Monday, July 30, 2007

Looking back...

A long while ago, perhaps just before I embarked on my degree in English, I had made a list of books that I just had to own. Kind of my top ten, but more than that. I dreamt of not just owning, but owning beautiful-looking copies of these books. Collectibles. Looking back, I realise that these are still some of my very favourite books. So much for emotional growth! Here they are:

Howard's End - EM Forster

A Room With A View - EM Forster

Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow - Daniel Hoeg

The Diary Of A Young Girl - Anne Frank

The Great Longing - Marcel Moring

Pride And Prejudice - Jane Austen

Jude The Obscure - Thomas Hardy

To Kill A Mocking Bird - Harper Lee

An Old Fashioned Girl - Louisa May Alcott

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha - Roddy Doyle

I don't think that I could go back to Jude The Obscure, though inspite of the heavy tragedy, it was the most readable of the Hardies in my view. And Old Fashioned Girl, my cousin tells me, is unforgivably mawkish, but to me it brings back memories of winter in Assam and chapathis dipped in melted butter. And I do have a copy of Anne Frank's Diary, but unfortunately I bought it just before the unexpurgated version was released.

I've been casting about for my next read (have already read The Deathly Hallows twice, back-to-back, and saw the movie of the fifth book last Sunday; even for me, it was a little too much Harry Potter). Let's see if I can trace the EM Forster I have yet to read: Maurice.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Just this about Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

I have to say: Read. Relieved.

On the whole, it works brilliantly. Of course, there's the epilogue, which has largely been reviled.

But I wouldn’t change a thing, really. It wouldn’t do for us to out-JK Rowling JK Rowling. The book began in her head, and in her hands alone can it reach completion. It’s hers to do what she will, and I for one, am satisfied.

Never lose sight that it is, in fact a children’s series. And children may not like the ambiguous ending that adults seem to be clamouring for.