Do You Believe in Magic?

Hello
again from Mountain Mecca & Hippie Heaven!

This
week I spent two wonderful days with “the other man”. Don’t worry, Prez knew
all about it. He wasn’t thrilled and his jealousy was painfully obvious but he
knows better than to try to come between me and Harry. Yes, Book 7 in J.K.
Rowling’s record-breaking Harry Potter series arrived on my doorstep on
Wednesday and two (long) years of waiting were over! 

I won’t
give away the ending but there may be spoilers in here, so if you haven’t read
it and plan to, I will give you lots of warning about which parts of this
Coconut Chronicle to avoid.

I have a
system with my HP books. The first reading is a pig out; I read as fast and as
greedily as I can, desperate to know all that happens. The second reading, which
usually happens about a week or two after the first, is where I really slow
down and enjoy the scenery. The second reading is my favorite because now I’ve
satisfied my book lust, I know the ending, and I can appreciate all of the
little details. The third reading, usually six months to a year later, is
nostalgic – I just want to disappear into a world of magic and mystery and live
it all again.  

I do
this with all my very favorite books. And, yes, I know this behavior borders on
obsession – I’m OK with that.

Now
Rowling may not be one of them fancy literary writers who deftly pen a 700 page
opus about various characters hem-ing and ha-ing about the meaning of
existence, but she writes a mean story! I think what many writers, especially
novices such as myself, tend to forget is that all the themes, and sub-plots,
and metaphors in the world mean zip if you don’t have an interesting story with
characters people want to be with for hours on end. We’ve all been trapped at a
party or a wedding or a work function with that person who drones on and on
about nothing while we frantically try to get the heck out of there without
offending them. Yes, their ramblings may have a point but who cares? The same
can be said of books, which are just stories written down, after all. If your
plot and characters don’t keep me riveted, if I can’t wait to flip the next
page, if my husband doesn’t get jealous of your book because he knows he can’t
compete and I’m going to vanish for hours at a time, then it doesn’t matter
what mind-blowing, philosophical concepts you’ve put into your story – I will
find an excuse to stop reading and go do something interesting instead. 

But I’m
not suggesting Rowling doesn’t have important ideas in her stories, quite the
opposite. Throughout the HP series themes such as the seduction of power, doing
the ‘right thing’, friendship and loyalty, the danger of bureaucracy, trust,
the power of love, tolerance and equality, family, fame, the true meaning of
courage, sacrifice, death, and many others, resonate strongly, long after the
book is closed.

**SPOILER:
Here is a quote from Book 7 which I absolutely love. Harry has told Professor
Dumbledore that he would have been a better Minister of Magic than the previous
two: “Would I?” asked Dumbledore heavily. “I am not so sure. I had proven,
as a very young man, that power was my weakness and my temptation. It is a
curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those
who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon
them, and take up the mantle, because they must, and find to their own surprise
that they wear it well.” **
 

Just a
kid’s book? I think not.

No, if
HP were a story for kids only, it would not be the phenomena it is today. For
those who would simply dismiss it as a fad, ask yourself when was the last time
a book was read, so voraciously, by people of all ages, races, sexes, and
cultures? HP has sold over 325 million copies to date and is translated into 63 languages.
The 7th book sold 8.3 million copies in 24 hours! At the last movie, Prez was surprised to see half the audience in the packed
theatre was adults (of all ages) without children. I, however, was not
surprised.
 

Why was
this book so successful? I think I could go on for hours about that and never
come up with a definitive answer. And, really, I don’t care.

So how
was the final book? Oh man, wow. So much more than I hoped for! What a gifted
storyteller! Tiny threads from the past six books were pulled together in ways
I never expected (and some I did – I was right about Snape all along). She left
me with just enough answers and just enough questions, which is all I ask of a
book.  

Does
Harry die in the end? This seems to be the big question out there.

Yep,
that’s a big question. 

Nope,
I’m not going to tell.

All I
will say, is I cried buckets for at least an hour, which I fully expected to do
no matter what. At times I could barely read the words through the tears.  

And now
it’s over. What an odd feeling – satisfaction and loss. The worst part is not
having anyone to commiserate with. I mean, I feel like I should go down to a
local pub and sit around with a bunch of half-drunk old men, recalling stories
of Harry, “Ay, remember when he crashed into the Whomping Willow with that
flying car? Oh, those were the days
!” We’d all raise our beers, tears in
the corners of our eyes, “To Harry!” we’d slur, slam our mugs on the
table and demand another round.

I’m so
thankful to have been a part of this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. The books
will remain for other generations to get lost in, but the sweet torture of
waiting two years for that next book, and then devouring it, with millions of
readers wondering how it’s all going to end, that will never happen again.
Thank you Jo for giving me this amazing experience. Here’s to you… and to
Harry.  

To Harry.

QUESTION:
Have you read it yet?

p.s. – Please check out the new website for Matriki Beach Huts, the resort we will be managing! (Prez built the website and he’s very proud…so am I).

Until
next week, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!

The
Princess

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One Response to Do You Believe in Magic?

  1. Cindy says:

    First … I have not read ANY of the Harry Potter books.  I have seen a couple of the movies though so I understand his appeal to ALL ages.  I\’ve just never been bitten by the HP bug. *shrug*
     
    Second … I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog every week.  This one especially struck a chord.  Although, I have not read any of the Harry Potter books, I could so relate to what you were saying.  As a voracious reader, there is an incomparable joy I get reading a new book by one of my favorite authors.  I often experience that feeling of satisfaction and loss after finishing a particularly fabulous read.  I have an extensive library of favorites that I enjoy re-reading when the mood strikes.  (I think I\’ve read Stephen Kings \’The Stand\’ about four times.) 
     
    Last … The image of you toasting Harry surrounded by your drunken pals brought a grin to my face.  😀
     

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