CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS
AND I REPEAT THIS CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS.
THE BLOGGER WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR HIGHLY PAID LEGAL PEOPLE WHO CAN UNDERSTAND TOTAL JIBBERISH BUT DON'T GET THAT "CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS" MEANS IT CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!
READ ON AT YOUR PERIL
I don't know when I first encountered Harry Potter, I think book 3 coming into paperback and I'm not sure when I started getting them in hardback. I have no copies of HP, they were all passed on to Min's daughter (Min was not interested in HP oh no sirree Bob, but Lizzie seems to have indoctrinated her!!) so I can't look the later up. I am going to have to rebuy and reread these one day, very soon.
I do remember reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, I started it in my lunch hour and I just read and read and read. J K Rowling's writing style is often compared unfavourably with a children's writer like say Phillip Pullman. Rowling's prose strikes as unadorned. She reminds me of a comment someone made to Isaac Asimov "I wouldn't say you are a good writer but you are one hell of a story teller".
Later books have got longer and more unwieldy and less self contained. The best, to my mind, remains Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Harry Potter 6 was unsatisfying, it's not that it wasn't enjoyable just that it had no sense of completion. It felt like the middle book in a trilogy.
I approached the Deathly Hallows with some trepidation. Rowling had to deliver and if she didn't much of the enjoyment of earlier books would be diminshed.
So does she deliver? I can remember a vague sense of disappointment at first, Harry seemed fuelled with teenage anst and much of the charm of earlier books seemed missing. There was a feeling of drifting at first as if she wasn't certain what to do.
I can't tell you the exact moment but I do know that by page 384 (For those in the know that is the moment Dobby dies, and he is not the last) the book was on fire. I knew she wouldn't disappoint, the book was on fire.
The climax at Hogwarts is superb, pages fly through, characters that have been subsidiary like Neville Longbottom prove there worth, a true heir of Gryfinndor. Mrs Weasley struts her stuff.
It is perhaps in Snape that Rowling has her best moment. Throughout Snape has disliked Harry but he has seemed to help him, it is one of the paradoxes of the series. In Book 6 he seems to have turned when he kills Dumbledore but this is all explained, Snape is everything he seemed to be from Book 1 but all his actions make sense. He is perhaps the most complete character in the series, certainly the most interesting.
The final conflict between Harry and Voldemort is superb and perhaps, if I may say, gives a rebuttal to those daft religious types who criticise HP.
The conclusion shows that Harry is not special. He is not some all powerful uber wizard. The magic that protects Harry is the sacrifice his Mother made for him when she sacrificed herself. The most powerful magic is the power of love.
The final chapter is both satisfying and unsatisfying. We know what happens, we know they all live happily ever after but one can't help wishing that we had read more of how they got there.
Rowling had a really difficult job that she somehow pulled off superbly.
I wonder though can she ever scale these heights again in the future. This will be a hard act to follow.