19 July 2005

Pottermainia and other nonsense

Carl Rove is in trouble; there’s still the worry of who W is going to appoint to the Supreme Court; and I heard a pretty upsetting report on NPR this morning about yet another solider who died needlessly in Iraq. They had his three-year-old son on the air, for God’s sake. He said, “Daddy’s dead.” Merciful heavens, if that isn’t the way to start a Tuesday! Please, NPR, stop making me cry on the way to work. But, of course, for those of us who like escapism and haven’t progressed past the mental age of 12, there’s GOOD news; the new Harry Potter book is out.

I read the entirety of the book yesterday. I was on vacation in Toronto, Canada on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, or I would have read it the minute that it was released. How silly is this, I had to stop myself from buying the Canadian/British edition of the book in every bookstore that I walked past, even knowing that I had a copy waiting on my front doorstep at home. When we got back last night and the UPS package wasn’t sitting on my front porch, I was of course bitterly disappointed. I’d ordered it, you see, in February. So I logged on to the computer, checked the shipping status and saw that it was “in transit”. Argh! Then I went and checked my mailbox, and joy, delight, happiness, there it was. Did I stay up until waay after midnight to finish it? U bet. Am I going to spoil the ending for you? No way. READ THE BOOK!

I was reading in the Canadian newspaper that the hotel left outside our door yesterday morning that British reviewers were saying it was poorly edited, and I regretfully must agree. There are a couple of silly editorial errors that I firmly believe they had more than enough time to fix, as the book was finished more than a year ago. And at 652 pages, it isn’t as long as The Goblet of Fire (which comes in at a hefty 734 pages), or The Order of the Phoenix, which at 896 pages was the heaviest of all 6 books. I still think the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite, with the best story of them all. Much like I don’t like my youngest sister getting older (because it reminds me that I’M getting older) I don’t think I like Harry being 16. My own mid to late teens were fraught with so much angst that it is difficult to remember those times without remembering the anger that I felt. I was so mad at the whole world, for no real reason. Harry’s got a lot more reasons to be pissed than I ever did…and when his rage manifests itself it makes me angry too.

I have to stop here before I spoil the plot for anyone; I’m refusing to say more until the book’s been out a while. I read that the final book is finished; JK Rowling said so in an interview. What the hell are they waiting for, when will the next one be out?

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