Saturday, 27 August 2011

B re-reads Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Christ I love this book. I know I said that Order of the Phoenix wasn’t as bad as I remember it being, but then I re-read Half-Blood Prince and it is so freakin’ fantastic that book 5 is once again ordinary.

I’m not at all ashamed to say that I cried when Dumbledore dies. Looking back at it, you see the slow build towards it but as a reader, Harry's shock is your shock. How can Dumbledore die? It's DUMBLEDORE! This is why you should read the books when they come out and before watching films. I’m so glad I was one of the tens of millions of Harry Potter fans who read the books immediately and so was not spoiled by the internet spoilers ‘Snape kills Dumbledore’. I read it and was full of:

It's still so emotional.

All of the scenes where Harry and Dumbledore dive into the penseive are fascinating. So much more so when reading the books back to back because you are more amazed than. Rowling showing us young Riddle, making us understand where he comes from and why he is the 1/7-of-a-man that he is, is just a brilliant storytelling technique.

Creepy evil child.

The denouement comes a little earlier in this book. Because Dumbledore can't explain everything at the end … because he's DEAD!

Don't stand near edges. Or people with evil-sounding names and animated tattoos.

The revealment of the challenge facing Harry (and Ron and Hermione) in the destruction of Voldemort's horcruxes is so daunting, even to the reader. It's like a window into the seventh book, where we know exactly what the next installment will be about and we're desperate to go there.

Slughorn is a great character and I think brilliantly protrayed in the movie by Jim Broadbent.

Painful memories are painful to extract.

Then of course there is this moment:


Image not by me, by an artist calling herself Kama, from here.

Like all Harry Potter fans I wish there was SO much more of this!

I just love book 6. There seem to be fewer of the signals than the earlier books but it's reaching the end. The smug re-reading in this book comes from the recognition of horcruxes, understnading the background to Snape and in the crazily obvious Ron / Hermione sexual tension. Side note: Lavender Brown sounds like such a scary girlfriend, we would not be friends. All the 'romance' in HBP is supremely entertaining and so accurately high school.

Bullies wear black. And have emo tendencies.

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