Harry Potter and the Total Absence of Spoilers

I hate spoilers so there will be none of that. However, with it being an particularly busy week and a half at the magazine, I’ve only just now stayed up until nearly 5am reading Deathly Hallows and it’s been on my mind a lot. I know many of you have busy lives too and may still be savoring your way through the final book, so none of my reactions, I absolutely assure you, give anything away or should color your interpretation in any way.

  • I liked it. It is a different book than the other six, but it sort of had to be. It’s the end, yes?
  • As Rowling promised, yes, there are deaths, and yes, you will cry. Well, I did.
  • Joseph Campbell would be proud.
  • There was literally one line of dialogue I didn’t agree with. An established personality says something that struck me as very out of character. It was a curious choice of words and my only regret reading the book, the only time I got pulled out.
  • Unlike George Lucas, J.K. Rowling respects her own material and the audience that became obsessed with it. I’m sure some story elements gained importance to her over time, and ideas worked their ways in, like “Hey, this thing I’ve already said could support this new thing” — but it’s clear that, at some point early on, she sat down and said “Right, this is how things will play out.” (She actually said in an interview that it was 1990.) As such it was a very satisfying read, even if I did have to ask Kat “Who is this?” or “When did such and such happen?” because I am dim. The continuity itself is a huge achievement.
  • It almost makes me want to have kids so I can force them to learn to read.
  • I said “almost.”
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