Sunday, July 22, 2007

Muggles at Midnight

Don't worry, I'm not going to spoil the ending. I couldn't even if I wanted to--I'm only halfway through the mammoth book myself. I'm currently living in fear that someone is going to accidentally reveal the ending or let slip the name of another main character who dies. The body count is already pretty high by page 388 though, so I'm not really sure if anyone is going to make it to page 759 without a mortal wound.

While a small minority of people are too cool or too crazy to catch Potter fever, the rest of us have savored nearly ten years of great books, decent movies and constant speculation about how the series would wrap up. There's something reassuring about the fact that, in the 20th Century, people around the world are still able to take pleasure in something as simple as reading a good book. At midnight on Saturday morning, we stood in a 40-minute line in the parking lot of Barnes and Noble. We put on our complimentary glow-in-the-dark Harry Potter glasses, cheerfully paid $44 for two copies of the book (thanks for the 40% discount, B&N!), and cracked it open as soon as we got home. Millions of other people shared the exact same experience this weekend and I think that's pretty cool. It's nice to see that good, clean fun has not yet completely vanished from the Earth.

Although I'm not exactly the target audience, I can honestly say that the Harry Potter books are among the most absorbing and suspenseful that I've ever read. I'm extremely picky about my reading material and a book has to grab me pretty quickly if I'm going to stick with it. The number of books that I've started and never finished is growing at an alarming rate, so it was nice to have seven books that I could rely on to give me the excitement-induced thrill that comes from wanting to read faster than you physically can. That's a feeling I've been craving since my days with the Hardy Boys.

So what's next? Sure, there are two Potter movies left to get excited about, but the book series has run its course and Muggles the world over need a new literary hero to root for. Any suggestions?


Bret said...

I'm trying to get Belinda to read "A Confederacy of Dunces," which I think is amazing and hilarious.

I picked up "Bourne Ultimatum" for my trip, and the writing is horrible. I'm still optimistic about the movie, though.

And when all else fails, there's always "Wake Me When it's Funny."

Bret said...


Or the Western canon.