Code Of Silence

If you believe the Boston Globe’s list of hardcover bestsellers “A Thousand Splendid Suns” outsold “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” last week. Yeah, right and pomegranate juice outsold Bug Light at the corner liquor store too. No slag on Khaled Hosseini but I think J.K. Rowling might have moved just a few more books — of course if you live in the Boston area you know the Globe is never wrong, just ask them.

Anyway, I’ve got a very busy work schedule, and I cherish my down time with the family — so I haven’t been able to lock myself in a room and pile drive through “Deathly Hallows” nor do I want to. Right now I’m 500 pages in and the story is about to hit overdrive. Once you reach the halfway point in any Rowling book you know it’s a downhill sprint to the finish. So far, I love everything she’s doing, and I want to savor this one, not chow it down. I’m not a fast reader, in fact I can’t manage much more than forty pages an hour. The benefit, as my wife the speed reader reminds me, is I remember just about everything. I know writers love me because I really do pick up on all the little details, but it keeps the number of books I can consume on an annual basis embarrassingly low. I’m over it though, if I like the book I’m gonna finish it — in due time.

Okay, so why did I title this missive “Code of Silence?” Well, it’s because I’ve been touched and amazed by the courtesy shown by the vast majority of people who’ve finished “Deathly Hallows.” Nobody has spoiled it for me. They’ve asked how deep I’m in, or if I like it so far, but that’s where it stops. There’s no, “you won’t believe how it ends…!” or “can you believe that Rowling…” Nope, the true Potter fans respect the sanctity of finding out for yourself. It’s not like people pick up “Deathly Hallows” without having read the previous six volumes. If you’re reading it, it’s because you’re completing an amazing journey, and you deserve to take the last steps on your own. There’s plenty of places to go once you’re finished to talk about the whole thing, but those who’ve climbed the summit seem to be willing to wait at base camp until all have arrived. To each and every one of you I say, thank you.

It’s especially hard when you work in the media to avoid spoilers, but when you’ve been doing it as long as I have you learn how to block things out that can wreck a book, movie or play. The danger is usually in the random encounter with someone who’s just an annoying prat. I think it says a lot for the Potter fandom to have such a low level prat index. I’m sure Rowling is pleased.

So, I should have the book finished by the end of the week, and then start the discussion phase. I’m looking forward to it, being the opinionated bugger that I am, but I’m very appreciative of the extra time. We’ll talk in a bit.


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