i had been avoiding dear old Harry Potter till a week ago. Then I picked up the first book (you know, begin at the beginning), and have read the four books almost back to back. First was enchanting, second was boring, third picked up magic again, and the fourth just splatters it all over the place like a big, gory picture. Sure it's darker, sure there's death and mayhem and all kinds of dark arts, but 700 pages before you come to the the duel that fizzes in comparison to the earlier endings.
Everything is overdone in this book, stretched to the extent that it leaves you tired and yet dissatsified. I am reminded of a dialog somewhere... the author had too much material and never made any choices, just threw everything in. The result? It's huge, mostly not-funny (Ron Weasly is almost not present with his wisecracks for a good part of the book), and doesn't leave a happy feeling at the end, despite your effort to stick with the 700 odd pages.
I think the next book should just have footnotes for references to earlier occurences. To read pages about how quidditch and history of Dursleys and so on gets irritating sometimes.
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