Book: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Which is: beginning of the book
Time Spent: 54.65 hours
Pages Remaining: 761 (81% complete)
Estimated Completion: Friday 20th July
Favourite Character: Luna
Random Quote: It’s not as though I’ll never see Mum again, is it?
So, I finished Order of the Phoenix on the train on thursday going into London to see the movie, and I haven’t read any Harry Potter since. I did have a 4 hour ‘nap’ on Friday night after work – so I think maybe I’ve caught up most of my sleep.
It looks as though watching the movies is out of the window. At least I need to follow a 2+ hour/day reading plan to finish the final book before Friday. Which is fine, and I might get to watch a couple of the movies as well, but given that they’re nearly all in the 2.5-3 hour range I can’t see me watching them all. Especially as I really don’t like watching movies in bits.
Which I’m a bit down about, but it’s ok. I feel like I haven’t lived up to my plan, but at the same time it was tough going and I needed a rest. The last thing I want is to hate the sight of anything Harry Potter at the exact moment the new book arrives on my doormat. I guess part of what took the wind out of my sails was the new movie.
In retrospect it was a mistake re-reading the book in time for the movie. By doing that I think I hyped myself up into thinking the movie was going to be better. The book is too long and the movie will be shorter and bring the story to life more. Not quite. Don’t get me wrong the movie is ok. It doesn’t suck, but it’s not great. There were moments I enjoyed but it’s funny how many of them weren’t in the book and many of my favourite book moments were done badly or missing (meeting Neville in St. Mungo’s being a prime example).
I also didn’t like Gary Oldman’s Sirius – which is odd because I really like Oldman as an actor. I can’t quite escape the feeling Oldman didn’t take it seriously enough. There’s a moment at the end where he turns up to fire off a defensive spell to save Harry, thus announcing the arrival of the ‘cavalry’ in the form of the Order. It should be a cool moment (a ‘I’d like to test that theory’ moment if you know your Buffy) but it falls flat because his wand movement looks a bit camp. Now I realise that’s an inherent danger of flourishing a small stick as a method of battle but the other actors, Gambon especially, managed much better.
There were other things too. There’s so much in the book that I felt like the movie was ticking off a checklist of must-have scenes and characters – so you’re left with a series of cool moments and set-pieces rather than a coherent story.
Stuff to like? Imelda Staunton just nailed Umbridge perfectly. The actress playing Luna Lovegood was perfect – strange other-worldliness but with a good heart and a connection with Harry that made you wonder if they could be a couple later on. I got that feeling when I read the passage in the book that the quote above is from. I got it from the equivalent scene in the movie.
So now with a week to go I’m starting book 6. I should finish it without it feeling like a chore. It was my favourite book when I first read it and 2 hours is not much compared to what I have been doing.