So… finished up yet with Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows? I’m not. In fact, I still haven’t read The Half-Blood Prince yet. I guess this stems from my utter disappointment over Order of the Phoenix: Harry was all whine, whine, whine, and the Order of the Phoenix were uninteresting characters. Also, the internet spoiled the “shocking” ending of The Half-Blood Prince for me. (Also, the Half-Blood Prince may be the first movie I’ll see before I read the book.) I’ll eventually get around to reading it and the Hallows, but I’m going to need some quality flight time to plow through it. (It’s the ideal setting; that’s how I managed read the other books in the series.)
Still, I’ve been enjoying the hype in the new book, and I don’t mind getting spoiled this time. I guess at this point I’m more interest in the cultural phenomena of the Harry Potter series than the books right now.
So, if you’re finished with the book and are looking for other opinions, or if you’re not going to read the book but would like to get insight into what the big deal is about, here’s two fun links I think you might enjoy. Both these links contain lots of spoilers, so if that’s not your game, stay away.
Harry Potter and the Live-Blogging All-Nighter : Genevieve Koski and Tasha Robinson of the AV Club started reading the book at the night it was released, and kept updating their blog until they finished the next day. I actually followed the blog in realtime, much to the consternation of my girlfriend. It’s great insight into the expectations, thrills, and disappointments to two dedicated Harry Potter fans.
Like a lot of older Harry Potter fans, I find it hard to explain the series’ appeal. I know they’re technically children’s books, and I am well aware of their flaws, particularly Rowling’s maddening writing tics and occasional ham-handedness. I find the movies generally dissatisfying, yet I still show up at midnight screenings with the rest of the nerds. (For me, and I suspect for most fans of the books, the movies are mere holdovers, the big-screen methadone to my hardcover heroin.) In the end, I have to chalk it up to escapism. It’s simply a—cough—magical, accessible story that’s easy to get lost in. And, like Tasha, I’m fascinated by the mania surrounding it—except my mildly obsessive personality prevents me from remaining a casual observer.
Puzzle Solved: A plea from the Christian website HollywoodJesus.com telling Christians to please lighten up about Harry Potter. Like most of the reviews on the site, this one centers on how Harry’s beliefs, faith, and goodness help him triumph over the forces of evil.
Well, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been released to the public, and I think it’s high time that Christians that either haven’t read the books or have been openly critical of them give J.K. Rowling a major apology. For the series will stand alongside such epic tales as The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings in its impact and relevance to people of all ages about good and evil, and ultimately about Jesus himself.
Also on that site, a more-or-less straight review: Harry’s Triumph of Faith.