The digested read here.
No, I am not one of those who love or love to hate the series. I really liked the first couple of books but then it just turned out to be longer versions of the same. I sort of see Rowling as this ad agency type design person - she has these cool creative designs in her head but not much of an idea of how to put them together. So we get no plot, no prose, and the answer to everything is another magical object. For the most part though, this has been enough to make me read the books, so I am not complaining.
Just finished reading the latest one. Have nothing to say about the storyline that I am sure has not been said except to say that one wishes that more screen time was given to the only non one-dimensional character in the series instead of devoting three chapters to how Harry and Hermione end up doing absolutely nothing. Or worse, what Dumbledore did when he was sixteen.
A couple of random points that stand out:
- The epilogue. In the annals of writing, this epilogue stands out as the worst epilogue ever written. I have no doubt that one day it will be required reading for students on how not to write an epilogue. For those of you who think that Hindi movies have the worst epilogues, let me tell you that you have not seen anything yet. Those of you who are not going to read the book, Falsie, yes you, please go to nearest bookstore and read the epilogue. It is that bad. What millions of readers were eager to find out - not what Harry ends up as and whether he ever becomes and Auror, not what Hermione does with her brains - is how many kids they have, what are their names and even better who are these kids snogging. Yes, that's whats really important. Or is that what the Gryffindors are best at? Anyway its not like they care about intellect or ambition. (Aside: Space Bar on the Hogwarts caste system) And Hermione Weasley? Have you heard anything that's grosser than that?
- Allusions to Muggle commissions and Nurmengard are all fine, but what does it really come down to? Lets see who all die - the owl, the house elf (freed, ofcourse), the werewolf, his weirdo wife, the double agent wizard that no one cares about, and yeah okay, but how else will you get Molly to do her Mother India act? There's a reason there's two of them, no? Anyway, the point is what we are being told again and again is that all these other creatures - elves, goblins, werewolves, giants, Muggles etc. - have all to be treated well. They might not be anywhere as good as we are, ofcourse they are not, and this is precisely why its even more important to be nice to them. Sounds familiar? Typical of a particular island in the Atlantic? :)
Bill finished the book last night and we were talking about it this morning. For some reason, we went back to Enid Blyton. Our excuse for Blyton - for her handling of country, class, race and gender - was that its unfair to judge her based on the standards of our time. She was a product of her times. But what about Rowling? Same reason? The language code is different but what else has changed? A mirror to our faces, said Bill. If the small island (or the world in general) doesn't like what it sees, it can hardly blame the writer. But more importantly, no one is complaining, they all seem okay with it.