Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Potter

I had a fish named Harry once. He was a gold fish. At first he lived in my office at work (this was when I had a real office with a real door and a real window when I worked at the trade magazine). Then, he came home with me and lived there. It was a joke, the reason I named him Harry. He had no hair, he was a gold fish.

I don't know why Rowling named her main character Harry. I don't think his name is Harold; I've never heard him referred to that way. Odd. Anyway, along with 1/3 of the world's population, I am reading the latest and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Actually I think half of that third has already finished the book, so I am reading it along with 1/6 of the world's population. I got my copy, along with everyone else, on Saturday, the day it was released. I was not one of those who waited up until midnight at a bookstore to get a copy, though I can't say I wasn't tempted, because my sister had already ordered me a copy (and a copy for herself and a copy for my brother - we don't know how to share in our family). That didn't stop my brother for getting a copy a midnight though - and finishing it the next day.

But me, I haven't finished mine yet. First, I had a lot of things to do this weekend. Errands, you know. I'm no 16 year-old whose summer days consist of sleeping and hanging out. No, I'm a career woman who has to go to Target and shop and clean the house and do other stuff on the weekends. So I didn't start reading the book until Sunday. Also, unlike the other books, I don't have this compelling urge to get to the end. By nature I'm a fast reader and I tend to skim especially when I'm reading something that isn't too hard to understand. Of course, my retention for the Potter books hasn't been great, but really, who needs to remember everything that happens in a Harry Potter book? It isn't like I'm taking a test on it at the end of the semester. So even though I flew through the other six books in two to three days, this one has thus far taken me four days. I have about 200 pages to go, so I'll probably finish tonight. But maybe not. I seem to be dragging this one out. I guess I don't quite want it to end.

It's not that I love the series so much that I can't live without the prospects of a new one. And, even if that were the case (as it was with Star Wars) you learn to deal with it, don't you? But there's something about the end of a series. Even more so than there is about the end of a book. You want to get to the end to see how it "turns out." But you don't want to get to the end because you don't want it to, well, end. And end it will. These are not real people. They will not continue to live on. Regardless if Harry dies at the end of this book or not, in a way, he will die. Because I won't get to find out any more about him. And I've spent the last seven years learning and caring about him and the wizard world, and now he's leaving me.

It's like that book/movie Misery. Where the fan is so upset when the writer kills off the character finally ending the series that she kidnaps him and forces him to write another book. I can't see doing that to Rowling, though if I were her, I wouldn't go driving around in Maine in the winter by myself...maybe it's best that Potter is ending. I can do my errands on the weekends without feeling the pull of a 500-page book back home and get on with my Muggle life.

In the mean time, be on the lookout for my expert Deathly Hallows review in the next day or two.

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