Harry Potter - Post Mortem

I bought the book at 1:30 AM on Saturday, and read it straight through, finishing at noon. I may have been a little too paranoid that someone would spoil the ending for me, but at least I got it out of the way. Here are some thoughts:

1) Without giving anything away, I can say that Deathly Hallows tied together all of the loose ends left in the first six books, and brought the story to a satisfying conclusion. The book doddles in spots, but the last 150 pages are the best in the series.

2) I think the Harry Potter books are every bit as good as the Lord of the Rings books, Narnia, and the Oz books (my personal favorite as a kid, and I was completely unaware of the parallels to the Election of 1900). They are well-written while still grade-level appropriate, and they grow more intense as Harry and his friends grow up. The setting is a world that is both fantastic and familiar, where young wizards and witches have schoolwork, birthdays, relationships and don't always get it right.

3) J.K Rowling (who shares a birthday with Harry Potter and me too) elaborates on many conflicts in Harry Potter - Good v. Evil, Institutional Inefficiency v. Individual Initiative, Rich v. Poor, and Pride v. Humility. Ultimately, though, Harry Potter is a great myth about Death - what it is, and the many ways we face it or endure it. The books work best at the many points throughout them where Harry must face death himself, or endure the loss of those most close to him. His foil (and mortal enemy) is Lord Voldemort, whose dearest ambition is to live forever. It is their conflict that leads to the ultimate, face-to-face showdown, which is determined by their respective attitudes towards death.

4) Luna Lovegood was my favorite character. I found myself relating to her better than anyone else in the books.

I don't think I spoiled anything so far, so I'll stop now. I promise this is the last Harry Potter post. New playlist coming soon...


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