Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,was it worth the wait?

I recieved my copy of the final Harry Potter book on Saturday morning(thank you,Amazon,for fulfilling your promise of "guranteed delievry on the day of release")and stayed up until 2:30 AM on Sunday to finish it. I decided to pace myself over the course of the day,taking necessary food breaks and even a nap,since I woke up at six to lie in wait for the UPS courier.

So,was it worth all of the hype,hoopla and tons of talk,both online and in the print media? I have to honestly say,yes. One of the dangers of having such a huge mainstream audience for any pop culture item is overexposure,which can kill your appetite quicker than seeing a gory movie before dining out at an Italian restaurant. I don't intend to reveal any major spoilers here,out of respect to those who may still be reading the book or haven't gotten a copy yet,but I can say that the vast majority of "advance" details regarding the plot of Deathly Hallows were as inaccurate as government statistics. Maybe less than one percent of what I saw of the leaked info held any truth at all.

Here's what I can tell you about the story without ruining anything for you: Harry,Ron and Hermoine find themselves on the run as Voldemort's Death Eaters take over the magicial world and wage a secretive war on both Muggles and Muggle born magic folk. Muggle born witches and wizards are forced to be "registered" with the Ministry of Magic and prove they haven't "stolen" their abilities. There's a strong theme of WWII underground resistence movement,with secet radio broadcasts that tell the real news about what's going on,folks going into hiding and children being targeted for indoctrination.

Some of you may saying at this point,"Hey,what kind of kids' book is this?" Well,the kind that has matured with it's audience and spares them any dumbing down. As for the many(and I have to say many)characters that meet their end,you may be surprised at who and how they are killed.

A good number of the deaths are offscreen,so to speak,and the ones that are fully featured are not done gratuitously. There's an emotional impact given to the highlighted passings and an unexpected character revelation that changes the way one major player in the Potter realm has been always percieved.

Does it feel like a long read? Yes and no,in my opinion. Some of the middle portion of the book may make you want to hurry up and get to the good stuff but for me,those moments were few and far between. There are a good amount of magical battles(including a very key confrontation at Hogwarts) and I found myself mentally cheering on the combatants and getting as thrilled as I would be watching a great action movie sequence. I don't know how they will be able to truly do some of this justice for the future film adaptation. Perhaps the studio should consider coaxing someone like Terry Gilliam or even Peter Jackson to handle the Deathly Hallows movie,to give the finale that radiant energy it deserves.

All in all,Deathly Hallows caps off a truly delightful fantasy series that will be passed down thru the generations,to libraries and book nooks across the world. It's not every day that you get to witness a literary classic in the making and I thank J.K. Rowling for granting us that privilege. She's given readers what can only be properly described as a "thumping good read".

I had the same feeling of well earned completion during the last pages of the book that I have when rereading and reaching the end of some of my all-time favorites,like Little Women,Pride and Prejudice and C. S. Lewis's The Lion,The Witch and The Wardrobe. Well done,Ms. Rowling,well done indeed.

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