Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
I liked this book, a lot. It would probably be my favourite of the series. The ending really nicely wraps up the story without leaving any major open holes. Everything that is supposed to happen, happens. Which, according to Rosencrantz & Guildensten Are Dead, is the definition of when a story is supposed to finish.
Two days before reading this book, I was talking to a friend at lunch about books. He was complaining that the ending of Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon doesn’t live up to the rest of the book. I then made the extraordinary claim that no book I’ve ever read had an ending that could live up to whatever expectations had been built during the previous few hundred pages of the story.
And then this book comes along and makes a liar of me. Maybe my expectations were lowered by reading a kid’s fantasy adventure; maybe it was exhaustion: finishing at 4.30am after reading continuously all day. I’m a slow reader, I know. Whatever it was, I thought the ending actually worked.
Many people choose to regard Harry Potter with some funny mix of amusement and contempt. You’re probably missing the point. It’s a fun, easy to read fantasy epic that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There is a special skill in writing something that is both easy and enjoyable to read.