Sunday, 29 July 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Spoilers warning)

So I have now finished reading new Harry Potter material forever.

Or have I? Rowling is already supposedly working on a couple of new projects at the moment and who knows. Fingers crossed.

Anyway here is my review;

The usual Rowling narrative pull gets you through 600 odd pages very quickly. Its hard to pinpoint exactly why. Thinking about this for some time, I would say that the overall effect is achieved by a combination of the good plot (just complicated enough) and well known and loved characters all mixed up with occasional flashes of the readers own life and a very easy to read style all topped off with the puzzle element and served a generous side order of the joy of trying to put the pieces together.

Like many excellent things in life, so with Potter, it is this combination of pretty good things, mixed in a pretty good way, which makes the book special and not any one truly excellent and unique ingredient.

Oh and don't forget the plot themes such as democracy/dictatorship and the reactions of ordinary people, who end up doing both good and bad. Slavery and human rights. The unavoidable taint and bias of written/verbal history. The human (I mean wizard and muggle - not just the readers in the real world) penchant for myth and tales of anthropomorphism of natural elements. All of these themes have a resonance in this very modern world.

Yes I enjoyed it very much - yes I was pleased that I had got Snape down as a goodie a couple of books ago - but yes I was still pleased with the fairly complex way this was achieved in terms of back story.

All those loose ends are now neatly tied up with a lovely pink bow.

Yes there were deaths. Not huge deaths I think. Not compared to one of the main characters biting the dementor so to speak. So no I don't think anyone will end up needing counselling just from reading the books.

I think that this book should convert to film pretty well and personally I can't wait to see Molly Weasley's revenge on the big screen. A new role model for mothers everywhere I should think.

Overall a great series of books to grow up with, or at least I think so, I am forty after all.

Will they stand the test of time and be seen as children's classics in ages to come? My wife is convinced so, I'm not so sure. In the meantime I do heartily recommend them to kids and adults alike.

4 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I love that you emphasize the political dimension of the Potter books, which I feel goes under-addressed in most criticism.

    I feel it's something Rowling does surprisingly well, but on which she ultimately drops the ball.

    Dolores Umbridge is a frighteningly realistic character. I believe most of us have met her.

    Or are her.

    ~tim j-y