Monday, March 13, 2000

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling
Genre: YA Fiction/Fantasy
You Might Like This Book: If you're breathing, for heaven's sake! Just read them all!
Bloomsbury Audio Book, read by Stephen Fry


I know I read this in the summer of 2007. I was waiting in line at a Wal-mart in Oakland, MD with everyone else when it came out. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Then I went and read it in about 8 hours. What I've since realized is that reading a book so full of detail in such a ridiculously short time requires is a kind of speed reading in which one skips all but the largest words. Apparently I didn't always choose the right words to speed read. I remembered a few of the major highlights, but as I listened to this delightful rendition by Stephen Fry, it became clear that I was, for all intents and purposes, coming to really know the book for the first time. All the other HP books I can remember. I've read several of them multiple times. This one I just read the once, that first breathless weekend.  But what a treat to rediscover this story so long after all the hype has died down. It was wonderful! I really, really loved it. I wholeheartedly commend J.K. Rowling as the author of a true classic. The themes in the book (and in the whole series) are just so universal and timeless that I found myself not just entertained, but actually uplifted and edified. I appreciate that she had the courage to paint a picture of real evil.  There are lines in this world and some things are bad and some are good. That is a courageous stand to take in a time in history when moral relativism is the norm and accountability is unpopular. For me the basic, bottom line truth that these books offer and that will keep me rereading them throughout the rest of my life, is that choices matter and that the most fundamental and important choice we each have to make, all the moments of our lives is between acting in a loving way or acting in a selfish way. Love really is the deepest and most powerful magic in the universe and I applaud Ms. Rowling for helping us all to remember that important fact. 

PS. If you're only familiar with the Jim Dale audio version, those are wonderful, too. I just love Stephen Fry as an actor, and loved his reading of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  From there, I developed a sort of obsession to hear his version of the HP books. I was not disappointed by his reading, plus these had all the awesome Britishness, some of which was edited out for us Americans. I highly recommend it, but I also recommend you borrow it from me since I had to order it all from the UK.

1 comment:

  1. So I want dibs on the first book (Stephen Fry version) to be handed off at Stitches South (unless someone has already beaten me to it)! Arlis heard what you said and thought immediately that we needed to listen to this version too for a comparison!!!

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