Sunday, July 1, 2007

Me? OCD?

I got (gently) accused yesterday of being OCD in my re-reading of the Harry Potter books pre Deathly Hallows. Now I am the first to admit that I can put the A in anal, but I didn't think this particular accusation was quite fair. It came from my friend Stacey, in her melodic Baltimore brogue, as she said that she herself was re-reading the last two only in DH prep. (On a completely unrelated note, why is it that so many of my dearest friends are East Coast types? Must investigate further. Stay tuned for upcoming blog analysis).

My indignant answer to Stacey is that I am clue searching. Like the rest of the universe I'm formulating theories about what will happen to these characters that have become so real to me. And I think there are tons of clues buried all the way back from the first book on because this whole series was planned so well from the start. I've got a slew of ideas, and I'm sure I'll be sharing them soon enough. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The more I read the more in awe I am at J.K. Rowling and her forethought. To have plotted out seven books in such detail before even writing one absolutely floors me. I can't write a paragraph without changing course four times. The problem with so many book series is that the main characters change so much because they have to in order to become series material. For example, I love the Patricia Cornwell Kay Scarpetta series. (Or at least I did until the last three, which were just bizarre). The first book, Post Mortem, won every single British and American mystery award imaginable and is absolutely brilliant. (If you haven't read it and feel the urge take my advice and don't read it alone in the house. Seriously. I lent it to a friend when her husband was out of town and she didn't speak to me for a month). But the problem is that the main character, Scarpetta, was totally different in this book than she was in later books. She did so many things in the first book that were completely out of character in the later books. In order to make her able to carry a series, Cornwell had to change her drastically. I got over it eventually, but it was really jarring for a while.

The beauty of Harry Potter is that the characters have remained so consistent over six books. People may not behave the way you expect them to, but you believe that there's a reason for it other than sloppiness. And I trust - completely - that this series will end the way Rowling wants it to and not just as a way to write herself out of a corner she's backed herself into.

I can't wait.


Dumdad said...

My son has just re-read all the Harry Potter books in preparation for the final one; I think he's now read each book about five times.

I agree with you about Patricia Cornwell. I loved her first two books but my interest tailed off around the third and I haven't read her later ones.

Jen said...

I've made it up to HBP, you're not the only one re-reading the whole series. I suppose I'm a little OCD, too. But I understand what you mean about going back through the books to see if there's any clue you missed. I see something new each time I read those books.

Akelamalu said...

I love the Harry Potter books and Patricia Cornwell is an awesome writer. Have you read any of Karin Slaughter's?

The Rotten Correspondent said...

dumdad - I think your son has the right idea about Harry Potter. I wish my younger two would do that.

jen - What do you think about the whole "diamond" pattern thing? Did you notice that there's diamonds through all the books?? Am I crazy??

akelamalu - I haven't read Karin Slaughter. Is she in the same vein?

Akelamalu said...

She writes thrillers containing not-for-the-squeamish forensics.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

ooh...I'll look her up at the library. thanks!

Akelamalu said...

Let me know what you think if you read her.

Jo Beaufoix said...

RC I have just read all the Harry Potter books too.

I also liked Patricia Cornewell but hated that suddenly Kay and Marino were no longer mates.

I have read Karin Slaughter and agree with akelamalu.

They're not for the squeamish.

I could never write books like that.

The pictures they must have in their heads. Ughhhh.

I've also been enjoying some of Dean Koontz newer books such as Odd Thomas. He's got back to some good writing again.

Can't wait for HP and the Deathly Hallows.

I don't think it's the end of Dumbledore. I think he has one of those Horcrux thingies.

Does all this make me a geek??

The Rotten Correspondent said...

If you're a geek - and I'm not saying you are - you have LOTS of company.I live and breathe geek.
I'm definitely looking up Karin Slaughter.

Jo Beaufoix said...

I'm a happy geek then.

Try the new Dean Koontz stuff too, Odd Thomas, The Husband, Velocity, Life Expectancy are all good.

I quite like some James Patterson Stuff too.