving into the seventh and final.

I read some on Sunday, but we also had things to do.  I kept reading all through the week, finally finishing the sixth book on the following Saturday morning.  Now I was lagging behind the rest of the world by a week – everyone knew what happened to Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the entire magical world, except me.  I was afraid to go on-line and accidentally read some spoiler about the final book.  Tim kept threatening me, trying to reveal who died in the final book (he kept saying, “You want to know who dies?  I know who dies”).  I began the seventh book one week after its release date.

And I read it, pretty much for a solid 24 hours (with breaks on Saturday night for dinner and to see the Simpsons movie) (and, of course, to catch seven hours or so of sleep).  I finished some time late Sunday afternoon.  Of course, Tim was pulling my leg all along about knowing anything about the book, because, in fact, he knew nothing.

I thought the seventh book was the most well-written of the lot of them – Rowling really has improved her need to be repetitive and her need to summarize action instead of having action unfold.  I read on-line that many fans (as well as my friend Stephanie, who I called immediately upon completion in order to discuss the book, its deeper meanings, the ramifications of the series on our lives, etc.) felt that a few hundred pages should have been cut (where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are wandering through the woods trying to figure out what to do).  However, I think this was a successful way to portray the frustration, intensity, and boredom that the characters were supposed to be feeling (of course, I hope they limit these scenes when the final movie comes out).  I was a bit miffed about the scene where Harry seems to go to some sort of afterlife and discuss events with Dumbledore, but I did like that Rowling had Harry ask if this experience was real or in his head, and Dumbledore answered that it was in his head, but that that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. I also felt that the conversation was necessary – each book in the series comes to some sort of conclusion wherein Harry and Dumbledore chat, and things are clarified for Harry.  Of course, what makes this last book different, and what reveals how Harry has grown, is that he has to continue to make choices and take action even after his conversation with Dumbledore.

I am going to stop typing now – I believe I have gone on much too long about Harry Potter, especially since everyone has been inundated with Harry Potter fever for a long time now.  I will give my ratings, though: for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book Six), I give 5 stars.  For Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book Seven), I give 4.5 stars.  For the whole series, I give 5 stars.  My favorite of the books was number four: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (I still tear up when I think about Cedric Diggory dying).  I will miss reading more about Harry and Hogwarts.  The books almost make me want to have a child so I can share them with him/her (not really; just a tiny, tiny bit).

1 Comment »

  1. so what happened to harry?

    Comment by John — August 8, 2007 @ 7:08 pm


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