These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

pottermania...over...maybe

spoiler alert, so if anyone has yet to read or finish "deathly hallows," don't proceed.

i, again, listened to the book on caudio cassettes. after an extended deadline friday (to get in the first person buying the book at readers world), dawn and i rushed to the store to get a copy. by the time we got to b&n, though, the store was closed, so i couldnt' start reading until nearly noon the following day.

i completed the book after i got home from work tuesday night. i was done about 3 a.m. no matter how much i kept going, the book seemd to stretch on and on. it was an exhaustive read, i'll tell you. and that's because this time it was no marathon read like "half-blood prince" two years ago.

did i like the book? yes, i did. was the book excellent? i'm not so sure. i still enjoyed "prisoner of azcaban" and "goblet of fire" the best.

i had no problem with harry surviving the battle with voldemort. i sorta hoped he'd perish with voldemort, but, alas, too many kids would've been crying their eyes out. no, rowling came up with a neat little way to make it ok for HP to live on.

was i sad to see snape die? yes i was. though, i thought, through viewing hsi thoughts through the pensive, he was redeemed. still a tragic figure, and rowling's best by far. most complicated, always had you guessing whether he was good or bad. i felt sorry for snape, never able to get the girl, always the outcast. and i thought it was quite poignant that harry named one of his boys albous severus potter and said about snape, "he was probably the bravest person i ever knew."

the things most disappointing to me was the speed of the book. it slowed, sped up for a bit, then slowed again. the entire part where the trio is camped in the woods and traveling in disguise was excruciating to read (like reading the part of the ents in the lord of the rings trilogy). i thought rowling could have cut about 100 pages off the book to make the book flow. don't get me wrong, i enjoy long books, but the fllow was too erratic for me.

then several main characters died and it became a secondary thing. mad-eye moody was killed while we were with potter at the weasley house. the only thing recovered later was his eye. also, tonks and lupin were killed in the battle of hogwarts. we never see them in battle or how they died. all of a sudden, potter's looking at dead bodies and there is the couple lying dead. we never know who killed them or how they died.

those are three main characters who died and it seemed like an afterthought. that's the problem when a majority of the book is seen through harry's eyes. there's no chance to really see what's going on elsewhere. that's where rowling fails as a writer. she starts off this book, as she did the previous several books, without harry in the chapters. but then thepoint of view is only harry, so that anything that happens outside the realm of his scope, we don't get to see. it's a shame.

that's anything, then. snape is a huge main character, but we only see him in three chapters of the book, the first, then many, many chapters later in "the sacking of severus snape," and in the chapter when voldemort kills him (unless you count the pensive stuff). the book needed more snape in it. he is by far the best and most complex character and yethe's only in three chapters. doesn't make sense to me.

i know it sounds like i didn't like the book, based on the above comments, but i did. many questions were answered and it was more heavy than previous books.

plus, it has been nice and quite an experience living through this time while this phenomenon has occurred. things like this don't happen very often and it's good to be part of it. whether you like them or not, you must admit that the books have made an impact on readers, kids are reading them, and hopefully reading other books, too.

to those who say, humbug, i say too bad, you're missing out, if for only a quick, light read before moving on to non-fiction, hemingway, philosophy books, history or romances.

i am now going back and have started the first book, "harry potter and the sorcerer's stone." the book is so different than "deathly hallows." the writing is simpler, not verbose. the guy reading the book has gotten his groove on since that first book, too. he's wonderful. i've noticed that he pronounced voldemort's name without the "t" in this first book. sounds funny.

is pottermania over? hardly. there are still two more movies to go and much discussion on this book and the series as a whole.

somebody out there doing a dissertation? already? shoulda known.

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