So, it's all over.
You read it?
You read all seven books?
You read book 7 (The Deathly Hallows)?
Okay, get on with it.
What did I think?
Well, I would have to say I am something of a moderately interested reader of the Potter books. Neither wildly addicted nor dismissive. Maybe that helps. Like my previous post on drugs, I reiterate that I'm not particularly in favour of any excecssive behaviour. Yes, we can all be occasionally excessive but, like dining out all the time, if it's your everyday habit then it does lose its flavour and appeal over time because it is no longer a gleeful pleasure, a rare delight.*
The point is that I am not a standing-outside-Borders person for each new book. Hell, I wasn't even a order-it-as-soon-as-the-release-date-announced person. I came to the HP party late (I first joined in around book three, and perhaps for that reason it remains one of my favourites and perhaps the best of the films so far), and proceeded to recap with two and then one. I read four VERY late indeed, having seen a friend become traumatised at Rowling killing off a character which caused them to stop reading for quite some time. But when I got to it, I enjoyed that one very much indeed (as I did the rather messy and unwieldy film version which nevertheless still charmed me and ultimately is now something of a favourite. Yes, I know I have bad reasons at heart...). Book five I think I bought - and gave away soon after. There was a lot I liked about it - the large amount of Sirius probably helped - but somehow it was really losing its way. Six was, kinda, better, but really did feel like it was getting to the end of the saga.
And so to seven.
Well, I liked it. No really, I REALLY liked it. After two (slightly) 'meh' volumes - even if I did still enjoy galloping through the prose - I was gripped from the start. I remembered that I did actually care about these characters - good and bad (though obviously more the good than bad) - and I felt rather like Spike at the end of Buffy: "I want to see how it ends".
And I cried. I did. I cried for all the deaths - those both sudden and those more predictable. I cried for the tension and the violence, for the heroism, for the survival. And for Dumbledore (all over again). Heck, I couldn't help myself, I cried for Snape: poor, flawed Snape.
And then there was that epilogue.
Sorry. JKR you should really have thrown away your finale from all those years ago. What came before it showed how far you had come with this narrative; what let it down was that epilogue. Yes, it gave resolution but I bet right now there are a thousand fan-fics and more doing an alternative job of your conclusion, if indeed it needed one at all.
Still, thanks for the ride.
Now can all you hyper-positive HP fans and hyper-negative HP haters all please find something else to do. I'm going to miss the fun of the books but really, just keep on reading (something). It's surely what JKR would want - that the reading does not begin or end with Harry.
* Exceptions can always be made, but even I temper my imbibing of Scottish acting, fan-fiction, sci-fi, wonderful music, great films etc etc. All day, every day: even I would begin to take such delights for granted.