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The Hallows Approach (and Predictions)

The final Harry Potter book comes out in less than 24 hours, and while the media hype has been immense, it does not take away from the fact that these were very good books indeed — much better than the vast majority of children’s lit and a good swathe of “adult” lit.

It’s pretty rare that books make the news anyway (this doesn’t count): the last time a book there was this level of popular interest in a literary character was (this doesn’t count either) probably when Arthur Conan Doyle brought Sherlock Holmes back from the dead in 1903. So it’s great to live through something that probably won’t be repeated for quite some time.

potter-and-friends

So here’s to Harry and the Gang, and thank you to Jo Rowling for bringing them to us! (the picture above has been tested by independent experts and guaranteed to make you go “awww”)

And oh, some wicked Muggles have even put up pre-embargo reviews of Deathly Hallows (no major spoilers in there). I took the opportunity to put down some of my predictions for Book 7 as well.

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20 July 2007 3:34 am

The Ladies of Grace-Adieu

I enjoyed reading Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and so was especially glad to be able to read The Ladies of Grace-Adieu, her book of short stories (apparently her next novel is a ways off).

The stories, (mostly?) all written before the novel, foreshadow the excellent intermingling of dry wit – and surrealism and darkness – that made Strange so popular. Strongly recommended to Strange fans and to all those curious about all the fuss but unwilling to pick up an 800-page to