TCL’s #DNF Friday #7 – Unlucky Number Seven.

Why I can’t write a Book Review for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J. K. Rowling.

Summary: It’s no longer safe for Harry at Hogwarts, so he and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, are on the run. Professor Dumbledore has given them clues about what they need to do to defeat the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, once and for all, but it’s up to them to figure out what these hints and suggestions really mean. Their cross-country odyssey has them searching desperately for the answers, while evading capture or death at every turn. At the same time, their friendship, fortitude, and sense of right and wrong are tested in ways they never could have imagined. The ultimate battle between good and evil that closes out this final chapter of the epic series takes place where Harry’s Wizarding life began: at Hogwarts. The satisfying conclusion offers shocking last-minute twists, incredible acts of courage, powerful new forms of magic, and the resolution of many mysteries. Above all, this intense, cathartic book serves as a clear statement of the message at the heart of the Harry Potter series: that choice matters much more than destiny, and that love will always triumph over death.”

Age: Young Adult, Middle Grade; Genres: Fantasy, Fiction; Settings: Contemporary; England (fictional school); Other Categories: Novel, Series, Magical Realism, Paranormal, Thriller, Mystery.

Deathly Hallows

First of all, I really hope my oldest son doesn’t see this review, because not only did he devour all these books, but he also pressed all of his girlfriends to read them. But he isn’t me, so… let me be totally honest here. I barely made it through all of book five, and probably should have marked the sixth HP novel as “DNF” but I did sort of get to the end of the book. I say “sort of” because I got there by skimming and then (yes, I know, but please don’t judge me here) skipping ahead to read the last pages. Why did I do that? Well, I think it all comes down to the enormous popularity of these novels. You see, I believe that sometimes, editors become gradually more intimidated by authors whose books become increasingly adored, and their fan bases seem to start looking like widespread cults. When this happens, I think that these editors steadily begin holding back on their editing, and start letting repetitions and unnecessary tangents to creep into these works, making them bloated and frankly, tedious to read. Case in point, take a look at this:

  • Book one – 223 pages
  • Book two – 341 pages
  • Book three – 435 pages
  • Book four – 734 pages
  • Book five – 870 pages
  • Book six – 671 pages (exception to the rule)
  • Book seven – 759 pages

Yeah, sure… lots of books have large page counts. And yes, some YA books are long. But to go from normal novel length to doorstop length is a definite indication of something going on here. I would also remind you that the first movie came out not long after she published book four. However, it is obvious that she knew there would be a movie of the first book while writing that fourth one. I am of the opinion that this was why she just let herself go, and her editor let her do it.

By the way, almost the exact same thing happened with the books she wrote under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith – the Cormoran Strike novels. Books 1-3 all floated between 450-500 pages; then a TV series starts getting made; then book four comes out at 650 pages; more TV episodes go into the works; book five comes in at a whopping 944 pages, and; another, final season is aired in 2020! (Mind you, the TV series was good fun and I enjoyed watching the whole series, but even though my husband didn’t mind the lengths, I will NOT be reading those books, thankyouverymuch.)

Also, the truth is, I mostly read these books to get my children to read. I succeeded with my oldest, but his enthusiasm wasn’t caught by his younger brother and sister, unfortunately. Plus, I thought the Harry Potter books weren’t all that amazing at the onset. Frankly, I found them to be fun enough, I guess, but they really were written to appeal to a younger audience, and well… my regular readers know that fantasy isn’t my genre, and this one also includes lots of magic and paranormal bits as well. That I actually made it as far into the series as I did was only by forcing myself to do so, and to justify buying the books in case my kids didn’t read them. However, when it came time to move house, they were the first books to get donated! That’s why I didn’t write a review for this book, or any of the previous ones, for that matter. Sorry Ms. Rowling, but two stars is all I can manage to award this novel, but thanks all the same for getting at least one of my children to read!

8a4b5-2starstiny

If I haven’t convinced you not to read these books, they are ALL very much available (via the following affiliate links) from Amazon, The Book Depository UK and US (free worldwide delivery), Foyles, Waterstones, WHSmith, Wordery UK and US, Walmart (Kobo) US (eBooks and audiobooks), the website eBooks.com, Booksamillion.com, iTunes (iBooks and audiobooks), new or used from Alibris, used from Better World Books (promoting libraries and world literary), as well as from as well as from Bookshop.org and UK.Bookshop (to support independent bookshops, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic) or an IndieBound store near you.

 

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11 thoughts on “TCL’s #DNF Friday #7 – Unlucky Number Seven.

  1. I’m a Harry Potter fan. Not a fan of the author so much anymore, but I still have a soft place for the books. I read them as an adult, and I’ve read through the series twice now, but I always admired how the books “grow” along with the characters. In length and in depth. I thought it was a pretty creative tactic. And the fifth book was probably my favorite. But I would definitely agree that authors of books with large fandoms probably can’t help but write for the fans after a certain point. I’d imagine it would be hard not to, unless you kept yourself from the buzz completely.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read them all and got caught up in the fervour over book 5 and bought it on the day of publication – of course that was the first bloated one. I agree with Lory, Diana Wynne Jones is SO much better. And Ursula Le Guin.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I believe that sometimes, editors become gradually more intimidated by authors whose books become increasingly adored, … I think that these editors steadily begin holding back on their editing, and start letting repetitions and unnecessary tangents to creep into these works, making them bloated and frankly, tedious to read.” AGREED! I have noticed this with other authors and its’ really a pity.

    Regarding Harry Potter, the first few books were enjoyable, but there are other, better children’s fantasy authors out there. (Diana Wynne Jones is my absolute favorite.) After that, they started to succumb to the bloating phenomenon that you mention. I also found them morally empty, with a kind of wallowing in evil that I found distasteful. Again, there are many much, much better books are out there, so I spend my time on those.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree about the page counts and repetition. I only tried the last Cormoran Strike book but gave up before too long. I’d watched the TV series up until then and much prefer it.

    Liked by 1 person

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