August 8, 2011

Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Inspires Return to...Jurassic Park?

August 8, 2011  

The beauty and emotional impact of the final Harry Potter movie has revived something in me I thought had been defeated: a gnawing desire to re-read some of my most adored books. Now that it's over I feel a sort of emptiness and a pessimistic attitude that says it is impossible there will ever again in my lifetime come along something that captures the imagination and heart in such equal and enormous measure, an experience that everyone can share and love, and laugh and cry over.

There have been stories I loved enough to want to revisit, but I have little time for repeats, so it's never happened. No, the simple books I read (or was read to) multiple times as a child, like The Monster at the End of This Book, Leo the Lop, or Puss in Boots, don't count. But now as soon as I'm done with The Dark Tower - a wonderful series that defines "epic" from my favorite author, but a long journey that stalled many times for me over many years through the loss of a number of relatives and pets - I am going back to Potter...and Jurassic Park.

It's been 18 years since I read JP in the spring of '93. I was 14. "WTF? Are you kidding me?!" No, brain, no I'm not. "Wow." Anyway, I just picked up a pretty new copy of Jurassic Park/The Lost World with silver-edged pages from Barnes & Noble. I already have two copies, but they're old and messy, so the purchase felt justified. I passed it on my way out and couldn't resist, even though I'd already decided to buy SciFi Magazine with the David Tennant Fright Night cover, the Nicholas Courtney tribute Doctor Who Magazine #436, and a Harry Potter poster book. Darn it, I needed that money.

And if you were wondering, when I return to Hogwarts, I won't be looking at Snape with a new appreciation. I was with him from the very first. That is possibly due to having seen Sorcerer's Stone before I read it. Whatever J.K. Rowling revealed to Alan Rickman about this openly contemptuous man with the poignant secret and vital role seemed to have greatly informed his performance early on. Even if it had been the other way around, I would have been very intrigued by the hard-edged, mysterious professor. J.K. knew what she was doing from the start with so many characters and an intricate storyline that ties everything together in the end, instead of seven completely self-contained stories, and I salute her for this tremendous accomplishment.

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