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  • Deathly Hallows Action

    I’ll probably be picking up the final Harry Potter book this weekend, but I’m a little jealous of all the people who went to the midnight releases at bookstores. Mainly because seeing that big a deal made over the release of a book feels like a glimpse into an alternate universe where everything went right. They probably make trading cards of scientists in that world too. It’s also kind of a peek back into the Victorian Era when people would rush to the docks as a ship arrived with the latest Dickens installment yelling at the sailors to find out if Little Nell was dead. I’m afraid it will be a long while before a series captures the public’s fancy like that again.


    Comment from Eric
    Time: July 21, 2007, 11:38 am

    So, I just finished reading it, and….


    Little Nell dies indeed. Wait, we weren’t talking about the Old Curiosity Shop?

    Comment from gettis
    Time: July 21, 2007, 11:42 am

    We went as a family last night and had an incredible time. A local independent bookseller turned a city park into a (non-cheesy) Forbidden Forest/Diagon Alley and did an absolutely amazing job. Easily 10000 people were milling about there.
    (SDComic Con – misogyny) x pan flutes = HP book launch events

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 21, 2007, 11:49 am

    That sounds incredibly cool. Are there pictures?

    Comment from gettis
    Time: July 21, 2007, 12:35 pm

    Check yer inbox.

    Comment from Brian M.
    Time: July 21, 2007, 4:45 pm

    J.K. Rowling was the literary equivalent of the Beatles. Since they came and went, we’ver heard more than one band described as the “next” Beatles, but turned out not to be. I think the same will happen with Rowling. There will be writers touted as the nexr J.K., but I doubt we’ll see her likes again in our life time or the life time of all those kids who stayed up past their bed times last night/this morning.

    Comment from Brett
    Time: July 22, 2007, 5:48 am

    I read it on my flight home yesterday and it was selling like hot cakes at Heathrow. It seemed like every other person was carrying it around the airport. I hadn’t planned to pick it up but fell to peer pressure. It was a good read, better than the last two, but still felt like it could have been cut back some and been a cleaner read.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 22, 2007, 6:51 am

    Did she leave Quidditch out of this one? I’ve had enough of the game that’s all about whatever The Seeker does!

    Comment from Brett
    Time: July 22, 2007, 10:32 am

    Yep, no Quidditch in this one. I suspect even she was tired of it. There are some references in passing comments and an important past reference plot point, but no new games of improbable ball.

    Comment from Tom Spurgeon
    Time: July 22, 2007, 3:13 pm

    I like Harry Potter and I like the joy with which people engage Harry Potter, but a lot of the “look at me, I’m participating in this” posts and articles you find all over the web right now remind of little kids declaring they made a poopy in the potty.

    Plus I think the shape of the culture right now makes these fluke hits more likely, not less.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 22, 2007, 5:55 pm

    Hey Tom, from my perspective, those potty landmarks are a big deal! No more diapers…

    I don’t think we’ll see another camp-out-for-a-book-series phenomenon, unless the HP books are kickstarting it and people will rally around another series just for that reason. Which is cheating.

    Comment from Tom Spurgeon
    Time: July 22, 2007, 6:09 pm

    Oh, I don’t think so, either. I think there were a combination of cultural pressures that made this one that much extra of a hit, and provided it singular juggernaut status. A perfect storm. I just think we live in weird enough times that fluke hits at some level are much more likely, even from dead (or dying) forms. More High School Musical-level fluke hits than Harry Potter, though.

    Comment from Eric
    Time: July 23, 2007, 1:30 am

    Yeah man…speaking as someone whose summer job has been taking care of and potty training a six-year-old with severe mental disabilities…making poopy in the potty is awesome.

    I agree with Brett that Rowling’s previous excess and lack of economy are still quite evident here. Also, despite the growing sense of danger, they still start the book at the Dursley’s house, which always seemed a bit formulaic to me. Then again, maybe there’s something to formula. She’s a ker-billionaire and I can’t even get a short story published…!

    Jeeze. I spent all day Saturday reading Harry Potter and all day Sunday playing (and beating!) Grim Fandango. I need to spend the next few days doing something non-dorky.

    Comment from zailo
    Time: July 23, 2007, 8:55 am

    Maybe somebody here can answer this question. I have heard that the title of the first book “sorceror’s Stone” was changed from the European “Philosopher’s Stone” so as not to tick off the American Christian Right. Wouldn’t that work better the other way around. Or are they saying that in America it is OK to be a wizard but not to think? See you Friday, Parker.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: July 23, 2007, 9:31 am

    No, sadly it was changed because they thought Americans wouldn’t get the reference. We am dum.

    Comment from zailo
    Time: July 24, 2007, 10:35 am

    true dat!

    Comment from Manolis
    Time: July 30, 2007, 10:53 am

    took me 5 days to finish it this time. i’m ashamed of myself, but to my defense, i was on hokliday so too busy boozing and hanging uot with my friends. i had finished the first four novels in 5 days (all together) :)

    Quidditch is an odd game, but kudos to her for sticking with it, and even giving an example of a game where the winning seeker’s team actually lost the match, a few books back :)

    i missed the school action though this book, i wish we could have had more peeks into the school life in harry’s absence!