Monday, July 23, 2007

I'll try not to spoil anything ...

I spent most of the weekend reading, of course. (Harry Potter, in case you couldn't guess.) Unlike Georg, I didn't attempt to clock my reading hours, because I was actually trying to stretch it all out and make it last, seeing as how it's the final one and all. I decided against picking the book up at midnight Friday, as I had originally planned, because I knew I would then stay up all night to read it and staying up all night doesn't agree with me at all. So instead I went to the Regulator at 9 am and picked up my copy, settling in on the sofa for most of the day. It was sort of a shame that it had to be released on such a gorgeous day--sunny but not too hot--so I made a point of keeping than back door open while i sat on the sofa, and spending some of my reading time out in the back yard. I also took a break to take the dogs for a nice walk and to attend a week-late Bastille Day party thrown by an agility pal.

I will try to speak cryptically, but if you haven't read it and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now, just in case. First I just want to say: I KNEW IT! What was revealed in Chapter 33, "The Prince's Tale," turned out pretty much as I expected and hoped. Well, almost--it actually was far better than I had thought it would be. That was most gratifying.

I was disconcerted, but not surprised, by the body count. Mostly I took the deaths in stride because I knew someone had to bite it--we're fighting supreme evil here, people! But there was one death a little more than halfway through the book (last page of Chapter 23), that really hit me in the gut. I got a bit teary-eyed over it.

Although the ending wasn't exactly as I expected, it was far from a surprise, as Jim Dale had characterized it. I didn't expect it to be handled the way it was, but then again, when your whole plot revolves around magic you can get away with a lot and still satisfy your readers, can't you? And I am satisfied. Except that I still wonder what exactly happened to Florean Fortescue. Or did I miss it somewhere? I have to go and re-read the whole thing ASAP.

7 comments:

georg said...

I agree that the ending wasn't much of a surprise. Jim Dale must be on crack. (note: I'm going to try to phrase the following question in as non-spoilerish a way as possible so apologies if it seems incoherent) Re: the Prince's Tale -- do you remember if the form of that spell had ever been revealed in the earlier books? I don't think so, but I tend to miss a lot of details

Lisa B. said...

If you're talking about the one that begins with a "P" than, no, it had not been revealed.

Lisa B. said...

oops, I meant "then," not "than" ...

r4kk4 said...

"the prince's tale" made me weepy. it's still depressing me. (but in a good way, if that makes sense.)

and i was actually pretty upset by the very early death....wow, it's hard to write this stuff without being spoiler proof!

ok, death number two. that was very upsetting to me.

Lisa B. said...

All the deaths were a little upsetting ... well, not the two last ones. They had it coming, didn't they?

Yeah, "The Prince's Tale" touched that little romantic part of me ... I had thought the back story was something like that, and I'm so glad Jo agreed with me!

Michael Bacon said...

Dangit, in my haste to blog my predictions, I forgot to mention the romantic bit from The Prince's Tale. But, yeah, like you, I saw that coming. (I also called Harry's love interest before book 6 came out, as well as the identity of the Half-Blood Prince, what was really satisfying too, but I digress...)

To me, the most annoying part of the book was what I see as the missing second-to-last chapter. The last chapter only resolved some of the outstanding stuff, but I really, really wanted more resolution. After seven books and thousands of pages, it was a pretty rapid crash from climax to fin. I wanted more ease-out.

Lisa B. said...

I thought that "the prince" would die a more noble death, like maybe saving harry or something, so I was disappointed in that. But I guess a heroic death would not have given him the few moments he needed to pass on his tale and for the poignant "Look ... at ... me" that said so much.

I felt like there were a lot of loose ends, too, but then again, resolving everything would have been difficult and maybe tedious, given Jo's style of using action and dialog for exposition. She would have had to contrive a situation that dramatized the telling of everything, and I'm not sure how that could have been done plausibly. Besides, life never gives us complete closure, so I suppose we shouldn't demand too much of every story ...