I have also been reading. Tuesday morning saw me discover a new bookshop on Roncesvalles, where I picked up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I managed to read a couple of hundred pages before making my way downtown. And, downtown at Java, a couple of gentlemen at a nearby table were discussing some to do with Harry Potter, loudly enough that I feared I would be struck down by a dreaded spoiler.
I first tried the old stick-your-fingers-in-your-ears-while-mu
That said, I finished the final Potter volume yesterday, and I will do my best to avoid loosing any spoilers below, though in my ever-so-humble opinion, there isn't much to spoil.
Obviously, given that I read all 600 pages of the book over a 30-hour period, J.K. Rowling's words are as compulsively readable as ever. And possibly, her prose has improved significantly. At the very least, I noticed far few extraneous adjectives accompanying the dialogue (eg, "he said crossly, happily", &ct).
Other than that, though, the book was a let-down. As one very long climax, it lacked dramatic tension and none of the surprises surprised me all.
The final 125 or so pages consist of a battle for Hogwarts, as the good guys and bad guys line up to (mostly) cast spells at one another. While I kept turning the pages, the battle scene - despite its length - felt more like it was meant for the silver screen than to be prose.
The novel - and by extension, the series - lacks pathos and I closed the book happy that it was over. If I'd known Tuesday what I know now, I'd have waited for the paperback.
All dissing aside, it is eminently readable and reasonably entertaining. I imagine that, were I a teenager rather than a jaded goat in the late days of his youth, I would have liked it quite a bit more.
Recommended for those who've been waiting for it, but if you've avoided the bandwagon this long, you might as well keep on walking.