a little east of reality

Monday, August 06, 2007

harry potter and the non-spoilery post

I've just added a comment to my post on predictions for the 7th Harry Potter book and just reposting the comment here:

I got some things right, some not. There weren't so many surprises, no, but I think that was mostly (for me at least) because so many possibilities had been thrown out there that anything that eventuated had been foretold by someone, at some point. The wandlore aspect was new and interesting (and clever). The Dumbledore backstory revelations were more distracting than interesting, though everything played it's part in the end. I pretty much loved everything else. I thought the last six or so chapters are the most fun I've had reading in a long time. And I use the word 'fun' loosely, as I wept through a lot of it.

I'd say more but I'm trying not to give spoilers.

Like many fans I was very concerned with who JKR was planning to 'kill off'. In the end it didn't matter. What I found was that while some of the deaths were upsetting (read: had me openly weeping) in the end they made the writing better. To never lose a character you love is to read with too much emotional safety. It dilutes the story and trivializes the fears of the characters because in your head there's always a voice assuring you that they are worrying about nothing.

JKR didn't allow us that kind of certainty and the book was much better for it. There was actually one point where I read something that indicated that someone had died and the way I read it had me thinking it was one particular character that I really did not want dead. I literally put the book down in my lap and just breathed for a minute, because right then I just couldn't bear to keep reading and find out that it was so. Luckily for me I returned to the book to find that I'd made a mistake. Didn't make the actual death in question any less sad though...

It's really difficult to say anything about the ending (last few chapters) without including spoilers, but I will say that:

(a) I loved it
(b) I was highly amused by it when I realised how certain hotly debated topics in the HP fan world had panned out. I can't elaborate, but there were even some points where BOTH sides of a debate ended up being right. Brilliant! :) And finally,
(c) my one beef with it was that I think it contradicted something really important in the 5th book. But that's something for me to beat out with other people who've already read the book. They may be able to persuade me otherwise. Maybe.

If anyone else has read the book I'd love to hear what you thought, but please preface any comment containing a spoiler with this heading: ###SPOILER### If you posted about the book, feel free to comment with a link to your post.

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