I stayed up way too late last night to finish Deathly Hallows. I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed any of the other books, I guess. My only real requirement for it was that Snape be redeemed for killing Dumbledore in a way I felt was satisfactory, which happened, though they did kind of fuck up Dumbledore there for a little bit. Making him more human and falliable or whatever she was trying to do, wasn’t really necessary. Also killing both Lupin and Tonks seemed a bit over the top, with the baby and all. And the epilogue was unclear on whether Harry had raised the baby or not, which I expect he should have give, well, you know everything.
Everything else in the book as a-okay. I haven’t yet read an one else’s commentary on it, but expect a lot of howling about the treatment of the Malfoys and the romance aspects and some other stuff. Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe I won’t read any one else’s commments. 🙂
Also, much like the last couple books, this one would have benefitted greatly from being about 200 pages shorter. Does Rowling think she’s good enough to not have an editor? Is everyone so up her ass that they can’t even tell her that quality matters as much as quantity?
Now I just need to get to the movie too and I’ll be all caught up!
Did anyone but me hear the first part of “The Young and the Godly” on NPR this morning? I’ve had a lot of of problems with NPR recently (mostly amusement of a sort from it becoming kind of an insane parody of itself), but man, this was some terrible reporting. A brief look at two young kids, married and both recently graduated from seminary school and they “problems” they face because of it. The portrayal of the couple, from their bits of interviews, made them both seem incredibly uninformed. I don’t know exactly what I anted from this. Maybe some commentary on the level of education these kids actually received and what that means to the communities they end up ministering? Or perhaps some insight into why younger people are making choices for ministering in this way (well something more than them just saying “God called me” or the guys insane response about how he could see God’s work in kayaking trips and that brought him to the church). Or perhaps even some deeper philosophical or theological commentary on how these kids view God and how that affects their congregations (at one point the guy says, in his faux-surfer voice, “I think I’ve found that, whenever I think I’ve got it figured out, or I know what’s going to happen, God has just the opposite in store”).
July 23, 2007 at 2:48 pm
Heh, I heard that on my way into work. Mostly I just felt bad for those kids: brand-new parishes, baby on the way, and so on and so forth. I don’t know that they sounded uninformed so much as…I don’t know, just really young. Of course, since the interview didn’t really go into much depth on anything, it was hard to tell.
I didn’t quite get the point of the whole thing, honestly. Now, an in-depth look at what they do on those “mission trips,” THAT would be interesting.
July 23, 2007 at 2:48 pm
Why should a 17 year old boy have to raise a baby when the baby has a perfectly good grandmother to do it?
July 23, 2007 at 2:53 pm
Yeah, I guess part of my problem is that it didn’t reveal anything, or really report on anything at all. And that I think actually made the kids look dumber than they are. Like if there had been some point to the story, or something insightful from either of them or anything. but it seemed to have no meaning behind it.
And I don’t feel sorry for them at all. It sounded like they make a small but acceptable amount of money and will have plenty of support from their congregations. I’m much more worried about their ability to counsel people on matters of faith and daily life with any sort of knowledge or real authority.
July 23, 2007 at 3:19 pm
Yeah, I didn’t feel sorry for them at all on the money front…heck, my dad’s parish has never paid him ANYthing (beyond the rent on our house, and that only in the last 8 years or so) so he always had to have 2 jobs. More on the, “wow, they sound like BABIES” front, and life as a pastor and a pastor’s family just isn’t easy, y’know?
July 23, 2007 at 3:23 pm
Yeah, I assumed that the bereaved grandma, who’d lost a (crazy-ass) sister, a husband, a daughter, and a son-in-law would cling fast to her only surviving non-former-Death-Eater kin. Esp. as he was a wee chubby cherub.
July 23, 2007 at 3:27 pm
We can always imagine his Auntie Narcissa and Uncle Lucius raising him though. FOR THE LOLZ.
July 23, 2007 at 3:50 pm
Also killing both Lupin and Tonks seemed a bit over the top…
One of them would have been more fitting (not that I wanted either of them to die, but this is the world of HP), and probably Lupin over Tonks.
Also, since it happened “off camera” I felt jipped. I realize at that point in the book, so much was going on that it could have dragged out the scene, but all things considered, she just threw it at you. I had to stop and make sure that I had read that they were, in fact, dead.
July 23, 2007 at 4:35 pm
totally on the same sheet with you regarding potter. i enjoyed it, but not much surprised me in the unfolding. i thought the hallows thread drew it out way too long and was kind of unneccessary. there were some spectacular moments though and i cried when Dobby died.
July 24, 2007 at 1:51 am
LOVED Snape’s end – if the screenwriters treat the character right, then Alan Rickman will have one of the best movie characters of all time on his resume. Because damn… and Snape’s patronus being the same as Lily’s because he loved her that much? Perfect.
But I was left with too many questions.
Like, did anyone besides Neville actually go back to finish school? Call me a prude, but a book that turns a bunch of high school dropouts into heroes strikes me as irresponsible and it’s never made clear enough. Neville must have, since he became the herbology professor. Something tells me Hermione would never have been happy unless she did as well. But the bit about Harry being off to find a four-poster bed in Gryffindor Tower was far too vague if that was meant to be the answer, since so much was made about Hogwarts being his only true home. I figure he may have just wanted to get some sleep in a familiar bed.
Who is the new headmaster in the epilogue? Shouldn’t it be Professor McGonagall?
What are the kids up to these days? Did Harry return to him ambition of becoming an auror? I somehow doubt that the reconstructed Ministry would turn him down for the job based on mediocre OWLs after the Battle of Hogwarts.
Was anyone else at all curious to know how many of the offspring – every one of them a Weasley – wound up with the red Weasley hair? We know young Albus was the only one to get Harry’s green eyes. So much was made of the red hair throughout the series that leaving this detail out seems like an oversight.
WHY are they all so happy at the end? Isn’t it just a little nauseating that everyone married their high school sweethearts and lived happily ever after? Can we give their future lives a little more context than things done two decades before? Those people who live their lives after graduation reveling in the glory days of high school have always struck me as a bit pathetic, so I find this whole thing implausible without some kind of explanation.
And I expected a little more explanation of how the Peverells wound up as Potters, with the wizarding world’s obsession with genealogy and all. It’s kind like if my boss walked up to me one day and told me, the grandchild of an Irish orphan and half-breed bastard, that I am a Kennedy. Same question: how the hell did THAT happen!? It wouldn’t require much explanation, or even a lengthy recitation of a family tree, but just a simple allusion to the point at which the male heirs died out.
I thought the not-quite-dead scene was a bit cliched. We’ve seen this style of life-death limbo a lot. Most recently, there was Meredith’s drowning on “Grey’s Anatomy”. My thoughts also immediately leapt to Richard Dreyfuss’ scene with Audrey Hepburn in “Always”.
I loved the styling of the war, though. Instead of following standard fantasy conventions, it seemed very firmly based on World War II, all the way from the interment and genocide of inferior bloodlines to fleeing to country and huddling around a radio for news. It also had a bit of French Revolution flavor, with Neville leading Dumbledore’s Army. That bit all felt very fist pumping “La Resist´nce!” to me. And the Battle of Hogwarts felt a lot like Helms Deep – and it felt like a small tasteful nod to Tolkien without ripping off the genre altogether.
I saw the early mania over the Rita Skeeter tell-all as a self-aware jab at the silliness of real world Harry Potter mania. There’s no way she couldn’t have known that what she was writing was so nicely paralleled the crazed anticipation of this last book.
And that’s what I thought.
July 24, 2007 at 1:52 am
Oh, what an NPR segment. They sound so …naive, don’t they? And the husband of the couple is a whole two years younger than me, so I would like to think they’re less shallow than the piece shows them as being. I know I would have preferred hearing something more along the lines of their philosophical or theological guidelines for their lives. Instead, it’s inane quotes of “God’s got the power!” Hmmmm.
July 24, 2007 at 2:01 pm
Heh, the whole time I was reading I kept thinking, “JJ will think that she should have edited out half of this.” And, yet again, I disagree. My favorite of the books is this one, just as it is, and my next favorite was OOTP, which I recall you also thought needed major editing, and I disagreed. 🙂 I guess I’m all about quantity when it comes to this kind of book, i.e. not actually good, but totally lovable.