Okay, what I'm going to say will be considered controversial. Well, not if you're a literary critic, although they have all been quite praising about it I've noticed, but I've just finished the final installment of the Harry Potter septilogy and, well, I have my opinions I'd like to air after being sucked into reading the entire saga these past few years. I suppose I should prewarn those of a fragile idiotic nature who don't want to know what happens to perhaps 'look away now' or maybe the title of this entry should also read *SPOILER ALERT* But lets be frank here, if you didn't think I was going to talk about plot points when talking about the last book and are shocked to learn crucial elements to the story by reading this, then you're a bit of an twat really. Yes, that term was quite eloquent of me, I'm glad you noticed. I'd like to say now, the only modern children's books I have read are Rowling's Harry Potter, Pullman's Dark Materials Trilogy and The Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeves. I have only got into reading these as working in the film industry as it's always good to have a bit of foreknowledge of potential movie campaigns you could end up working on. Although Reeve's Mortal Engines was a pure coincidence and a chance to read a signed first edition for free. Harry Potter has been 'fantasy-lite' entertainment, I realise it's kid's literature and perhaps I shouldn't be so harsh on the material but I think the elevated status deserves some critic, as no doubt the books will be compared to existing classics like the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy or Roald Dahl's various deliciously horrid and captivating children's stories.
Maybe I'm impatient with these books, but I found myself skimming the pages at a hundred miles an hour, perhaps it is merely the style of writing that didn't captivate me instantly and maybe I yearn for more meandering, fantastical passages and clever word play that I remember lapping up as a child. I personally itched a bit when scenarios got repetitive, like the 'camping whilst on the run' parts. The deaths were dealt with in a very real unglamorous way, which I congratulate her for, although I think I did suffer from total memory loss reading parts of it, as I didn't even realise Lupin was dead until he appeared as a ghost with Harry's folks and Sirius at the end. Calling Voldemort 'Riddle' made the final stand-off all the more striking, subtle changes in character dialogue were a clever touch. She should have made the importance of wands more apparent in the other books though, as I felt it certain plot pieces/devices like that were all too convenient and materialised out of nowhere. Bit like in Star Trek when they go "Oh my God we're slipping into a Worm Hole, how about we press this button that will release intermittent tachyon beams that will create a static warp shell." which to me, makes as much sense as me saying "Oh my God I don't have a boyfriend, how about I switch on my toaster."
It's not my favourite book from the series. Azkaban and Goblet of Fire still remain firm favourites. Had the first third been structured in a more entertaining way and punctuated more with other plot lines to build up the tension it would have been the reached the top of my list. My favourite parts were Snape's back story and Mrs Weasley calling Bellatrix Lestrange a "B*tch". How many parents will be self-sensoring that part when they read it aloud to their children I wonder. Still, I'll pay good money to see Julie Walters and Helena Bonham-Carter fight like cats in a bag.
On another note, I apologise for the lack of entries on my blog. It has been a ridiculously long time and have faltered badly on the maintenance front. I have now got a lovely spanking new Powerbook that purrs nicely and allows me to go wireless and even has Final Draft so I can write 'professionally'. I have news on Centre Stage, writing a musical and the usual pointless banter about men and life and will endeavor to write this all up soon into those lovely, little, eloquently written passages I do love to toil over.