Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

My eyes are bleary, my head aches, and I’m a bit of a grump. The culprit? Harry Potter. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. My drive to finish the book wasn’t fanaticism—it was spoilers. I work in a library, and libraries are full of the kind of nerds who read Harry Potter and can’t wait to talk about it. I knew if I didn’t finish the book before work, it would be ruined for me.

Keeping this in mind, I will not ruin the book for anyone else. Instead, I’ll just make some general observations:

  • Library employees have been speculating for days (actually years) about what would happen in the book. They have reread the previous six books for clues. I did not participate in this speculation because I am lucky if I can even remember what I wore last week—let alone the intricate details of books I read years ago. However, many of their speculations were correct, so kudos to them.
  • Like I mentioned before, I have little interest in moody teenagers, and this book abounds in them. There were several moments when I wanted to give both Harry and Ron a slap. They are on the most important journey of their lives and they act like petulant two year olds? Give me a break.
  • I hate unnecessary epilogues. They detract from the integrity of a book. That is all I shall say.
  • Just because she is a billionaire does not mean that J.K. Rowling does not need an editor. I may be drawn-and-quartered for saying so, but The Deathly Hallows was way too long. The book could have easily been half the length without sacrificing anything. In fact, chopping out all the unnecessary drivel would have made the book stronger. Do I have to know every single person who attends a wedding and what they are wearing? No. Another problem with making the book so long is that readers are rushed to get to the meat of the story and may lose out on important details in their hurry.

Of course, none of my criticisms will stop anyone from reading the book. After all, if you are reading the seventh book, in all likelihood, you have also read the six books before it. Having made such a huge commitment, The Deathly Hallows could be the worst book ever, and everyone would still read it just to know what happens. It isn’t the worst book ever, and nothing could have stopped me from reading it either.


notaconnoisseur said...

I was grumpy when I read Buchan with a husband leaving his wife of 25 years. I have no idea how you have managed to read all of these tragic stories without being very disagreeable to everyone who encounter. I know you cannot have read these stories without being affected by them. I hope you can now turn to something more upbeat and cheerful.

Wanna-Be Lit said...

We must have a phone conversation about the book. I can't wait to hear what things your coworkers guessed correctly. And did they talk about the book at work on Monday?

TOTALLY agreed that the book was way too long and the teenagers too moody.