Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Denouement Disappointing!

Or some other bit of incantation dribble, that about sums up my take on the long-awaited HP Book 7. I am disappointed. Really disappointed in the writing quality (very uneven), the red herrings (far too many of them, big detraction and distraction from the plot), the parts that didn't jibe with what we've come to know about wizards and witches in JK Rowling's world (there's a scene where Hermione and I forgot after only 2 days whether it was Harry or Ron, but Hermione and male companion #1 drag, yes drag, male companion #2. Did they forget they had wands and could do magic? Levicorpus? Wingardia leviosa? McGonagall should expel them!), the too-rushed deaths of characters we've come to love, the rather bland end to the evil Voldemort wrought (unlike LOTR, where Sauron's end builds to a might climax, Voldemort's was just so expected, really) and the unanswered questions. And the Epilogue! As if from a different book, all cutesy-pie, sweetness and light. What happened in those 19 years? How did the wizarding world rebuild? JKR read a lot of Tolkien, it is obvious. How could she have missed "The Scouring of the Shire?" Oh, maybe she only saw the movie version of "Return of the King," that could explain it. My biggest problems:
1) the picaresque subnovel - the entire "we've got no plan, let's go here, let's go there, kids" in search of the deathly hallows. Deathly? Together they defeat death. Hallows? Coming from the Peverell brothers, maybe unhallows. This entire subplot should have been lost with a capital L. Was James descended from a Peverell? That should have made him a Slytherin. Still do not know how he came to have the invisibility cloak. My guess- won it in a bet.
2) the whole wand thing. In the first book, much is made of the wand choosing the wizard. As the series progressed, this seemed to go by the wayside until Book 7, where it doesn't matter anymore who uses whose wand. Harry repairing his wand with the elder wand? Because we never do find out what happens to Ollivander (tempted by the dark side of the force too much, eh?) and Grindelwald is dead. Speaking of whom, how come dark wizards like the Malfoys and Lestranges didn't buy their wands from Grindelwald?
3) the lack of closure. It's a kids' series, wrap it up nicely. Even the end of Snape didn't satisfy anything. How could someone who was a sentimentalist enough to have a silver doe for a patronus to show his love for Lily acted so beastly to Harry for 6 books? It does not hang at all.
4) the Dumbledore backstory. Did we need this? Couldn't Aberforth have been PO'd over being left with a fragile sister (cursed by some Death-Eater, say) while big brother Albus is courted for Minister of magic and gets to live in the nice castle that is Hogwarts. Muggle boys attacking a young witch like Ariana would have gotten something in return - remember what Harry did to Aunt Marge in Book 3? Fragile baby sister succumbs to curse, Aberforth takes up inn-keeping, no story about Aberforth and goat (as if it was necessary).
I am done ranting and with the non-knitting content of this post. I found a detailed review, almost page by page HERE, if you are interested. Warning: some vulgar and not too nice language in places, but the writing is funny for the most part.

OK, back to knitting. Notice how the "wand" in the photo resembles Brittany walnut knitting needles? If I take one and wave it around, do you think I can enchant my needles to finish all my FOs for me, like Molly Weasley and Hermione? Guess the only magic around here will be the loop on my sock needle.

No comments: