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June 6, 2008

Harry Potter ...

Last night, at about 2am, I finished reading the last of the seven books in the Harry Potter series. Much to my surprise, I had started it at 9am and found it impossible to stop reading. This, unfortunately, followed on from me starting the first book less than two weeks ago. I have not had a relationship with fiction like that since I compulsively devoured The Chronicles of Thomas Convenant as a teenager.

Various members of my family had bought all the books, and I had seen all four of the movies made so far. I wanted a little distraction from the stresses I currently endure, so I thought I'd take the opportunity ... my wife had been gripped by the books.

I found the first four quite engaging and a good read. They were good stories, well told, with evolving complexity, but nothing special. I was quite annoyed at the filmmakers for distorting certain aspects of the stories but I guess that's understandable, given the nature of the stories.

But from the fifth book on, the world just exploded and I could not put them down! I was amazed as suddenly a complex and profound exploration of the human condition was laid out before me. The plot became more complex and the writing more gripping, too. Then, particularly in the last two, the philosophy that was dragged into it has quite enlightening.

Well done, J K Rowling, for pulling together this extraordinary work. I can see now why you are richer than the Queen ... and deservedly so. Rowling has created something that will be remarked upon in the canon of Western culture for years to come, while the Queen's legacy will be a mere chapter in the continuation of the British monarchy.

I thoroughly recommend the books to everyone, and the first few movies are pretty good, too, though I didn't like the third and fourth movies and can't see how the final three movies could possibly do justice to the story ....

Posted by Hughie at June 6, 2008 11:11 AM

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