Harry Potter

images6.jpg My friend Nancy bought the book Saturday midnight and finished in Sunday morning.

Me: So what happens in the end?
Nancy: Are you going to read it?
Me: No, I’ll see the movie. So what happens? Does he die in the end?
Nancy: I can’t tell you!
Me: What’s the difference? I can google the ending tomorrow.
Nancy: No!
And so on.

I kind of badgered her for a while, but she resisted. While I admire her strength, I am disappointed to not know how it ends. I know it’s a bad habit of mine (actually, dunno if it’s that bad, it’s not like evil) but I used to read the ends of books all the time. I still read them through till then end. My junior high school teacher gave me a hard time about it, how I have to enjoy the ride, the mystery, and I do like that part–but if you can find out, aren’t you a little curious?

If there is anyone out there who has yet to see the flick (Tony, Christine), let me know and we can coordinate.

I bet he dies in the end.

Don’t tell me though.

13 Replies to “Harry Potter”

  1. I’m seeing it tonight at 8:30! IMAX baby!

    Did Nancy tell you that I was the 11th person to get the book that night? She was 402.

  2. Oh, but the most delicious parts of books and movies and tv shows are the anticipation and discovery!

    Would you want to know how it all ends on Lost if you knew the ending was out there for you to find out?

  3. Danny and I are are reading it out loud to each other after the kids go to bed… which means not only are we terrifically corny but also that we drag out the ride for a good two weeks (we’re old, we don’t read for more than an hour before switching to our netflix deep space nine episodes) too much info I know, but I am really hoping nobody will spoil it for me. I have a link for you however, that made me cry: http://www.theonion.com/content/video/j_k_rowling_hints_at_harry_potter?utm_source=slate_rss_1

    really, it made me cry.


  4. nkk, no i’m glad you didn’t tell me, even though i have to press you to make you do it.

    christine — no way. 11? what time did you get in line?!!@@ this is like the iphone. i haven’t read any of them, but when i do, i’m psyched that they will all be out.

    kiki — i’m pressed you have enough energy to read. that’s amazing and adorable that you watch deep space nine. did you know the hotel in vegas has a deep space nine bar with phrenghi waiters? it’s really freaky. and i saw your link. what am i missing? why am i not crying?

  5. I cried to realize that we are treating the deaths in harry potter like “i’m so smart I figured it out” rather than real tragedies that happened to characters we care about… when jo refused to marry teddy in “little women” I almost stopped reading the book. but that isn’t how books are anymore (or anything). the link was just a reminder that our endless analysis of even child’s literature keeps us from feeling human about it. the tears were tears of anguished laughter… the satire is that death should be as awful as date rape, at least, but isn’t… I can’t roll back time or make my kids treat fictional characters as real people, and I’m not sure it’d even be healthy, but that’s how I felt about about meg and charles wallace in “a wrinkle in time.” sorry, endless summer makes me nostalgic for my anti-social youth.


  6. Hi Kirsten,

    I loved what you wrote about really taking in what is happening to these characters because we feel so intimate and personal with them.

    I rather blame JK Rowling for some of that ““i’m so smart I figured it out”” attitude. She kept making all these proclamations before her books would come out, saying things like: “In this book an important character will die.” And in that book, “5 important characters will die.” It really ratcheted up all this speculation and hype, which I’m sure Scholastic lurved.

    I would’ve appreciated it more if Rowling had not said anything at all. This way you could open a book and have no expectations whatsoever. Instead, with this last book, a lot of the deaths seemed rather like taking a tally: 2 down, 3 more deaths to go. The deaths seemed as disposable as the characters in a Michael Bay action flick.

    “A Wrinkle In Time” is such a lovely book. My memory is mostly of my sixth grade teacher Ms. Pulley reading a chapter at a time to us in class with the lights turned off. Wouldn’t it be nice if employers still read chapters of books to us with the lights turned off at the end of the day?

  7. Maybe it’s a Harry Potter phenomenon then, and I hope kids who are readers are still so engaged with the story that they do feel the loss of certain characters. I know that I do. I read Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Inheritance of Loss (even thous I’m extremely maudlin immigrant story-resistant and worried I was in for such a trip), but I seriously, I fell into body-racking sobs twice from that book (David was like worried about me) and that couldn’t have happened if I didn’t care on some level. And, related but not, I edit business people all day, and dude, when you talk to kids, the difference of honesty in expression is refreshing. I don’t know if you get used to it or maybe you notice a level of cynicism that I don’t see, but every time I talk to a kid, i’m like, give me more, dude.

  8. Do I have to barricade myself or something? Honestly, Tina! Look what you’ve caused.

    Isn’t it enough that Amazon failed to deliver on Saturday as promised! Must I suffer more? Cruel, cruel Tina.

    I called Amazon today and they’re shipping me another book for free and refunding my original payment because they had a Saturday promise delivery date. I hope JK Rowling still gets her royalty check from me though.

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