Monday, August 20, 2007

In which Joy and Beth chat about HP, part 1

Beth G. is a great pal. She shares my love of all things Whedonesque (translate: Buffy, Angel, Firefly). We watched the series finale of the Buffster together. We were there in the theater the opening weekend of Serenity, which for the sadly uninformed was the big screen version of Joss Whedon's far, far too short lived sci fi/western series Firefly. And like me, she's been a loyal Harry Potter fan since book one. She's also mom to two delightful kids and works in a job I can't quite define but know is really really cool down at the Medical Center. If pressed against a wall, I think she coordinates educational programs for med students transitioning to residencies. If she had taught Mc Dreamy I'd probably remember better. But I know she does it well!

In any case, since she's uber smart, uber articulate and has a better head for the minute detail than I do, I thought it would be fun to have a co-blogger for the great Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows review. Here goes:

J: So Beth, what did you think of Deathly Hallows? Did it meet your expectations? How would you compare it to the other six books?

B: Well, to be honest, I tried to keep my story expectations as grim as possible going into the book. I convinced myself that the only way JK Rowling was oigoing to get out of writing Harry Potter novels for the rest of her natural life would be to kill off Harry. (Brutal, yes- and that strategy doesn't even always work. c.f. Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes). With these dark expectations, I felt I would be okay with however the story unfolded. It could not possibly be worse than the worst thing that I expected - it could only be better and I would only be pleasantly surprised. And I was. Even by all the bad things that happened, because I really felt like it took guts to make grim things happen in a novel written with a young adult audience in mind. It has also been tremendously exciting for me as a reader to return to these stories to see how the quality of the writing has matured along with the characters. I think this one is the best 'novel' so far. (Please know that isn't intended to sound as snobby as it reads, airquotes and all). the writing has cretainly become more cinematic as the series has progressed - she's bringing us into the story using different angles and voices. I love the way we enter this story by sidling along with Snape into the dark fesast at the Malfoy estate in the first chapter - like a long tracking shot into the mansion. I hope she keeps writing and I'm very interested to see what comes next.

J: Whew! You were really long winded on that first answer, there, Elizabeth! Not much I can add except that I agree - it's the best one yet. Very fast paced, very - as you say - cinematic, and pleasantly lacking in over use of adverbs in the dialogue tags. Plus, dark, scary, and more emotionally arresting than the others, at least for me. The torture scene over the dining table in Malfoy's mansion as a starter just took my breath away. Yikes!

Guess that's enough for today. Look for more q and a tomorrow.

Til next time...


Anonymous said...

"Deathly Hallows" is indeed without a doubt the best "Harry Potter" novel. It is slow in some places and I felt that Voldemort's death at the end happened too quickly, but the story as a whole is well written, wonderful and exciting. I can't wait to see how it looks on screen when they make it into a movie. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves adventure stories.

Anonymous said...

What can I say - all things Harry Potter make me a little excitable! ;)