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1029 of 1140 found the following review helpful:
A stunning and thoroughly satisfying conclusionJul 21, 2007
This is arguably the most "hyped" book in history, and if J.K. Rowling had to sneak down to the kitchen for a glass of red wine to calm her nerves while writing The Goblet of Fire (as she said she did), one wonders what assuaged her while writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The collective breath of tens of millions of readers has been held for two years...and now...was it worth the wait? Did Ms. Rowling live up to the hype? (For that, amongst hundreds of questions, is really the only question that matters.)
The answer, most assuredly, is YES.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is told in a strikingly different style than the previous six books - even different from The Half Blood Prince, and, I daresay, it's a better written, better edited, tighter narrative. And while the action is lively and well paced throughout, Rowling found a way to answer most of our questions while introducing new and complex ideas. What fascinated me was this: Some people were right, with regard to who is good, who is bad, who will live, who will die - but almost nobody got the "why" part correct. I truthfully expected an exciting but rather predictable ending, but instead was thrown for a loop. We've known that Rowling is fiendishly clever for years - but I didn't think she was *this* clever.
Not since turning the final page of The Return of the King twenty-eight years ago have I felt such a keen sense of loss. My love affair (indeed, everyone's love affair, I imagine) with all things Harry began somewhere in the first three chapters of The Sorcerer's Stone, and has lasted, on this side of the Atlantic, three months shy of nine years. For all that time we have waited and wondered - was Dumbledore right to trust Snape? Will Ron and Hermione get together? What's to become of Ginny and Harry? What really happened on that tower, when Dumbledore was blasted backwards, that "blast" atypical of the Avada Kedavra curse as we've seen it when used throughout the series. So many more questions than those listed here, and so many devilishly well-hidden hints. The answers, as I hinted above, will shock and awe you.
When first we met Harry Potter, he was "The Boy Who Lived", with an address of "The Cupboard Under the Stairs". Who could help but bleed sympathy for Harry, treated abysmally - abused, really - by the only blood relatives he had, and forced to live under said stairs by those awful Muggles, the Dursleys? It was a sensationally brilliant introduction, one that ensured that our heartstrings would be plucked and enchanted to sing. He was The Boy Who Lived.
Since reading that first book, we have enjoyed Rowling's spry sense of humor - portraits that spoke, stairways that moved at any given moment, Hagrid jinxing Dudley so that a pigs tail grew from his behind, Fred and George's fantastic creations, etc, etc., etc., and more etc's. There was a sense of wonder and magic in Rowling's writing, so thoroughly captivating that the recommended age group of 9-12 in no way resembled the book's actual audience. It was common to see adults walking about with hardcover copies of the latest book, sans dust jacket (to hide the fact that they were reading a "kids" book, I suppose). It was also common to hear of eight year olds sitting down with a seven-hundred-plus page book! By themselves! If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it.
As for Harry, we admired him. He wasn't afraid to stand up for what he felt was right, even if he found himself in detention for it. He was brutally honest, and immensely courageous and loyal. Harry came to embody, at times, who we would like to be. He wasn't perfect, of course. He suspected Snape of being the one who was after the Sorcerer's Stone, and in The Chamber of Secrets, he thought that Malfoy was the heir of Slytherin. This didn't diminish Harry in our eyes - it made him more human, more real, and even, perhaps, more enviable.
Endless fan sites have been erected. For an adult to go to any of them, and find that thirteen year olds are having an easier time parsing out the books plots, subplots, and mysteries, was (for me at least) humbling, but yet also a testament to Rowling herself, and her remarkable creation. She encouraged an entire generation of young readers to read and to think for themselves.
But the time has come to say good-bye, for this is truly the end.
So good-bye, Harry. Good-bye Hermione, Ron, Professor Dumbledore, *Professor* Snape, Professor McGonagall, Professor Hagrid, Ginny, Fred, George, Neville, Dobby (and all the house elves), even Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. We will miss all of you, every character we encountered, from Muggle to Mudblood to hippogriff and owl, and everything about the world you all so vibrantly inhabit. And to Ms. Rowling: know that you have brought immeasurable joy to millions and millions of Muggles worldwide, and know that we cannot possibly thank you enough. What a tremendous gift you were given. Thank you for sharing it with us.
159 of 174 found the following review helpful:
Terrific!May 27, 2000
Every Once in a while, a book comes along that spellbinds millions. Like The Hobbit, You certainly know Bilbo Baggins, and you know all about Tolkien. A new book has come, Harry Potter. I love this book. I enhale all of the information exhales. Please say my vote was helpful. I am 82 years old and nothing would please me more than to be a top reviewer.
143 of 163 found the following review helpful:
For those of us that grew up with Harry...Jul 23, 2007
*SPOILERS: please don't read if you haven't finished the book*
After reading the seventh and final installment of the Harry Potter series, as well as many of these reviews, I simply cannot believe that anyone would rate this book with less than 5 stars. I have read reviews where people say that the ending is too "light and fluffy", or that "Harry should have died", and that the whole deathly hallows part of the plot is pointless because, in the end, Harry does not keep the hallows. Can no-one here see why JK Rowling ended the series as she did? I grew up with Harry Potter, the first book having been released when I was about 9 or 10. I cannot express how depressing it would have been had Harry died, for(forgive me for the cheeziness) if Harry had died surely there was no hope for the rest of us. Furthermore, the ending is not "light and fluffy". Harry overcomes Voldemort as his character develops, as he finally understands how to finish the Dark Lord once and for all- as he allows himself to be sacrificed for the benefit of "the greater good". The deathly hallows merely stand as the temptation for Harry to become all-powerful, to make the same mistake that Voldemort and Dumbledore(when he was young) made. His choice to turn down the opportunity to evade death not only speaks on his true character, but sets him apart from those who would try to harness this power. Even if Harry had chosen to keep the Hallows for good purposes, would he not eventually turn into the same type of tyrant as Grindelwald, as Voldemort, and as Dumbledore would have become? Yes, the hallows did appear and disappear in this one book, but because Harry chose NOT to keep them for himself, he chose the path of the pure-hearted. By this action, we truly see how much Harry has grown and matured. We also see just how different Harry really is from Voldemort, a question Harry himself had been wondering for some time.
So for those of you that bash this book for not ending in total destruction, and claim that "life is not fair and evil really does win", please remember that life is only what you make of it. Only those of us who grew up with Harry can really say just how much his life means to us, and I would just like to thank JK Rowling for this wonderful finishing piece of the Harry Potter series.
139 of 160 found the following review helpful:
Nice CD set!Jul 21, 2007
By Julie Neal
This 17-disc audio version of the final Harry Potter book is a worthy way to experience the story without reading it. It features the rich baritone of narrator Jim Dale, who tells the tale with just the right understated touch, supplying all of the characters' voices.
As for Dale's accent, it's appropriately British but not at all too thick. Each word is clear and easy to understand. If you've bought any of the earlier Potter audio CDs you know what to expect: Dale narrated all of those, too.
By the way, note that this is an UNABRIDGED audio book. Listening to it all takes 21 hours!
The story is dark, and too violent for younger kids, but overall one of the best in the Harry Potter series. Nothing seems forced or thrown together. Author J.K. Rowling wraps up her many plot points and reveals the fates of her characters in ways that almost always surprise you, but afterward seem inevitable.
And how she does it is so inventive! Many throwaway moments and whispered remarks from earlier books foreshadow what happens here, and devices that had little importance before, such as Sirius's flying motorcycle, now play key roles. While creating yet another gripping tale, the author also ties her entire epic together with the skill of a true literary master. As a writer myself, I really admire her skill. (Last time I checked, Rowling was outselling me by about, oh, a billion to one.)
In addition, the book treats its title character with the complexity he deserves. It portrays the (now) young man as disillusioned, full of doubt, overwhelmed -- a tortured soul who, though a responsible leader in an all-out war, often seems to yearn to do nothing more than sweet-talk Ginny Weasley.
Parents should know, however, that this one is a real creepfest, with the most explicitly violent scenes of any book in the series. It's way too brutal for grade schoolers. Also, unlike the earlier Potter tales, the far-reaching vocabulary requires about a 6th-grade education.
215 of 250 found the following review helpful:
I'm 23 and I've read it twiceJun 12, 2000
In anticipation of Harry Potter, Book 4, I had to read the first three books again. What I was struck with, again, is the sheer imaginative nature of J.K. Rowling's books. Simply put, these books are instant classics.
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is the third in the series following Harry Potter at Hogwart's school of wizardry. Harry is now a 13-year old (his birthday occurring at the beginning of the book), and concerned mostly with classes, Quidditch (a wizard sport), and the fact that he's not allowed to visit the local wizard village of Hogsmeade with his friends on the weekends. One of the reasons for this is that Sirius Black, a convicted murderer, has broken out of Azkaban, the wizard prison, and word has it that he's out to get Harry.
In keeping with Harry Potter tradition, the reader can expect surprises, twists and turns, malicious rivals, uncommonly kind professors, terrible relatives, amazing magic candy, true friendships, and a whiz-bang ending.
It's delightful to see how Rowling can stay true to the feel of the previous books, and yet allow Harry and friends to mature. This book is a little longer than the previous books, but the imagination never lets up, and gradually Harry's world is widening.
I would recommend this book to ANYONE (any age) who enjoys the writings of Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, or J.R.R. Tolkien. This is a very fun, humourous, and enjoyable fantasy novel, and one that should be read more than once!
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