Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

So I read the book last weekend, started it on Friday evening, finished it on Sunday morning before noon.

To be honest, I don't remember much. I may have to read it again. Maybe. I don't know. Now that I'm thinking about it, bits and pieces are coming back to me.

I felt a bit cheated, actually. And Harry was cheated as well. Unfortunately, under the circumstances, there was little help for it. But still.

So many people died and there was no time to mourn. The journey from the beginning of the book to the end was rushed, even though Harry, Hermione and Ron were on the run for so long and weeks passed without anything much happening.

Hedwig died right at the beginning of the book and Harry was never shown to grieve. A great loss, I think. His first major gift. And an important part of his life for six years. Why did J.K. Rowling not carve out a paragraph or two for Harry to mourn his loss, and for us, the readers to mourn with him. I think the book is poorer for it.

Same night, Mad-Eye Moody dies as well and George Weasley loses an ear. I know lots of things were going on, and in reality it doesn't always work this way, but the reader, not to mention the characters, needed a chance to catch their breaths, and chance to deal with what happened before the next event swooped down on us.

Again, I understand that in real life we don't always get a chance to take more than a gulp of air before the next wave crashes over our head. but this is fiction, this is the reader's escape from the real world for a while and it should not be fraught with angst for hours and days without a break. I know we as readers can put the book down, but if the author has done his or job properly, the reader doesn't want to do that. Therefore the author needs to give the reader some down time. Even if the character only gets and hour, even if it's only five minutes, the author should provide that time for the character and the reader to mourn if needed, to regroup, take a deep breath, ready themselves for the next event. I don't feel like we got that. But maybe it's just me.

Maybe I feel let down, as many others have said. It's the end of an era. The end of a huge chunk of people's lives. And there's a sadness that goes with that. Now, I've just jumped on the bandwagon, of course, but I guess my sadness comes from the fact that I'm late to the party, (again) and just when I've discovered this wonderful new world, it's coming to end.)

So now I wait for the Deathly Hollows 1 film to come out on DVD--just a few more weeks--and then for the DH2 in July. I can't wait.


Regina Richards said...

As I write I will keep in mind what you have said about giving the reader a chance to grieve and a chance to catch her breath. Thanks.

Jen FitzGerald said...

Well, glad I could help! :) It's really part of the scene and sequel process if you're familiar with it.

Regina Richards said...

I tend to study the business side of writing. It's the side I hate and that comes to me with great difficulty.

Flu today, but I still managed 500 words.

Wendy S Marcus said...

Hi Jen!
I was a huge Harry Potter fan. I read all the books BUT Deathly Hallows. (Not necessarily in order.) I have Deathly Hallows and wanted to read it before I saw the movie. With my writing schedule crazy I never got there. So when I saw it was playing at the $2.00 movie theater a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance to see it on the big screen. It wasn't my favorite, but I enjoyed it.

I found that by reading the books beforehand I was sometimes disappointed by certain things that were left out in the movies. But all in all I still love the series. I'm thinking of going in to read the second half of the book before #2 movie comes out so I don't have to wait to see what happens. My friend told me to start after all the camping stuff and I'd be fine. What do you think?

Jen FitzGerald said...

I saw all the movies (sort of--in that I would do other things like browse the net while the kids watched) before reading the books. But I knew that there was so much missing from the films, therefore I decided to finally break down and read them all. I'm on my second read-through as I write. I just finished book two last night.

As for Deathly Hallows, I've only read it once and did *not* see the film in the theater. My first read is somewhat of a blur, so at this point I have really couldn't say for sure the best place to start. The camping part *is* rather boring, though, so I'm sure your friend probably has the right of it.

We've pre-ordered the DH1 movie, so as soon as it comes in... I can't wait!