For approximately the last month, I've been listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on CD on my commute. Jim Dale has read all of the books, and he's absolutely wonderful. I think I only have the last three on CD, I started out getting them on audiotape, and I guess they don't even put tape players in cars anymore.
I'd love to go back and listen to them all in order; maybe I can borrow the earlier ones on CD from the library. Have to look into that.
My favorite book of the series was, I think, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but I think this one tops them all. It was extremely suspenseful, and I was completely engaged from the beginning.
Anyway, I LOVED it. I didn't want it to end. Bob and I went out to eat last night, and afterwards we drove around and listened to the ending. He said I wasn't allowed to go home until it was over, but I pulled into the garage on the last word of the main part of the book, and saved the Epilogue for my drive to work this morning.
I had purposely been avoiding talking about it, or reading anything about it, because I didn't want to know how it ended. That is, I didn't want to know specifically how it ended -- I knew that several major characters were going to die; I didn't really want to know who died, but I kind of wanted to know who didn't. Has it been long enough now that everyone who is going to read it has already? I guess I should still be careful.
Before I started listening, I had a list of people that I was interested in, and I asked Bob (he read the book in about a day and a half), ""Does ______ die?" and he'd tell me no, and I got through about four or five names before I got a "yes." So I felt like I was a little prepared, and knew that it was a mostly happy ending. Even being prepared, I cried several times over the deaths of characters that I'd come to know and love over the years. It was a very emotional experience for me.
What little I've read about the book tended to be people saying that they didn't like it, that it was a let-down or disappointment, but I didn't feel that way at all. I adored it. I thought it was very well written, and the CD version is worth every penny. I'm going to miss them all so much.