Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Buh-bye Potter!

Well, not really an actual good-bye. I mean there are still movies to come, a huge Harry Potter park to be built and I'm sure many more generations will enjoy the series. But still, its kinda weird knowing that there is no new "Harry Potter" book coming from Joanne K Rowling (or Jo as fans call her) again. Just to lay the ground rules, I'm not going to be disclosing any spoilers from the latest and the last in the series - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" and will try not to reveal anything of the other books just in case. Its just going to be about how I feel now that the series is over and I have read them all :).

Believe me when I say, I am not one of the insane Harry Potter fans. I have to admit that I have been quite addicted since I read the first book "Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone". And I didn't read it until 2 years ago! It was only after the release of the 6th book in the series "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", that I wanted to know what the fuss was all about. In fact, I also knew of the major spoiler of the 6th book before I read the 1st one :-D. The worse thing was that I had already watched the 1st movie. Obviously the book is much much more than the movie. You can't really expect them to fit the whole book inside a 1.5 to 2 hour movie anyways :-p.

Since I was already in US by this time, getting the books was pretty easy and I pretty much gobbled them all up. I am one of those people who grew up on Enid Blyton books. Even though my favourite series of hers will always be the Five Find-outers and Famous Five, I loved the boarding school stories of the Malory Towers series and the St. Claire's series. To my delight, the Harry Potter was somewhat of a boarding school story with lots and lots more. No wonder I was hooked :).

I consider myself quite a voracious reader. I have read lots of books as a child as well as an adult. But I hadn't seen anything like Jo's imagination in the Harry Potter books. Its a whole new magical world, if you know what I mean ;-). Though the adult in me scoffed at the idea of wizards and witches, the child in me was absolutely fascinated. Though the adult in me was not surprised at the dark side of the book, the child in me was scared. It was the ultimate in imagination to me. From magical books to magical creatures, from the widely etched characters to the weird curses/jinxes/charms, it is a whole new world. A book for both kids and adults to enjoy, all thanks to Jo :).

Well, as I said I finished the first 6 books ("Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone", "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", "Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and "Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince") in probably 2 weeks. I was excited about reading the final book. When it was announced that the 7th book would be published on July 21st 2007, it was certainly a thing to look forward to. But as I mentioned, since I'm not "insane" enough a fan, I never pre-ordered it. I placed it on hold in the library and was in the 36th position for recieving the book. I knew it'd take time, so I thought that I'd probably run to Barnes and Nobles bookstore on 21st, settle there for 4 hours and finish the book :-D. I'd have the library hold for the re-read anyways ;-). And if I couldn't go to the book store for some reason, then I had even planned to avoid the net for a period of time until I could read the book. Man, the spoilers are like ants crawling everywhere!

But life has a thing of springing surprises when you least expect it. Someday about one week before the release date of the 7th book, I got a letter from the library saying since I was one of the first 150 people to place the book on hold, they'll be giving it to me (giving as in lending :-D) on July 21st at 12 AM itself!! Looks like the library is full of Harry Potter fans too ;-). They even had a get-together organized at 10 PM with some Harry Potter activities :-D. Just look at my luck!! I called and confirmed the next day itself that I'd be there. I also placed all the previous books in the series on hold and borrowed them, so I could re-read them once before reading the final book :-D.

And so on the release day, we had dinner and went to the library (They had food, but we vegetarians have to be careful ;-) :-D). We still had 2 hours to go to collect the book, but I had a very nice time playing a Harry Potter scavenging hunt (its like a treasure hunt where there are clues) for the time. They also had a costume contest, trivia quiz, some games like chess and cards, some crafts etc. At about 11:45 PM, they distributed prizes. Well, I didn't get any as I couldn't even complete the scavenging hunt :-p. Then it was 12 AM and those who attended were lent books. And so I had/have the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in my hand :).

I read the first 200 pages that night itself (it was about 2 AM when I slept that night :-\). I finished the book within 11:30 AM next morning. So within about 12 hours of getting the book, I was done :). Now this is where my feelings come into picture. The story is wonderfully written, I felt no part was incomplete. Yet I was a bit disappointed. I don't know whether this is because of the fact that this is the final Harry Potter book or whether my expectations were too high. Maybe it wasn't as grand and tragic as I expected it to be or maybe I had read too many theories to be satisfied with the way it went. There were some parts which went the way I expected them to and others totally unexpected. There were some parts which stood out and which I really loved, but there were quite others where I was bored and wondered where the heck it was all going. Generally, I liked the way it went and ended. It felt like a good closure. But somehow it all seemed too convenient, too easy. Well, those who have read the book will know what I mean. And as somebody else said, I liked the book, but I didn't love it :). Again doesn't mean I hated it. To be short it was a 3.5 stars out of a 5 rather than a 5 out of 5 from me..

But all this doesn't mean that I haven't enjoyed the series. It was the best I have ever read and as a whole constitutes some of the best books I have ever read. And it is an experience worth repeating. Well, which is why I am reading the whole series once again as of now {smiles sheepishly} and hence the Harry Potter books are the only ones right now on my shelf :-D.

It feels nice to have the whole series in my hand :-D.

And I'm sure after some period of time, I'll be re-reading the series a couple of more times just for the experience and recommending it to people who like to give themselves up to a highly imaginative story and believe in magical worlds like me...

Update: If you really want to know why I felt disappointed, you can visit the Mugglenet forums, The Deathly Hallows Discussion, "Deathy Hallows: A disappointment?" thread, Page 17 :-D. The longest post is mine :-D. I have not put the link directly as it'd have led to spoilers ;-).


SK retorted...

Hi Deepthi,

I finished HP 7 too! Loved it! :--) Proud owner of all the books, I am. I started reading them after the first movie too.

I have been a silent reader of your blog for months now. :--)

Harish Suryanarayana retorted...

The hype surrounding the Harry Potter series totally turns me off. Truth be told, I have not read a single one just because of that. :|