Book Review: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

Finished off reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on Saturday itself. Had not pre-ordered it thinking I will borrow it from someone to read (well, I am not an avid HP fan!!). But then, having read the last six books, it was a big temptation to see Deathly Hallows looking at me from the windows of Crossword. Plus, the realization that I will be on a bus to Pune for the next 3-4 hours. Decision made. Target closed. Book picked up!

 

So, what do I think of the book? It’s a good read. But I would still rate it as a hyped book banking on the media revolution of modern times, and the fact that it’s the seventh book of a seven book series (hmph). And you can read on, I have no plans of spilling the much closely guarded secrets! [Its funny how the book leak has led to a set of blog articles around what does security mean in the modern world! – Link 1, Link 2]

 

What’s right with the book? It is similar to the previous six books in narration style. Simple for everyone to comprehend, lucid to keep flowing, too many sub-plots to keep you intrigued, does not get lost in details (unlike classical literature, where setting up the mood may take a few pages with all the descriptions of the woods, the color of the dog’s skin, falling leaves, etc.), continuity of characters and most importantly, a continuity of the story.

What’s wrong with the book? It gives you the feeling that JK got tired of writing this story at this point. She herself was saturated. So she decided to create the counter of Horcruxes, a concept conveniently introduced towards the fag end of the series – Hallows. So, the plots are being closed out one after the other. She didn’t want to get too bogged down in different characters, so there are deaths that just happen, without creating the same emotional trauma and action as was the case with the death of a Sirius Black or Dumbledore, or even the death of James and Lily Potter. Even the anguish felt for Neville Longbottom’s parents’ death by Cruciatus seemed better portrayed.

Despite what a lot of J K Rowling comments may have you believe, Harry, Ron and Hermione don’t seem to have grown up as human beings/wizards. While Hermione does showcase a new set of curses and spells acquired over the summer, all the wizards are seen to be using pretty much the same set of things. I mean – If Voldemort is that powerful, he should use something beyond avada kedavra – which sounds like a poor version of Indian madari’s Abra ka dabra. It reminds me of Naruto, where the only seeming growth in Naruto’s powers after 2 years (Naruto Shippuden) is that his Rasengan (Ball of Chakra) is more controlled and bigger.

The worst thing – There is a chapter which is called “19 years later” which is a desperate attempt from JKR to close the series, once and for all. Full of clichés and expected puns, the last chapter is as pathetic as it can get.

 There are several untied parts, including the immensely grown powers of Voldemort, as against Harry, who doesnt seem to be growing any more powerful, even though the pretext is that it should have happened. Something like the growth of Neo fuelling the growth of Agent Smith in The Matrix.  Again, an analysis would reveal things about the story, which I don’t want to do!

Net net, I picked the book because I just couldn’t resist the temptation. If you can resist the temptation, then borrow it from someone who has already bought the book. It’s a good read, but not worth 900 bucks or so. I can praise and nit-pick a lot more, but that would give away significant chunks of the story.  

Endnote – Chandrakanta Santati (written by Devki Nandan Khatri) was written as a set of six books. Including Chandrakanta, that would become 7 books!  While Nirja Guleri did destroy the worth of the book to a great extent (through mindless histrionics and pathetic adaptation), I still think it’s one of the greatest serial books ever written. It’s a pity that Hindi literature does not have the same reader base in India as English literature.

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Seems like I’m the central character in most of the cases.. A true HERO.. (BIG GRIN)

Well.. I haven’t stopped watching movies, or plays…

Well.. I haven’t stopped watching movies, or plays, or listening to music that I want to talk about, or books that I have read that I want to let you know about. and its not that I have been totally deprived of time either! Yes, life has been a bit of this and that, but I think its more of outright laziness lately that has stopped me from writing!

So… Wassup? Me? Watched Shrek3, Cheeni Kum, Shootout at Lokhandwala and n number of Naruto episodes lately. [ Remind me to start writing about animation series like Naruto and Avatar-The Last Airbender as well]

Shrek 3 was neat, not as neat as 1 or 2, but neat nevertheless! Time well spent. Watched it at Eros, Nariman Point. It was a pleasant change to watch a movie from balcony for 60 bucks, in a really downtown location (people tell me that it doesnt get more posh than that in mumbai – South mumbai is “the” place!). I guess one of these days I would stop watching movies so frequently because I don’t think a movie like Shootout deserves even 25 bucks, leave aside 250 bucks! The movie was pathetic, to say the list. Rediff was right in commenting about the idiots who fund such movies. Cheeni Kum would have been a perfect movie if the length was shortened and Paresh Raval muted a bit! Tabu and Amitabh are cool, and its surprising to notice that they had a pretty cool chemistry! Its a good movie to watch!

At one time I really wanted to blast movies like Tara Rum Pum having watched the early shows. But thats some less blood on my hands! 😉

Watched a play – “Flowers” at NCPA. Its a monologue enacted by Rajit Kapur (Of Byomkesh Bakshi fame). (Here is a review that I largely agree with) . Same problem as Cheeni Kum. The length, though short by the standards of usual plays (90 mins), could have been shortened further. More so, because there was no change in scene, no pause, no other character but the protagonist, and no movements. Its about a priest who’s torn between his duties as a priest, his love for his wife and his lust for a courtesan. Its a 90 minute narration where the priest walks through the course of events, his emotions, his agony and conflict, paints images using his words, and makes us all visualize the drama! Rajit Kapoor managed to be ok. But the play was just not my kind. I don’t want to take the credit away from Rajit, but c’mon – I have a low attention span. I can’t concentrate on something for 90 minutes on the trot! Not a lecture from the greatest of professors, not the same song even if I am in love with it, nothing!

My analytics blog is still waiting for the remaining articles and a response to Amit’s comment.

There is a blogger meet on 9th June in Mumbai. I am still debating within myself if I want to attend! Should be fun. Lets see!

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