Thursday, December 30, 2010

Harry Potter Revisited

My reading has slowed down considerably lately, or at least my finishing of books. I have been reading around a lot and not finishing much. But yesterday I finished book #66 of the year - and it's looking as though that will be the last.

I reread Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The first time I read it was right after it came out. I wasn't one of those who stood in line at midnight or one who pre-ordered; I showed massive restraint, waited until the next day, and bought my copy from the heaps at WalMart. Then I read it as fast as I possibly could. We went on a trip that week, and I was in a hotel room with my son and my nephew. I put the boys to bed and then sat on the floor between the bathroom and the room door and read the book by the light from the bathroom until I finished it.

If you didn't read the book yet, stop here, because there might be some spoilers coming up.

It was good to read this book again, and I enjoyed it very much. I love the King's Cross chapter, and seeing all the various threads brought together. I love the complexities revealed in the characters, particularly Dumbledore, James Potter, and, of course, Snape. My favorite quote: "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" I realize that this could be taken to justify all kinds of delusions, but to me it simply means that the life of the mind has an existence of its own.

I like Rowling's wordplay, her creativity, and the characterizations, which became increasingly subtle in later books. The whole Harry Potter series was entertaining and fun.


Unknown said...

While I enjoyed the Deathly Hallows a lot, in retrospect I don't think it was worth the effort to get to it. The first three or four books of the series are rubbish, after which the characters start being believable. I would never recommend these books to anyone who wasn't already an avid reader, because the payoff is too small, after too much investment.

Having said that, yes, I did like DH, and think it's by far the best of the series. I finally believe almost all of the characters (except the Dursleys, who remained cardboard-cutouts to the end).

Ruth said...

Wow, I really disagree. I thought the first books were a lot of fun. They are full of humor and adventure. They hooked many of my middle school kids on reading in general, and reading "thick books" in particular.

Susan T. said...

Harry Potter is in the process of hooking my kiddo (age 11) into the realm of longer books. We started with the audiobook of #1, and it's taken off from there. I really fell in love with the series after hearing Jim Dale's narration on the audiobooks. Such terrific fun.