Monday, July 23, 2007

No Harry Potter Book Spoilers

Mostly it was a Harry Potter weekend. Our friend’s retirement ceremony and party went well and we had a great time at the dog show, but basically, it was all about Harry.

I did read the book as soon as I got it because, like everyone else, I wanted to know what happens and I wanted to read it before someone let something slip and ruined all the fun and anticipation. I love anticipation.

So, what do you say when you don’t want to really talk about the book so you won’t give anything away, but you want to say something to express your views? How about: I wasn’t disappointed. And just ask Al, I’m hard to please. I also didn’t think the book was too surprising, but then, we have had something like 15 years of theories and thinking on this. I feel satisfied and won’t be craving another Harry book and wishing she hadn’t ended the series (although I didn't need an epilogue to reinforce that feeling). I did hit a point a little more than half-way through that I thought Oh just get on with it! These books are written for a younger audience and maybe they have a better attention span than I do, but I think that Ms. Rowling lingers a little too long sometimes and drags out scenes that could be wrapped up a little quicker. But that’s just me. I couldn’t get through the Lord of the Rings trilogy because I got bored with 3 pages of scenery description.

I think one of the reasons it took so long was that there were a lot of characters to bring back and events/relationships/secrets to close. It’s the 7th book! We don’t want to leave without knowing what happened to . . .well . . . interject your favorite character here.

Yes, I cried. I couldn’t help it. I’ve been a little weepy anyway—I cried through my friend’s retirement ceremony, I cried watching a slide photo presentation of the retreat that the kids at our church went on this summer, and I cried during some lame commercial on TV. I expected deaths in this book (they are at war after all), but I didn’t realize I would take it so hard. But worth it! I did get a little confused near the end, but I think that’s because I was so anxious to know what was going on that I started to skim a head a little. But you can’t skim these books—you’ll miss some little thing that will end up important later.

I loved this series and I got caught up in all the excitement early on and spent a lot of time discussing what might happen. However, by the last couple of books, I turned off that part of my brain and just read for the pleasure of it. It made them much more enjoyable for me that way.

But, if anyone wants to discuss Snape, let me know! (heh heh)


I took time out of the reading to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix this weekend also. I can’t believe I wasted 2 ½ hours there when I could have been reading.

OK, it wasn’t that bad, but this definitely was not one of the best of the films. It was so slow and plodding. This book is an emotional turning point for Harry so it’s not going to be constantly full of action like the others, but a little energy would have been nice. It was as if the director said, “Ok everyone, we’re going to have long pauses after each character speaks and sometimes even in the middle of your own lines.” The movie shines when there’s stuff going on, such as Harry teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts and the dueling in the end, but it crawls the rest of the time.

I thought it was pretty obvious that this one was written by someone different than the last 4. Thank goodness Steve Kloves will return to write 6 and hopefully 7. I always thought Kloves did a great job pulling out what really seemed important in the books, while keeping to the spirit of them. There are always things that can’t be filmed from the books (I know, I know. They’d be over 4 hours long if they didn’t cut some things out), but I thought this movie left out some really cool stuff and changed some things around that I don’t think made the story better. Shorter, obviously, but not better. It didn’t seem quite as cohesive as the other films. And the ending was horrible. And there was a lot panting and heavy breathing in this movie, and it had nothing to do with the kissing scene. It was like Harry had asthma or something.

But this was definitely one of the best cast movies. Imelda Staunton as Umbridge and Evanna Lynch as Luna are wonderful and brilliant.

Anyway, I’m a little biased because I still consider the 3rd movie (Prisoner of Azkaban) the best. I even liked the 3rd book best, too. And, who knows. People who haven’t read the books might of thought this movie was brilliant. It’s easier to be harsh when you know where the plot and action comes from.


I’ll post some pics from the dog show later. I need to recover from magical overload.


Queen of Dysfunction said...

Awesome that you finished the book and didn't post a spoiler. I'm still waiting for The Spouse to finish it so I can read it.

I want to see the latest movie, but after reading your review (which was mirrored by my husband and son) I think I'm going to wait for the DVD.

Newt said...

Little more than half through. And I had to put the headphones on at work because in under two hours I have over heard two overly loud and overly revealing discussions about it. I really want to read it, not over hear it.

I'll go see the movie in the theater only because it is one of those films that should be seen on the big screen. Most films I wait for video but Harry, Lord of the Rings, X-men. Those bigger than life movies just need to be seen on the big screen. But I'll consider myself warned. Maybe get the x-large popcorn and soda :-)
Or not go see it on a beautiful 70 and sunny day. I'll wait for either heart melting hot or rainy.

Betty said...

I didn't cry. I'm too old to cry. But, I enjoyed the book. About old Snape.........we'll talk. I heard on "The View" this morning that Rowling is starting another series. I admire her stamina.

Looking forward to the doggy photos.

Michelle said...

Brent and I both got teary eyed around the death scenes as well. :O( We finished the book last night at 12am. Not too shabby considering we were reading it aloud (takes way longer!).

Perhaps we should start a Snape discussion forum? ;-)

And, while I myself enjoyed the epilogue, I don't think it was necessary for adults. For kids? - For sure! Otherwise they'd be asking their parents over and over, "What happened to so and so?"

susan said...

Shaun, who didn't even read the book let slip the first bad something AND the page it was on. I had to keep the page numbers covered so it wouldn't spoil it for me! Yep, we need a forum that's safe for those that haven't finished it yet.

Lena said...

I've only read the 1st and 3rd book and strangely enough I wait patiently for the DVD's too!

Yup - with my lot I'm afraid storylines are harder to keep than secrets!

If there ARE any spells to 'Silencio' them for good, give us a call!!

Jay said...

Yeah ... Snape.

her indoors said...

ok i feel left out now because i haven't read any HP books, shame on me eh?!

Tink said...

I completely agree with your review of the book. The middle dragged some. The deaths, although expected, were still gut wrenching. The ending became muddled a bit and felt like Rowling was grasping straws to make everything fit, but the last chapter was completely satisfying.

And as far as the Lord of The Rings books, Hoop gave up when he saw the dwarfs were singing.