Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Book 7

I've been waiting around, oh so politely, for a while for someone to pick up and talk about #7...that's enough of that now, since you all waited for me to read it, I'll start.

First of all, it was brilliant. I loved it and it was fantastic. Not as dark or scary as some of them, and I think she has managed to keep Harry aging appropriately.

I had two concerns toward the end of the book. These were the fact that Harry, Ron and Hermione never killed anyone, portraying them as good guys, unsullied and in direct opposition to Voldemort. That said, obviously Harry kills off the big V, but that was indispensable. Their friends however, also good guys are left with all the dirty work of off-ing folks left right and center, while the central trio at worst go for a crucio curse. I couldn't quite hold those two images.

The second problem that I had was in the King's Cross station scene at the end when D and Harry are chatting. The flapping 'flayed' baby in the background that they are unmoved by and inured too I could not get past. It goes without saying that it is an image of the underdeveloped soul/inner being/nature of V, but the fact that these two could be so disinterested, especially when the image was specifically a flayed child I could not go beyond. I was abruptly and fatally unable to suspend my disbelief at this stage, and it just didn't work for me. The word flayed alone is probably what did me in. The thought that those two could just walk past a child in that condition, however dream like was untenable.

Those were my only beefs with the book, I was sorry my problems with it came towards the end because they stand more strongly in my mind than if they had occurred earlier, but that was a great series. What is she going to do next?


Boo and Trev said...

I thought the fact that Harry didn’t directly kill anyone was rather neat because he is only 17. And although his friends are involved in fighting I think it is only the adults of whom we are aware of killing. We see Ginny, Luna and Neville fighting but I don’t think we see them killing anyone.
The Kings Cross scene is interesting. I think Harry was concerned. He keeps looking at the child and it is Dumbledore who says that there is nothing that can be done. And Harry does give Voldemort a chance. He asks him to show a bit of remorse – which obviously he doesn’t.
I must say you have very deep thoughts. I finished reading it and wondered who brought up Teddy (his grandmother) and where Crookshanks was in the last book. I am so superficial!

Helen said...

I tend to agree with Boo about the baby thing in Kings cross because Harry does look at it and is concerned, but he has got to the point where he was prepared to die himself to kill V so I think he can be allowed the dispassion of seeing V a victim of his own evil and accepting that. I love the whole wand thing ( which I had to read twice to really understand it) and the fact that Neville is such a hero at the end. also I like the whole way the Malfoys behaved and were treated. They are nasty but not evil because fundamentally they love each other and that superseeds V's influence. I justloved it and in a few months may read the whole lot again.

katemcnabb said...

Great post Christine, thanks for kicking off what will probably be the most commented on post on the whole blog!

I loved it too and agree re: Harry in the King's Cross chapter and I have to say it didn't bother me that neither of the main 3 didn't kill anyone. I was GUTTED when Hedwig died - disproportionately so compared with how I felt when Tonks, Lupin and Fred died which was a bit odd. I thought the wand thing was really well thought out and also had to read it twice to understand it. I loved reading Snape's story and understanding him better too.

My issue was actually with the last chapter '19 years later' - I still can't make up my mind if I loved it or hated it having things tied up in that neat little way...I suspect I'll be outvoted on that point but for me it was a bit too neat and tidy I think.

I'm still in mourning and can't believe it's all over though :(

Boo and Trev said...

Actually, the more I think about it , the more I am glad that the 18 and unders didn't kill anyone. It is actually a children's book and I think for the younger ones to have killed would have been inappropriate.
The death that got to me the most was actually Dobby.
Off on hols tomorrow so that's the end of my opinion for a couple of weeks

Boo and Trev said...

BTW. Kieran is without the internet yet so brace yourself for his opinion when he gets it!

oreneta said...

If you look at it from an 18 and under not killing perspective I have to side with Boo, though I am not sure if that is valid in the actual fight scene...is that valid? Gotta look it up...she's pretty general, I know Colin Creevey was underage, but we don't know if he killed or was merely killed himself.

Dobby got me the worst too, and Lupin. He had it so rough, and I would have liked it if even one of HP's father's buddies had made it.

Mr K said...

Dobby's death probably made me the saddest, although I actually got quite teary at Harry's march to death, as I was thinking he was actually going to die, not having it spoiled unlike some people.... Later reviews pointed out this this is intensely similar to Aslan's march to death (complete with jeering bad guys), which in turn I suppose prompts a christlike metaphor, although I suspect thats not intended. The point is more about love superceding, which is a nifty enough message for a kids book.

As for killing people, well the battle scene is seen almost entirely through Harry's eyes, to the point where even Ron and Hermione actually are off fighting once Harry wonders off for his march for death, so if you like they can have killed people in the fight. It's not explicit for reasons that my mother goes into, so it's up to you.

As to the epilogue, I initially disliked it, but I think the thing about it is it's what Harry wants. More than anything he's wanted a real family and a normal life, and thats exactly what he has. Yes it'd have been nice to have seen what Luna was getting up to, but that wasn't the point, and hey, J K has got an HP encylopedia to sell!