Do you not know what happens in the book yet? If you don't want to know, don't read this blog entry. I'm not much for summarizing plot, but I'm not going to conceal it. Deal with your own issues elsewhere.
This blog entry is in two parts.
Part I: The book itself.
A writer to Salon commented that Rowling's prose is sturdy. It's unexceptional, but it's fun and it suits the purpose. It's not Tolkien, and it's not art. It is quite entertaining, though. An associate writes that much of the book is filler, as Ron and Hermione and Harry wander through England without a real plan. It's dull. Note to JKR: not having an editor? Dumb idea on your part. There are moments of levity, but most of the book is an attempt to be as well-done with the chapter ending cliff-hangers as is a novel by Dan Brown; Rowling doesn't do it as well. Harry's death is poorly written; the train station scene ludicrous. The entire situation lacks the pathos needed. The fights through the climax are fine, but I have the sense that characters were introduced in other books so I'd care that they're killed off now; with few exceptions, I was not much moved. Ho hum.
The part which I found baffling was the postlude set 19 years into the future, with a happily married Harry, complete with three kids. I recognize that some people aren't happy unless they know everything turns out well, but the postlude was just silly.
The book is quite good for children's pulp.
Part II: Spoiler silliness
Right. Anyone remember the beginning of Romeo and Juliet?
Chor. Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, naught could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
The eminent playwright begins the play by telling you EVERYTHING that will happen. I don't remember people being upset about this when Luhrman's version was splashed on movie screens across the globe. Yet, for the last months, there has been inch after inch of copy filled with news of the embargo on this book. Who's been feeding spoilers? There's surely a special hell for those people!
I have no sympathy for this crap. What happens is never as important as how it happens. Little Nell dies, people. So does Smike. If you missed it being telegraphed when they were first introduced, it doesn't matter. The HOW matters, and that's the point of the sonnet I've quoted above. I've grown weary of the idea that knowing what happens "spoils" what is to come. That's just not the way books have ever worked for me. /rant.