The definition of a good book: you don’t want it ever to end but you’re unable to stop yourself racing through at breakneck speed to the final page...
I completed Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows over the weekend and I feel quite bereft now that it’s all over.
It sounds pathetic, doesn’t it? It’s just a kid’s book for Christ’s sake! And years ago I was one of those people who steered myself away from the HP books with an avidity that now seems ridiculous. There’s too much hype, I thought. Too much hysteria. Too many people rave about it therefore the books can’t possibly be any good.
That kind of thing.
Then I got into the movies.
I confess, I love them. They get better and better and I’m already excited about the new one that is currently in production. I’m a HP movie devotee.
But even up until the last film – The Order Of The Phoenix – I still refused to read the books. In fact on this here very blog I proudly pronounced that I would not read the books until the film franchise was fully completed.
Once I spied the books on Amazon – the complete 7 in a nice embossed boxed set – I had to own them. And once I owned them... well. What’s the point of having books sitting around the house and not reading them?
So a number of weeks ago I pitched in with the first and kept at it until the final page of the final book...
And it’s been great. It’s been wonderful. Yes, they’re kid’s books but they’re not just kid’s books. They work on many different levels. I’m amazed at how deeply I was sucked into them. How intense the journey has been. Maybe I need to get out more but a series of books hasn’t gripped me like this since I was a teenager. I gave myself willingly to the entire HP world and was happy to lose myself there.
My respect for J.K. Rowling is immense. Speaking as someone who is three quarters of their way through their first novel I take my hat off to someone who can plot 7 so deftly and so completely and still keep the reader hanging on until the very end. It might not be Shakespeare. It might not be Rushdie. It might not be the stuff of a lot of “worthier”, more intellectual writers but you know what? I don’t care. There’s a lot to be said for a good story written so well that you actually wish it were real. For characters that you become emotionally attached to.
Harry Potter for kids? Pah! Why should kids get all the good stuff? It’s too good for ‘em I say.
For those of you who are still cynically resisting the lure of HP... give it a go. You will be surprised. For those of you who are already in the know. Well, just say hi and smile.
As for what I do now... well, I need to start prepping for my final Uni module next academic year. Vikram Seth’s “A Suitable Boy” is next on my reading list. Karen tells me it is excellent.
And I’m sure it is.
But my heart is still at Hogwarts...