Musings on children's and YA literature, the academy, and the relationship between them, from an English professor and mother.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

outsmarted myself

I pre-ordered HPVII in February, so I'd have it without having to go to the trouble of the midnight book party. Smart, right?

I checked online around 10 this morning, wondering why UPS hadn't brought it here yet, and saw that it had been delivered yesterday (what's up with that?) and signed for by Murray. Murray? I yelped--it's been stolen!

But no. I had it delivered to work. Yeah. Which is, um, closed today. Someone in some office signed for it yesterday, but it didn't make it to my building.

So I did what any rational person would do and went straight to B&N. (I'll need a teaching and/or research copy anyway, right? Rationalization is my friend.) Started reading at about 11:30, and just finished.

No spoilers here, though I will say that despite the flaws (see the comments over at Raising WEG and Phantom Scribbler) I enjoyed it. I laughed (probably for the first time since about book 3, honestly), I cried (totally a sucker for the expressions of love), I gobbled it up. Yes, there are things that are predictable about it, and yes, I think it got a little exposition-y right at the end, but honestly (ducking now) I think I'll re-read this far more happily than LOTR, which simply annoys me now.

OH! And, for the record, Mrs. Weasley rocks.


  1. ditto on Mrs. W - she's simply fabulous.

  2. You know, the thing is, I loved reading it. I laughed out loud for the first time since 3, also, and I cried and cried in chapters. There were SO MANY small details that I loved.

    And yet, the grand picture leaves me profoundly disappointed.

    I will say, I've already re-read great chunks of this one, some pieces twice, and I think I will continue to enjoy reading this one more than some others.

    I have such enormous problems with some parts, it's hard to reconcile that with (a) my genuine enjoyment seeing Ron, Hermione, and Harry work together for long periods of time; and (b) the fact that I did race through, no faltering, and react so greatly.

    I'm getting more reconciled to the Harry-as-Horcrux idea. It works better once I let myself accept it.

  3. Oh, whenever we saw ANY of the secondary characters, I loved it. Especially Mrs. W, all the way through.

    Although that big-cap BITCH was a bit startling, that's not the typical Wizarding language I don't think.

  4. Love the Mrs. W part, too! It was somehow a huge relief to hear her curse--kind of relieved the tension in me as a reader for some reason. (Maybe because I curse as a tension-release, too?!)

    Rowling writes for her intended audience--kids. And I'm apparently not mature enough to not enjoy every moment of it all!

  5. Yes, you go, Mrs. Weasley!

    I have to say, I enjoyed this one so much -- and I really did not like The Half-Blood Prince.

    I am happy with every resolution, and pleasantly surprised. And my surprise shows me how deeply cynical I have become.

    I thought the idea of Harry as horcrux was spot-on, and the bodhisattva/christ aspect of Harry's mystical meeting with Dumbledore, even if it was predictable, was wonderful -- and I say this as a full-blown atheist. I think Rawling gives every reader, young and old, a gift here: the idea that we can transcend our selves for the benefit of our fellows, that we do have a choice, that "death" (or plain old giving up) is sometimes not preferable to the risk that living on will entail suffering.

    But all that self-sacrifice aside, I loved the happy ending. I cried, happily, I think through the last two chapters.

    Well, I didn't mean to ramble on. I just loved the book more than I expected to. I also thought it was the best written (or edited?) of the series.

  6. I'm still trying to sort out what disappointed me (the epilogue, a bit) and what didn't. The charges of conservatism about the gender roles are troubling, though interestingly JKR has said in an interview that Hermione is in the dept. of magical enforcement and Ron & Harry are both Aurors, so it's not that women don't have jobs, just that that's not her (JKR's) main focus in the novel. And that's fine with me.

    There's much more to say but I've got to stop!