Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Farewell to Harry Potter


Today is my birthday, and my son bought me the last Harry Potter book as a gift. In the past, I usually ran out and bought all the HP books myself the minute they were available (I tried not to trample over any little kids, and I'm almost positive I was successful . . .), but this time I didn't. I couldn't make myself go and buy the last book. I knew I had some strong emotions about the series ending and I was delaying the inevitable.

Of course, when my son gave me the book yesterday, I immediately (in spite of having a deadline and several pieces I needed to read for crit partners) sat down and read it -- only stopping for a few hours sleep -- until I finished it.

And then burst into tears. Chest-heaving sobs, actually. Sobs that lasted for quite a while.

The crying had a similar feel to a grief experience I had a few years ago.

Okay. Maybe I'm sounding like a lunatic for admitting all this, but I never tried to pretend to be an unemotional person. I know I'm "sensitive and high-strung." I've learned to live with it.

The HP characters have been my friends for many years. I loved the first book/movie because -- among other things -- that beginning story represented the rebirth of the Magical Child into our culture. It reminded us that we humans have a need to explore what's beyond our 5 senses. In the midst of a very dark time (politically, environmentally, etc.), little Harry has been a symbol of hope, innocence and magic.

I will really miss that world. Strangely, I feel as if a mystical portal has closed, and that world continues, but I can no longer participate. And I feel left out. How weird, eh? I like thinking Harry's world continues. (Of course, I also believe that as I shuffle my Tarot cards to do a reading for someone, the pictures shift from card to card, lining up as they wish, regardless of my rituals! Yes, I know. I'm a little strange.)

14 Comments:

Anonymous MIchelle (MG) said...

I feel the same way. I couldn't figure out why I was so discontent after I finished it. Dh thought I didn't like it and I said "No, it's not that." It took me a while to figure out that it was because it was over. I'm going to re-read it again, cause I think I need to. Sigh.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Debbie Mumford said...

Yep. I'm in that boat with you, Lynda. I love the world so much that I own all the books on CD (unabridged, of course) and listen to the series as I commute.

I finished reading the book version of #7 and immediately started the CD set on my daily drive. Weird, I know, but not only has this bizarre practice made me frighteningly familiar with Harry's world, it's taught me some very important lessons about plotting and scene construction. I know the story so well that I hear the writer behind the words. *g*

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Ava Rose Johnson said...

I had the same reaction. I was shocked how severe it affected me. I was thinking about it for days, bursting into tears at regular intervals.
It's just such a loss

11:50 AM  
Blogger Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

I was okay until the epilogue. I sobbed like a baby through the last scene.

2:18 PM  
Blogger MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott said...

I'm going to be odd writer out here and admit I didn't like it as much as the others—until the epilogue. That made the entire book worth the experience. On an intellectual level and as a writer I understand why she structured this last book the way she did...I don't think she could have done it any other way. Not to give it away, I won't mention here what bothered me so much about it...but if you want to know, drop me an email and I'll give you my thoughts.
(I did actually like the book, but it's more in retrospect than the experience of reading it fresh.)

Like I said, I'm odd author out here.

-Kat

2:42 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Michelle: I'll re-read again, too, in a few days. How strange. I actually had a dream about the scene at the end, where Harry, etc. and the children were at the train station. Talk about getting caught up in a story!

10:18 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Dear Debbie: I know lots of people criticize JKR's writing, but I tend to get so caught up in her storytelling, that I never notice any technical things (if problems even actually exist -- I enjoy her writing). I thought the HP books were an excellent example of something seeming to be so simple, yet being so great.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Ava: I'm glad to know I'm not the only loon walking about, sobbing! grin.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Bernadette and Jennifer: Yeah. I had a bad moment with Dobby, but really started the waterworks in the epilogue.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Dear Kat: I don't even know if I can say I like/don't like the individual books, because I got so enthralled with the entire story, that I only focused on the larger picture. I definitely like the books better than the movies.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you werent the only one who had cried from this last HP book ... definitely was a tear jerker...

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Mandy said...

I think I'm the only person in the world who actually hated the last book -- not just because it ended the series, but because of the book itself.

I think a lot of things were left hanging that we were promised a resolution on & I think a lot of things were tied up the easy way that could have been handled in a much more complex way (something I've come to expect from JKR).

I did cry like a baby throughout the book, though. I was just very disappointed that all those nights I spent hashing over plot twists with my Mom turned out to be really "eh" in the final story. Can't say much about specifics, because I don't won't to spoil it, but I'd be happy to rant via email (mandy@amandacarrell.com) if anyone's interested.

This is basically my feeling about DH: AHHbooohhoohoo . . . eh. ;)

9:30 PM  
Blogger AmyC said...

Hi Lynda, I agree with what you said about liking one book better than the other. My son, who id 8, likes to ask me which one is my favorite. And I tell him that there isn't just one because you need all of them to complete the story.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Dear Mandy: I'm so sorry you were disapointed! I think that once I get caught up in the big story, the individual books/chapters just blend together to create the awesome picture. I didn't feel unresolved at the end. I used my imagination to fill in any details I wanted to fill in.

Amy: I totally agree! I need all the pieces to finish the puzzle and the puzzle was great to me!

3:30 PM  

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