I don't see how anyone who has a clue of what's going on in the world could have escaped all of the Harry Potter mania this past weekend with the release of the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I spent the weekend in South Bend with friends Anne and Katherine (Katherine's taking a class at Notre Dame this summer, having sold her soul to the Latin department). After an amazing Potter party (and I've been to quite a few of those), the book was released at 12:01 am, and the mania became ever more intense. There were all sorts of people in line, from children to adults, dorks (like myself), college-aged jocks (surprised me!), and everyone else in between. I more than admit that I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, no guilt there! Yes I know I'm just as much of a Hugo and Dostoevsky person, but Harry Potter is a thing of my generation, and I really have grown up with these books. I was about the same age as Harry when I read the first novel, and in the last one, he's only a year younger than I am now. I'm crazy about it.
So after standing in line for about an hour waiting to get our book (the line ended up being about a quarter of a mile, and we got in fairly early), we got back to Katherine's dorm at about 12:05, started reading at about 12:10, and finished at 9:30. Yes of course there were breaks, I'm not that crazy. But reading a Harry Potter book in one night was something I had never done before, and since it is the very last novel, there seemed to be no reason not to do so this final time.
And it was more than worth it. I am deeply satisfied with how Rowling ended the series, being slightly nervous about half-way through at the direction she was taking with the plot and characters. However, she turned it around in the darkest novel of the series (if you're under 12 years old, please don't read it.) and emerged, in my opinion, victorious. I am more than pleased with it. A great ending to nearly ten years of imagination, the endless questions, magic, and mystery. But I'm satisfied.