Monday, July 23, 2007

Join the Club - again, no spoilers

It was clearly a weekend of decadence.

My desk is strewn with bills, catalogs and other reminders of tasks I left abandoned. My kitchen is piled high with dishes, the surfaces covered with more leftover chores. The compost bucket is full. The fresh corn, collected on Saturday, has still not been shucked. A corner of the living room couch has a pile of shoes beside it, kicked off over and over again, as people made themselves more comfortable. Half-filled glasses with various liquids and empty snack packages are lying across the end and coffee tables.

I spent the weekend with an old friend. Several old friends, really - Harry, Hermione, Ron, Hagrid, and to show my tuna fish sandwich side, some of my personal favorites of their crowd - Severus, Luna and Neville.

I swore I was going to savor this last adventure. I was going to read it slowly, wait until after my other family members had devoured the 784 pp. as they usually do.

But like the glutton I am, a day and a half after arriving early at Barnes and Noble and actually finding it open, the thing was done.

My orgy was over.

I'm also reading The Courage to Write, as I mentioned in a previous entry. I haven't finished it yet, but the crux of the book is being courageous in your writing. Staying true to yourself and your observations and your characters, etc. Very pretty words, and true ones. But it's often hard (from what I hear and read) doing that in the current publication environment. Publishers, naturally, want to sell books. Books become longer and longer, because the public wants more when the latest of their favorite series comes out. Mysteries get sexed up. I still love John Burdett and what he's trying to do with his Bangkok series, but whereas his first one only touched on the ideas of sex (which can be a lot more sexy, than being explicit, thank you very much), his second book becomes almost soft porn at points. And from what I've read of the third, it will go even further in this direction.

J. K. Rowling has got to be one of the most courageous authors I know. There has probably never been a writer in history who's had more notoriety - or pressure. One of the world's wealthiest women, coming from her infamous tea rooms and single motherhood, scratching out bits of Harry on legal pads, I believe she succumbed to certain pressures in the middle of her beyond-famous series of the boy wizard and his fight to save the world.

Not this time.

For those who can eat a box of chocolates and let it last for weeks (which I can, actually, but don't have this discipline with cheeses or favorite books), no, I'm not going to give anything away here. But let me just say, that I think, this time, Joanne Kathleen Rowling did things her way.

And we should all be grateful.

So, I'm off to put my house and family back in order, and to leave those two summer days of ravenous reading behind me. If anyone who's finished The Deathly Hallows wants to e-mail me to discuss, well... anything, please do! I'd love company.

I'm missing my old friends already.


anno said...

You are way ahead of me! I've been depending on the movies to keep me apprised of HP's progress... it just hasn't been the same for me since Richard Harris died.

CableGirl said...

Finished it last night. I too was a glutton. I kept telling myself I'd take it slowly and savor each page, but then that little inner voice kept piping up with, "But what if someone spoils it for you and you hear the ending before you read it?" and I just couldn't stop.

Masterfully done. Oh yes, emails must be exchanged. lol

Anonymous said...

My father has confined himself to the family room since I surprised him with a copy of the book on Saturday. He comes out to eat and use the bathroom. When I ask him, "How's the book?" he gives me a grin.

He says, "Oh, just wait. Just wait. It's good."

He's looking to finish it today.

Jen said...

Anno, you HAVE to read the books! ;-) They're so much better than the movies.

Cablegirl, I think you have my e-mail, but I'm not sure how to get yours. Maybe we can include Jenn in Holland, too - she said she finished, right?

Leslie, I hope you get to read your copy soon. And your dad is right ;-)

Rebecca said...

the state of your house sounds like mine all the time - wish I could blame it on JK Rowling - but I can't!

Fourier Analyst said...

I was so fortunate to have my vacation coincide with HP7. I started re-reading HP-5 and was halfway thru before we saw the movie. And yes, Anno does have to read the books. What a wonderful world JKR has created. I then went on to re-read HP6 and finished it up just 2 days after HP7 came out. So I went on reading. I had planned to read it aloud, but as DD2 is only 9 1/2, and not nearly the fan that DD1 is, I wanted to "screen" it first. At least, this is what I told myself. I was only going to go a couple of chapters before I started reading aloud. When I finally tore myself away and was ready to start, neither girl was particularly interested as they were really into the swimming pool. Well of course I couldn't just leave it alone. So 2 days later I had read it all. And I must admit I was pleased to have the experience to myself to savor for a little while. Then DD2 snatched it away and spent the next 3 days buried in it, coming up for air only when we went swimming and when it was threatened to be prised from her hands for good if she didn't put out the light and go to bed.

Now we both get asked the question if Harry gets killed. To keep from spoiling it, I'll e-mail you how we answer!!