Wednesday, July 25, 2007


In what qualifies as authentic an expression of summer leisure as a mid-week wake n’ bake (which surprisingly, I’ve yet found time to do this season), I spent most of today sitting on the couch, snacking, and finishing up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I promise no spoilers below other than to say that after the first thirty pages or so, it turned into a real rip-roaring potboiler of a page-turner and propelled me into the magical world as surely as any disapparation spell launches the characters from one location to the next.

I’m still sweating under my armpits from the excitement of the book, but at least tears have stopped leaking from my eyes as they did on several occasions during the text. And take my weepiness as no indication of lives lost or not; in general, I was far more moved by the sentimental parts of the book than I was by battles. Typically, what got me most was seeing characters I’ve come to know like old friends over the last decade reappear and reveal aspects of their personalities that had been submerged or dormant up until now.

Neville Longbottom, for example, who I’d always favored for his expertise in herbology (get it?) and general clumsy geekiness rocks, that’s all I’ll say.

Some reviewers have likened J.K. Rowling’s seven-part masterwork to Tolkein’s trilogy. I myself wouldn’t go that far, although in this latest book there are more similarities than I’ve seen in any of the others, in particular (and this should be no spoiler) Rowling’s ability to get her heroes in and out of unbelievably sticky situations. Tolkein certainly has her beat in the epic department, although there’s something compelling about how her stories emerge out of (and merge with) a world not so terribly different than our own.

So anyway, now that I’m done with this, I guess it’s back to Wittgenstein and Spinoza. Or more likely Stephen King and Elmore Leonard.


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