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    Wednesday, July 18, 2007
    Book Seven

    Just a few more days until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released. I'm trying to decide whether to save the book up as a treat or to gallop through it the first weekend; if I save it I just hope I don't run afoul of any spoilers. Unbelievably, someone may already have posted the book's ending online (don't worry about clicking, there are no spoilers in this link). Rowling's idea of setting up the last book as a Horcrux hunt is brilliant, and I like the idea of Harry visiting Godric's Hollow to see where his parents used to live.

    I'm also waiting for an explanation of one scene from the fourth book: a moment at the end of Goblet of Fire I've been puzzling over ever since I read it. When Dumbledore learns that Voldemort has used Harry's blood to gain a new body and become resistant to Harry's touch, there is a "brief flash of triumph" in his eyes. That has to mean something, but I don't know what.

    I'm sure Dumbledore will have some sort of presence in the book, perhaps through his portrait on the wall of the headmaster's office, but I don't expect him to speak from beyond the grave. One theme that has run through all the books is that when you're dead, you're dead. We have seen brief glimpses of Harry's parents, for instance, through old photographs, the Mirror of Erised, Harry's wand duel with Voldemort in Book Four and so on, but Rowling has made it very clear that these are memories or "echoes" and not Lily or James themselves.

    I didn't order the book online this time, as I know it will be cropping up in my local grocery store and Costco within a day or so. Still, I remember the day that Half-Blood Prince came out the delivery guy who came to my house looked like he was having a really fun day at work. He'd probably never had so many people thrilled to see him.

    ADDENDUM, July 19: Apparently the New York Times published an early review of the book - with spoilers. Shame on them. J.K. Rowling has responded as follows:
    I am staggered that American newspapers have decided to publish purported spoilers in the form of reviews in complete disregard of the wishes of literally millions of readers, particularly children, who wanted to reach Harry’s final destination by themselves, in their own time.

    Should you feel like writing a letter of protest regarding this decision, you can email one to letters@nytimes.com.




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