Harry Potter and the Last Page

I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last night. It came out about the way I expected it to.

For the sake of those of you who haven't finished or read it, I won't reveal any spoilers, but suffice it to say that yes, there are some beloved characters who do shuffle off this mortal coil.

I think that J.K. Rowling, in her own way, has given us a series of books that I would put on the shelf next to my collection of The Chronicles of Narnia and Swallows and Amazons. They have well-developed characters, fast-moving plots, and twists and turns that are both amazing yet fully credible within the context of the story, and the themes about life, love, sacrifice and loss are not too burdensome for the young readers or too treacly and simplistic for the adults.

Christopher Hitchens has a curmudgeonly yet polite review in the New York Times. (Note: it has some spoilers in it.) I agree with him that there were times when the plots moved so fast that even the characters were asking each other to explain what just happened, and as is typical in all of these books, there's a chapter at the end where someone has to patiently explain to Harry -- and us -- what really happened and all the loose ends get tied up. After all, the book was written for children and there always has to be a happy ending. The book doesn't end with "and they all lived happily ever after," but it's close.

Oh, and I will say that the fundamentalists who think that the series is somehow "anti-Christian" have never read the books, including this one, and even if they have, their reading comprehension and their ability to interpret fiction hasn't gone past Grade 4. So shut up, stick to your Left Behind drivel, and leave the rest of us in peace.

Cross-posted from Bark Bark Woof Woof.

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