Friday, July 20, 2007

"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." -J.K. Rowling

It would be remiss of me to ignore one of the strangest moments of literary history - the last book in the Harry Potter series. Fans are lining up outside of bookstores. Websites are turning in the IP addresses of people posting photos of the book's pages. And millions of people show more concern over the fate of a single character in a novel than the future of the U.S. military in Iraq.

I can aim to sound tongue-in-cheek, but I, too, am obsessed with Harry Potter and his world of magic. By bringing this world to life in literature, J.K. Rowling has made reading fun for hundreds of thousands of children, as well as reminding adults of fantasy and myths. It beats the hell out of the day to day clock-punching where most of us live.

I will receive my book at approximately 12:01 a.m. and, with the help of a large double espresso, read it straight through until noon-ish Saturday. If I do not finish it, I will not look online. I will not talk to friends about it. I relish the secrecy like I savor my own unwritten ideas.

What will happen? I want Harry to live happily ever after, becoming an Auror and having red-haired magical babies with Ginny Weasley. But I don't think this will happen. I believe that Harry will die. He is too much like a Christ figure... but he will sacrifice himself for the good of magical beings. I think Ron will die, also, but that is just a hunch that I can't explain.

Time will tell, but I will go no further with my thoughts or opinions after this post. After all, I want those of you who care to live in this imaginary world for one last time to enjoy yourself.


Anonymous said...

Hope your book arrived OK. Ours was rather efficiently pre-ordered from Amazon, but is now stuck in a lorry somewhere as our whole surrounding area has been flooded and noone can get through. Just have to wait a bit longer...

Kristin Dodge said...

I've read about this... hope you and yours are safe. A little HP can wait.

Jason said...

I'm in an odd spot.

I hate (HATE) the pop-culture explosion of a children's book in real life. This would be like James and the Giant Peach being released and ten million knuckleheads lining up to buy it. Except that would be a quality piece of literature attracting attention.

I can't lie. I like the Harry Potter books. I enjoy the stories. But to wait up at night to read them? Really? They aren't any better than Judy Blume, and if they provoke children to read I guess I wonder whether a 5% increased literacy rate among garbage collectors is to our benefit.

But I'm a cynic anyway. I can't wish ill will on Ms. Rowling. I hope she sells a gazillion copies and every reader is satisfied. I hope the books conclude in such a way that they cure Type 1 diabetes and erase Nicole Richie from the public memory.

And I'll read it eventually and like it.

But what the hell? This kind of obsession is pretty silly.

Or am I just being a pain in the ass? (A legitimate problem)

Kristin Dodge said...

Of course you're a pain in the ass... it's part of your charm.

I stood waiting at 11:45 p.m. for my book. The girl in front of me was my oldest son's age and very talkative. We chatted and giggled and checked the time frequently.

Something that she said stuck with me: "The Harry Potter books make me feel like it's ok to be smart." She has branched out into studying mythology and philosophy. She is 11 years old. If a book can do that, I'm willing to overlook the pop culture craziness.

But seriously, Jason, you need to do something to stop the Nicole Ritchie crap. Talk about killing one's soul bit by bit.

BUffy said...

Would you believe I've never read my first Potter book yet?

Kristin Dodge said...

Buffy... you are definitely not alone. And they are an acquired taste. I am the geek who freaked out when "Lord of the Rings" was being converted to film.

Alters your view of me, eh?