Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling


No, this is not a review - I'm saving that for the forthcoming HP7 discussion over on the Scholar's Blog Spoiler Zone in early August.

I have finished it though. It took me around seven hours in total - and I'm actually relieved to say I enjoyed it. I wasn't sure I would as I'd been resenting the prospect of reading it so much since rading it would be taking me out of the Whoniverse for several hours - the longest period I've spent *out* of the Whoniverse since I became immersed in it back in January. But once I started reading, the story tugged me along...

It was interesting reading this book from a fiction writer's point of view. This is the first HP book I've read since I began writing fiction myself and it was intriguing. I think I've mentioned here before that I have the facility to read on more than one level at the same time: I read as a child - wanting to get to the end of the story, hoping for a good ending, and I also read as a "critic" - looking at the structure, themes, language style, etc. And since I took up writing fiction I've been reading books at the level of someone who's also producing fiction - it's given me an extra awareness that I didn't possess when reading as a critic - sometimes that merely means thinking "Hmm, not sure I'd have written/structured that like that..." Sometimes it means a flare of admiring envy at the way something has been expressed and the desire to have that kind of mastery myself.

What it means for my reading of Harry Potter is that I've an extra appreciation of how bloody hard it is to tie up all the loose ends of a seven book series in a satisfying way that also gives readers at least a half-way decent story. And I think Rowling achieved that in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Oh and I don't totally hate the children's cover any longer - I still prefer the adult one, though ! But seeing it on book it seemed a little less morbid than in the photos (go figure !) And now that I know to what the UK cover relates, I'm impressed that it actually *fits* the story so well !

9 comments:

Kelly Fineman said...

I was pleased to see some of my pet theories vindicated. And I noticed too, how all those doors she'd left open along the way were painstakingly closed -- pretty awe-inspiring.

Michele said...

Hmm... I was annoyed that Harry was a Horcrux after all - but at least Voldemort didn't *deliberately* make him one - which was a relief because I'd been arguing he couldn't have done it, but otherwise yes pretty good...

Mai said...

I too will save discussion about the book for your group discussion, but seeing that it has already been mentioned, I will state that I was also annoyed at the Harry Horocrux thing simply because I thought it had to be deliberate to be a horocrux. Voldemort WANTED 7, not oh 6 and a 7th one that I don't know about.

Still I loved the book and it is a minor quibble on my part. It made sense and didn't seem forced. I appreciated how things were tied up and that while things were tied up, it wasn't all nice and neat with a bow.

When I read, I read on several levels just as you do. Sometimes that is hard because it can be distracting - I'm thinking more about the structure, the references, the language, or something other than the story.

I'm just in awe of Rowling - she managed so much in these 7 books. She opened a loop when she wrote the first book, and closed it with brilliant precision.

It took me about 7 hours as well to read the book. I was given the 'gift' of a day just to read. :D It has been HP intense here as I re-read HBP and OoTP just to get myself back in touch with little things I'd forgotten. And I took the kids to see the OotP movie last week.

I'm looking forward to more discussions about this book in August.

Camille said...

Our home has been silent for the last 24 hours with the only sound, an occasional page turn. In fact the street outside has been practically empty of traffic.

Kelly put it well, JKR painstakingly closed all the doors. I loved it. I found myself crying from the moment a certain Weasley showed up until the end.

Can't wait for the discussion, Michele.

Michele said...

Neither can I wait for the discussion, actually... Last week I was feeling annoyed that I'd picked this book for next month (because I wasn't looking forward to reading it), but now I'm thinking that after the last two discussions were so brief, this one will probably run away with us !

Deb Logan said...

Thanks for not revealing too much! I just got my copy today and haven't allowed myself to start it yet (I had to fulfill my writing time first!)

Woot! I'm off to begin my final journey with Harry ...

Michele said...

Enjoy it then !

cloudscome said...

I am looking forward to your book discussion. I loved DH but I have a few problems with it that I just can't shake.

Michele said...

Not long now !! Another 6 days and the discussion opens...