Daily GUIDE-ance:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One year since The Deathly Hallows

Pretty sure Monday the 21st marks ONE YEAR since the final Harry Potter book came out. What an amazing ride that was! Since I discovered Harry Potter (during the wait between book 4 and 5) I have:
  • Gotten married

  • earned a BS

  • had 2 children

  • spent a year mind-blowingly poor

  • Got my first, second and third "real" jobs

  • moved 3-4 times

  • best manned my brother's wedding

  • bought two houses

The first Harry Potter I ever read was the Book4, chapter one , (with a bit of the second chapter thrown in) -where Voldemort kills that old man and Harry wakes up after having dreamed it.

After that went to the library intending to get book 1. They only had book2 at the time, so I got that. After reading a few chapters, I had to introduce Trent(my brother)- who was 11 at the time-to it. (Trent has basically remained Harry Potter's age ever since) He very quickly became a ravenous reader. Shortly thereafter, my mom also became a huge fan. Me, Trent, our mom and our two other siblings, Todd and Ashley, spent hours and hours reading the first four books aloud to each other. This lasted for weeks... Soon, my girlfriend Liz and Renae and Bruce all got sucked in.

Reading out loud on Trents floor, laughing hysterically, and completely and utterly caught up in these stories- switching out readers, when we started losing our voices... Memories to take to the grave! (pardon me for waxing waxy) Trying to do Hagrid's accent... Trying to read the Yule Ball sequence, but dieing of laughter- "Wangoballwime?" Great stuff. The hours of speculation in between books. Make that years!

Anyhow... Last year Liz and I read the last book in shifts all day Saturday and Sunday- until we were both down to the last four chapters. Those we wound up reading together- not out loud, but sitting side by side in bed, for, what- an hour and a half?- each reading silently, waiting in suspense for the other to finish up so we could turn the page. It was the perfect way to end the series for me and Liz. We finished the book around midnight and just looked at each other and said: "WOW".

So its a classic. Better than Lord of the Rings. Better than Star Wars. (Star Wars has nothing on HP for suprizes and plot twists!) Better than Narnia. Totally unprecidented. JK Rowling is a once in a century genius. To write for that long, with that level of "world integrity" and plot foresight, and to have it be unbelieveably entertaining and engaging (sure Les Mis or War and Peace are long and complex, but, seriously, how addictive are they? How many kids enjoy them?)-- when has anything like it ever been done before? Amazing. Better than The Guide. Better than kicking Hitler in the groin. Better than being hurled into the depths of the sun. Better than starving to death.

I recently read on JKR's website on that she has written a short (800 words) prequel to HP that is being published for charity as part of a collection of short stories by famous people. Will be needing to read that naturally.


pie-seas79 said...

Oh you are so right Johnny! Jeremy got me the first three books the first winter we were married in Salt Lake(1999). I was hooked! It was sad to have it all come to an end but at the same time rewarding to have the whole story. Definitely something to read again and again and again.

Bruce said...

what are you talking about. HP sucks. i mean come on its witch craft. you are all going to hell.

Dana Cheryl said...

Has it really been a year? I was late to the game... I didn't start reading the books til after my mission in March of 2006. Perfect timing... I got to read all six and then join in the fun for the last one. My brother was deployed when book seven come out. He would call whenever he got a chance to get updates. I think the beauty and genius of it all was that they brought people together. Many, many times I would meet strangers and end up having wonderful conversations. We all had something in common. Theories, favorite chapters, etc...

Very good times! Thanks for reminding me.

Brad Carter said...

I got into HP when my then-wife bought the books for herself and convinced me I might like them. I think it was right around the time book #4 came out.

I'd actually kind of forgotten about HP #7 until my son wanted to read it late last year. I was thinking, "Oh, just more of the same is what it'll be." and I wasn't too excited about it. But once I got started on #7, I couldn't put it down. It was definitely my favorite of the series.

Eyepoke said...

At the time I thought Book 7 left about a million things unresolved... I went so far as to make a list of about 30 things I felt ought to have been in book 7-
For instance Harry and Ginny barely spoke to each other in the book... And I would have liked to hear a ton more about what happened at Hogwarts that year- the best bits of the whole book happened at Hogwarts I thought. Also, I would have liked to know more about the time the Dursley's spent living in very close quarters with wizards. And a million other things.

But it was an amazing book. I kind of hope she keeps writing stuff like this prequel to fill in the chinks.

timpani76 said...

I blame Mark & Jean for getting me into Harry Potter. Jean read the books out loud to Quentin until he was old enough to read them himself.

jbcrider said...

I am currently reading HP7 again. I just love the details. I am glad they are turning this book into TWO movies so that it can be resolved correctly and not rushed- like some of the other HP movies.

timpani76 said...

Gah! I'm dying to know HOW they will split up the last book into two movies. How far apart will they be released? Will it be just like watching a movie in two parts, or will they try to tie a few things up in the first movie?