Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007) by J.K. Rowling. Scholastic, 759 Pages.

This is a spoiler-free review. I talk about how I feel about the book, but I'm not going to give away any but the most superficial plot details. This series will be enjoyed for years to come, and I don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone.

I read the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone, in 2000, about 3 years after it was first published in the United States. The media was gearing up for the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in the summer, and I was curious what all the hype was about. So I bought the first book and read it. And then the second and the third, and then I was one of those ridiculous adults who spent the first half of 2000 waiting with baited breath for Goblet of Fire to come out.

Of course I've been a fan ever since, and got each book the day it came out, and began reading it the same day. And now it's over. I finished the last page of the last Harry Potter book Thursday night, July 26, 2007 - five days after I got it. I purposely limited myself to no more than 150 pages a day, so that I could stretch it out as long as I could. I stopped 100 pages before the end the night before, so that I could read the end without being too tired and without racing through it.

And I have to say - I'm very pleased. This was the most thrilling and riveting of all the books in the series (despite a few chapters in the middle that do drag on), and it ends in the best way possible. Characters that you have come to love and enjoy do die, but many others live. All the mysteries that were laid out over the previous six books are explained, or at the very least are clearly dealt with.

Usually, I don't think much of movie adaptations of books, but the Harry Potter series has done an admirable job so far, and this has the potential to be one hell of a great movie, if they pull out all of the stops. Hopefully, I'll refer back to this review three years from now when the movie version comes out!

I'm sorry it's over. Yes, these are "children's books", but I dare anyone who enjoys reading novels at all to just try and put down this series once you've started it. The Harry Potter series are for children in the same way that the The Chronicles of Narnia books are for children. The same way Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials are for children. The same way Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is for children. And so many more.

The one other series I have to compare this to is Stephen King's The Dark Tower, which also spans seven novels. The Dark Tower books, however, came out in spurts and fizzes over 3 decades, are most definitely not for children, and I can't imagine how they could ever be made into a movie. But like Harry Potter, the Dark Tower came to a riveting conclusion at the end of the seventh book. Like Harry Potter, some characters die, and others live. Like Harry Potter, I was sorry to see it end.

So, if you have children, or if you ever were a child, and if you or your children haven't read the Harry Potter books... it's never too late to start. And rest assured that when the journey ends, you not only will have greatly enjoyed the trip, but you will be satisfied and comforted at the resolution.

I look forward to whatever J. K. Rowling decides to write next. May she take a page from Stephen King, who ended his series but continues to write. And maybe, just maybe, she'll see fit to give us some more adventures set in the world of The Boy Who Lived.

Leave a comment


Recent Entries

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007) by Jeff Kinney. Amulet Books, 218 pages. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2008) by Jeff Kinney....

  • President-Elect Barack Obama

    Frank and I had settled in for a long night of watching election returns. We had both arranged to take off work the day...

  • The Age of American Unreason

    The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby (2008). Pantheon Books, 356 pages. Remember the term "Highbrow"? You don't hear that much anymore. Nor...

  • Early Voting in Florida

    Yesterday I spent 2 hours voting. Since I live in Florida, The State That Doesn't Know How to Hold An Election, I figured I...

  • The Big Bang Theory

    The Big Bang Theory. Mondays on CBS, 8:00pm ET/PT As a genre, the sitcom has seen better days. For the past four years, since...

  • MacBook Pro

    Apple MacBook Pro. 15" Display, 2.53 Ghz Core 2 Duo Processor, 4GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive. Since Apple moved to using Intel chips 3...

  • A Dream Transcription

    A few nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night, needing to use the bathroom. I was right in the middle of...

  • Monty Python's Life of Brian

    Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979). 83 minutes, Handmade Films / Sony Pictures. Directed by Terry Jones. It was the fall of 1979. I...

  • The 700 Billion Dollar Bailout

    It feels like it's 1990 all over again. Remember 1990? The Savings and Loan Crisis? It's arguably what cost George H.W. Bush the 1992 election....

  • Two Books I Didn't Finish

    Friends, family, and the very small number of readers of this blog who do not fall into either of those two categories know that I...