Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Last Book -- Spoiler Alert!

On Saturday afternoon, I stepped out of my apartment door and picked up the copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that I had preordered from Amazon and immediately started reading. It took me about 8 hours, and I finished a little bit after midnight. I know that I am going to have to reread it at some point, because I was so all fired up to get to the ending that I know that I skimmed over a lot of points. But all in all, I thought it was a really good read.

I would, however, like to respond to a few things that have been mentioned in someone else's blog regarding this book.

First of all, yes, I will admit that the epilogue is a little too cheesy. But guess what folks? That's how JKR intended it to be! She wrote that chapter way back in the early days when she was first writing Philosopher's Stone. And while she may have changed a few details along the way, it's the way she wanted the entire story to end. I agree that it's a little pat (and yes, I wanted to know a little bit more about a few of the characters), but I'm not going to gripe about it. It's the way she wanted it written.

Secondly, this person mentions (and I quote) "Where's Alan Rickman's big death scene? Does JKR want to deny him his Oscar?"

Ummm. Excuse me? His death scene? First of all, his character does get a death scene, and (in my own humble opninion) it's pretty cool too. Secondly, since when is it the responsibility of an author to determine how much screen time an actor receives? JKR wrote the book for which the movie will be based, not the other way around. It is not her job to change the way she originally intended the story to end just because we happen to like one of the actors that plays one of the major characters. Moreover, she has always maintained that HP came to her pretty much fully formed while she was riding the train one day, and that was way back in the early nineties. Over fifteen years ago! Back then, AR was the Sheriff of Nottingham, and JKR had no idea that HP was going to a successful story, let alone become the basis for seven major blockbusters. And the fact that she had written the epilogue at the very beginning leads me to believe that the way that she deals with this particular character in the book is the way she had always intended it. Besides, even if she did take the different actors and actresses into account when she finished the book, I personally liked the way she dealt with this character, because I think that it's the only way she could have dealt with him that we readers (let alone Harry) would have found believable. And if AR is half the actor I know him to be, he's going to pull off that scene REALLY, REALLY well.

(Let's just hope that the director is going to think so also.)


Anonymous said...

Harry Potter is a children's book--shouldn't the ending be "cheesy" and a bit pat??

Marcie said...

Harry Potter is a children's book--shouldn't the ending be "cheesy" and a bit pat??

I had to remind myself that they are children's books because, after all the anxiety over "two characters dying" and who they might be, none of the ones I was (half-) expecting died.

I did like the way JKR set up Snape's character so we didn't know for sure if he was good or bad until the end. I was less impressed with the second-to-last Harry/Voldemort confrontation. I thought that was going to be the climax, the final showdown, but instead another one happened. I'm still trying to figure out the reasons.

I didn't like the epilogue and figured JKR had attached it in an attempt to quell the spin-offs that are sure to come. I thought it was unneccessary. The rest of the story was satisfying enough in itself that I didn't need a cozy wrap-up. But that's what brought me back to the above thought: "Harry Potter is a children's book." I am not a child anymore and can be perfectly content with stories that don't end quite so neatly.

Still, I have to admire JKR for putting together such a detailed and complex story. She kept her readers on the edge of their seats for nearly a decade and probably did more to get kids reading than many library programs.