J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2005.
So, I'm slow at getting to blog these days. I read the latest Harry last Monday, the 18th (and finished the last 10 pages last Tuesday), and only now am blogging about it. Be forewarned, this blog post contains SPOILERS.
DO NOT READ these thoughts unless you're unconcerned about knowing plot details and how things end.
It was the best of this series since the first. It's not high art, but it's thoroughly enjoyable pulp. Kind of like the Hardy Boys.
I liked what the Globe reviewer (André Alexis) had to say: "The writing is adequate. It does what it needs to, to create Hogwarts and the world of magin. Rowling has a fine [...] sense of humour, but where the work falls down hardest is in characterizations. Unlike the worlds created by Philip Pullman, Rowling's universe is morally simplistic, black and white." A bit later in his review, Alexis writes "If Rowling had been better at characterization, the death (or possible death) of Dumbledore might have been more moving. It should have been." I'm inclined to agree. I have no real desire to return to these books, having read each once, principally because the characters aren't people I'm interested in.
I had a nice MSN chat with R-- the other night about the book. He also quite enjoyed it--more than I did, I think--and he had some interesting theories about what might come next. For the next two or so years, he's going to have a fair bit of company playing the speculation game. As long as people are reading, I'm happy regardless of the outcome.