Friday, August 10, 2007
My husband works with a brother and sister (the sister owns the company) who were just discussing one of the earlier Harry Potter books because they had been listening to it on cd in the car, the sister's car. So the brother, hadn't heard the whole story and was asking questions about Dumbledore, etc. Funny conversations for a 40 something year old man to have in the workplace. They obviously jumped on the bandwagon late, but are intrigued. I saw an older woman at the pool last week reading book # 5. And before I had read book # 7, we were at a Kansas City Royals game, and the teenage girl in front of us was reading book # 7 at the ball game. Harry Potter is huge. He was huge years ago, and it hasn't died out, yet.
I realize that for most people you are either on the Harry Potter bandwagon, or you are sick of Harry Potter. This is also a popular enough book that I don't want to ruin it for those of you who jumped on the Harry Potter bandwagon late (like my husband's coworkers), or who have not yet read book #7.
I didn't start reading Harry Potter books until the first three were published. I believe #1 was in paperback (I've since had to buy it in hardcover so it matches my set, I'm a bit obsessive about book serieses matching) but #s 2 and 3 were only in hardcover. I read them for a Young Adult literature class at BYU with Dr. Chris Crowe. He didn't actually assign Harry Potter, we had an essay we had to write and he was intrigued by the idea of religious people speaking out about the books and their dealing with witchcraft so he gave us the Harry Potter option as a possible topic. (At the time, a new elementary school in Nebo School District - Utah held a contest to let the kids name the new school and Hogwarts won unanimously. It was a huge issue.) I thought, hey, I can finally read these books I've been hearing about, and get credit in a class. So I added the first three Harry Potter books to the 30 other books Dr. Crowe assigned us for the semester and read while walking all over campus in order to get the reading done.
So that's how I got started. While I've enjoyed all of the books, there is always something that bugs me about them. In the last few, it's been Harry's teenage angst and annoyingness. I almost wasn't looking forward to reading this final book. There are always the rumors that each book gets a bit darker than the previous one, that a main character will die, etc. But I must say that this book didn't disappoint me like I thought it most definitely would. Without giving anything away (for those who haven't read it yet, for those who are late jumping on the bandwagon, or for those who just don't care), I think Rowling ended it well. I don't feel confused. It seems as though all lose ends and questions were answered. People died, people lived. It was clear at the end who was alive and who was dead. As a reader, I love epilogues, but at the same time they seem like a pretty cheesy way to satisfy the reader. The epilogue in this book is okay. I don't know that it was needed, but I'm sure readers all over the world were happy to read those last few pages fast forwarded to the future.
*There was one question my husband and I both had after finishing the book, he just forwarded me this link that explains how Neville Longbottom gets the Griffinder sword.