Saturday, September 29, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

The Harry Potter books are extremely plot-driven. While Rowling’s writing is not bad, it is fairly utilitarian. That being said, her generally straightforward prose allows for some of the smoothest (and enjoyable) reading I have ever experienced. But ease of reading is only one of my criteria for determining how much I like a book. For example, Lolita was just a little over 300 pages, but took me nearly three weeks to finish. The writing was dense, with complex allusions and clever turns of phrase. On the other hand, I read The Goblet of Fire (700 some odd pages) in one day. I liked Goblet, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Lolita.

So, I was somewhat surprised when Rowling’s writing caught my attention on more than one occasion in The Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final chapter in the Potter saga. There were many instances where I thought Rowling showed a depth that she had not previously exhibited.

There was a good deal of exposition that had to be done in order for this book to make sense. After all, Rowling had a lot of loose ends to tie up. I don’t want to ruin the series for anyone by giving away too many plot points. I will say that I thought the epilogue was generally unnecessary. Some of what was established in the epilogue would no doubt have already been imagined by the readers. But I liked the book, and the series—The Order of the Phoenix is clearly the worst of the books. That’s all I’ll say. So, if you have any desire to read these books you should do so now, before some moron spoils the series for you by telling you how things end.

No comments: