Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Finality of It All

Well, I did it. I finished the last Harry Potter and I can't believe it's really over. I seriously might have to start over again with the first book so I can feel like it's still out there.

Jeff asked if I've ever loved any other books so much and I was a little offended. I mean, of course I have! It's just that I've never loved a book at the same time a gajillion other people were loving the same book, you know? Nor have I ever been so timely in loving books; usually I have to hear about 27 recommendations before I actually go out and get a book. And I never buy hardbacks! But once I read The Sorcerer's Stone, I was hooked and knew I needed to be one of the first in line for the next installment. And I love the Harry books because they're so clever and so fictional, whereas most fiction could be someone's reality. Does that make sense? Take, for instance, The Grapes of Wrath - one of my all-time favorite books - a fictional story set in a very real time and place. What little Science Fiction I've read has always seemed very gloom and doom about the future and that holds no charm for me. Many other books I've read and enjoyed leave me with a sense of "what if that actually happened to someone?" and "that could totally actually happen", which then leaves me with a bit of worry for the characters or anyone whose life truly takes those turns.

But magic, magic, is inherently charming. No offense if you believe otherwise, but I am certain that Hogwarts, thestrals, centaurs, ogres, Diagon Alley, Goblins at Gringotts, sorting hats, apparating and disapparating, the Floo Network, portkeys, hexes and curses, quidditch, designer broomsticks, a secret snake language, invisibility cloaks, marauder's maps, pictures that move and portraits that talk do not actually exist. It is a fantastically creative world in which readers can lose themselves without ever having to wonder, "could it be so?" because no, it could not. And therefore, though I spent the last 72 hours absolutely lost in the world of Harry Potter, there's something very relaxing about knowing that it's completely and totally made-up. That's not to say that the stories of individual characters don't stick with me, because they do, but I'm not left wondering if anyone in the world right now is having to fight off the Death Eaters with a borrowed wand. Catch my drift?

And in case you can't tell, I thought this one was REALLY GOOD and I think you should all go read it so we can discuss it at our leisure! Who's with me?

3 comments:

Kate said...

Stephanie,
My name is Kate - I work with Susan at the Lawrence CVB - I spent my ENTIRE Sunday reading the last Harry Potter - cried, and nearly cried in several spots, maybe not totally because of what I was reading, but because I knew it would all be over soon. I just lent it to someone who was dying to read it - but I'm with you - I can't wait to start again from the beginning of the series now that I know how it all ends - I'm sure there will be so many more details I'll pick up on even after reading them for the 10th time! What was your favorite part? What were you most surprised about? Maybe I don't want to get too specific if others read this and haven't read the book yet (shame on them) but - I cried when Harry was looking at Snape's memories in the Pensieve....ok, maybe I should stop now for everyone that hasn't read. What do you think?

The Blake Family said...

Well, now I should probably read it. I have been stuck on "The Goblet of Fire" the last 2 years, so I'd probably better catch up first. Your post makes me wonder how in the world I got so far behind! I do not like to read...that could be it! Glad you enjoyed the magic! -Kristin

Leslie said...

Aaagghhh!!! I just finished it, and it was wonderful! And now it's all over...so sad. Michael needs to grow quickly so I can start reading him a chapter each night at bedtime. Or will he be old enough to read it himself by the time I feel he's mature enough to handle it? Anyhoo, the reason I'm "aaaaggghing" is that I just read your 2 e-mails, and aol will not let me reply! So angry I am. I want to chat about the Hallows, but I don't want to ruin the ending for those who didn't skip silly activities such as eating or bathing to get through it as quickly as possible. I must figure this e-mail glitch out quickly! I can't reply to anyone! So, as to not leave a crazy long comment here, let me just say, CONGRATS on your assignment! I'm so happy for you guys! You know our "World's Best Sponsor" moved there in March for the 22. You'll have fun together! And OF COURSE I will be road tripping to Tyndall come Feb! And if I figure out any tricks to setting up house with a little one between now and then, I'll pass them along. So far, I don't have any pearls for you, other than pace yourself. And have a big yard sale now. And I thank you for the biting advice. It couldn't have come at a better time. Yes, I realize that you wrote that e-mail back in early July, but I hadn't opened it until tonight (not being able to reply bums me out, so I haven't opened a lot of them). I believe God was saving it for me, though, because I needed it tonight. After taking only 1 short nap today, Michael bit me this evening, and it hurt, and then I told him no and lightly swatted his little hand, and that sent him into angry flailing and made me feel guilty, and then he accidentally head butted me, which hurt, and then we were both crying, and have I mentioned that I went off my meds last week? Yeah, bad timing. The good news is that Mommy crying is funny to Michael, and not emotionally scarring like I was afraid it might have been. So, he was happy, but I was sad. And then I opened your e-mail. It's nice to know I'm not alone. Not nice that this biting act is apparently is going to continue until he can speak, especially since he has no words as of yet, but still nice to know you have the same little teethy bruise marks all over you. Well, I can now officially apologize for the crazy long post. Let's think mean thoughts about aol, shall we? Surely it's not user error....