“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” hits store shelves July 21st.

It’s official: The last installment in the seven-part Harry Potter series has been named and a release date has been set:

The print run and number of pages have yet to be revealed, but judging from the suggested cover price, a meaty $34.99, $5 more than Potter 6, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the last book will likely match or exceed the 600-plus page length of previous releases.

“We have held the price for the past four years,” Scholastic publicist Kyle Good told The Associated Press. “In that time, costs of production, paper, trucking, gas and security—to be sure all readers can enjoy the book at the release time—have all increased.”

Many fans will pay much less for “Deathly Hallows,” with Amazon.com quickly announcing the book would be sold for $18.89, a 46 percent discount. Price competition has been so intense over the years that many retailers have acknowledged they don’t make money on the fantasy series, depending instead on customers buying other books along with Potter.

The Harry Potter is such a big hit with my family that in the past we’ve often purchased two or more copies of a book when it was released so that more than one of us could read it at a time. Word that a release date is imminent for the last book is sure to stir up excitement in this household.

Update: Not two seconds after I hit submit and an email came in from Amazon.com with details about the pre-order special.

34 thoughts on ““Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” hits store shelves July 21st.

  1. This assumes I’ve not read Terry Pratchett, which I have. I’ll stick with J.K. Rowling. I’m not overly impressed by Pratchett.

  2. Terry Pratchett is a master of the barbed and witty aphorism, for instance:

    Let’s just say that if complete and utter chaos were lightning, he’d be the sort to stand on a mountain in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armor and shouting ‘All gods are bastards’.

    But this small-scale quality is not matched by the larger structures in his works.  His characters and plots are simple and predictable, not surprising for someone who has cranked out more than forty novels.  Enjoyable, to be sure, but Pratchett’s work is not thought out as well, and is not as deep, as Rowling’s, imho.

  3. Show of hands: I myself enjoy Terry Pratchett, while Rowling does nothing for me. This thread prompted me to order an installment of Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen that I was missing, though.

  4. I’m hold #61 at my public library for Harry Potter 7. They ordered the book the day the release date was announced and I placed my hold request only a few hours after the entry appeared in the library’s catalogue. As of yesterday they were up to over 200 holds.

  5. I read the first 2 (or was it 3) HPs cos my mate’s wife suggested I do so.
    I have no need to read more.
    Later, about a year ago I read my first TP, A Hat Full of Sky.
    “There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What’s up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don’t think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!”
    Said in an Eddie Izzard type of voice.
    Compared to
    “I just write what I wanted to write. I write what amuses me. It’s totally for myself.” Said with no voice at all.
    No comparison really.
    One is filled with clever wit and charm and the other … is extremely wealthy although bland by comparison.  smile

  6. This assumes I’ve not read Terry Pratchett, which I have. I’ll stick with J.K. Rowling. I’m not overly impressed by Pratchett.

    His characters and plots are simple and predictable, not surprising for someone who has cranked out more than forty novels.  Enjoyable, to be sure, but Pratchett’s work is not thought out as well, and is not as deep, as Rowling’s, imho.

    (Jaw drops)

    Rowling wouldn’t know deep if she was drowning chained to the abyssal plain. She couldn’t tell dark if she was blindfold in a mine at midnight

    HP7 will be the rehash of HP1 that 2-6 were (although obviously there will be the re-appearance of Sirius and Mumblemore).

    I was about to be sad for you both and then I thought “What if they only read Early Pratchett?”  Colour of Magic/Light Fantastic are very much parodies of the fantasy genre (Zilch’s quote is from COM- the 1st ‘official’ Discworld book).

    The problem with TP is that Discworld is now so immersed in its own background (after approx 40 novels), each which builds on the previous, you almost have to read them in order, starting at the ‘uneven’ ones, before you get to the rich complex ones.  I admit they can sometimes come across as preachy (‘Isn’t war and religion stupid’) if you start concentrating on his underlying message, but there is a complexity and depth in ‘Nightwatch’, ‘Jingo’ (pub. ‘97- about war against a desert country…) Small Gods (about a religion that tortures those who deny the world is a sphere),‘Going Postal’ and ‘Thud’ that is completely missing from JKR.

    I found it interesting that Lucky John used ‘Hatful of Sky’ as his comparison.  This is a kid’s book- the Tiffany Aching (now) trilogy.  The interesting thing is that Tiffany is also a pupil.  Like Harry she doesn’t know about magic (witches tend to get run out of town where she lives), but finds that she has a special talent for it.  Where as JK writes a sub-Enid Blyton jolly jape about kids taking on the (incredibly ineffective) bad guys, and not doing the sensible thing (i.e going to get the ‘only one he was ever scared of’), TP concentrates on the responsibilities of being a witch.  Most of the magic that Granny Weatherwax ‘does’ is in the heads of the people she helps- ‘headology’.  Not because she can’t do magic, but because she understands that there is nothing for nothing- that by bypassing the physical the universe will demand a payment and “persicology” is so much easier, and less destructive.  There is a joy in one of the subplots of “Wintersmith” where she destroys a rival’s credibility (and for a witch that is EVERYTHING) simply by giving her everything she wants, and all the help she needs.  Personal responsibility is a theme that TP returns to again and again in his books- both child’s and adults.

    HP are fine for kids-books-that-can-be-made-into-films-easily.  They have that very linear structure.  If kids are reading because of HP, great.  But to see them as anything other as exciting japes for kids is like listening to rap because Mozart “has too many notes”.

  7. But to see them as anything other as exciting japes for kids is like listening to rap because Mozart “has too many notes”.

    Stop it! Stop it! My face is sore.  LOL LOL LOL

  8. Rowling wouldn’t know deep if she was drowning chained to the abyssal plain.

    You’re assuming I’m looking for depth when I read fiction. I read fiction to enjoy myself, not be preached to or puzzle through whatever deeper meaning the author might have had in mind. When I want deep meaning and substance I read non-fiction.

    What can I say? I’m a meet and potatoes kind of guy. The more you try to dress it up the less likely I am to enjoy it.

    HP are fine for kids-books-that-can-be-made-into-films-easily.  They have that very linear structure.  If kids are reading because of HP, great.  But to see them as anything other as exciting japes for kids is like listening to rap because Mozart “has too many notes”.

    Funny I wouldn’t have thought you the sort to be a literary snob. I’d hate to hear what you have to say about William Gibson.

  9. Mozart’s music has too many notes.

    You’re in royal company here, elwed:

    “Gewaltig viele Noten, lieber Mozart”, soll Kaiser Joseph II. über die Oper Figaros Hochzeit gesagt haben. “Gerade so viel, als nötig sind, Majestät”, …

    (“Powerful lot of notes, dear Mozart”, Emperor Joseph II is supposed to have said about the opera The Marriage of Figaro.  “Just as many, as are necessary, Majesty…”)  I’m a big fan of lots of Mozart and Bach, but pieces that just scurry up and down scales are best suited as background music for cutting wood on the bandsaw.

    Hussar- Point well taken.  I plead guilty to not having read any of Pratchett’s later work, so I will redact my opinion to “can’t fairly say” until such time as I’ve had a chance to check it out.

  10. In 1968, Gibson went to Canada “to avoid the Vietnam war draft” … in the US. In 1972, he settled in Vancouver, British Columbia and began to write science fiction.

    Reading about this bloke makes me feel pretty gutless (for not having tried to evade my duty), stupid (for not even having thought of it) and gullible (for not even realising I had a choice) … ouch.
    Just think … I coulda been a hero.  wink

    Red, red, wine … smile

  11. Until you brought it up I wasn’t aware that Gibson moved to Canada to avoid the draft. I don’t consider him a hero for that, but I rarely take into account the personal histories of the fiction writers I enjoy.

    And I admit I’m somewhat picky about the fiction I read. The number of authors whose books I buy in an instant can be counted on one hand. Neil Gaiman is another favorite who is often criticized because he started off writing comic books.

  12. I like Gaiman (who incidently partnered Pratchett to write ‘Good Omens’ about the son of the Devil who is substituted for the baby of the US ambassador…), though I haven’t read much (must get round to it). Nothing against Graphic Novels- I have twice (once in the 70/80s, once in the early 90’s) had extensive collections of 2000AD (Yeah Southside!)(Bonus points for that quote), and had all the parts to ‘New Statesmen’ from it’s spin off ‘Crisis’.  I tend not to read them, as I find myself reading them rather than taking in the pictures- the writing is a distraction.

    Yes, I am accused of being a ‘snob’ sometimes (not just reading- usually TV).  I feel thats unfair.  I like to think that I am not into ‘lowest common denominator’ TV- soaps, ‘Reality TV’ etc.

    This is not to say I reject it all- I love a good Arnie movie (or even better, a bad one like Commando). Sometimes You Just Wanna Blow Things Up.  I just get annoyed when people say how ‘dark’ JK is.  Yes, I realise my proselytising is probably putting you off Les, but trust me, TP hangs the message on the plot, not the other way round.  (However if crying at the end of Hamlet counts, yes, I am a Literary Snob).

    Example of why my wife doesn’t like watching historical drama with me

    Watching “Foyle’s War” (detective series set in 1940) Hero is walking across airfield, with plane parked in background.
    Me: “Is this supposed to be the Battle of Britain”
    Her: “Yes”
    Me: “Well that’s a Mark V Spitfire- they weren’t in service until ‘41- it should be a Mark I or II”
    (cue arguement about how I ruin it for her, do I have to keep critcising).

  13. LH: I am accused of being a ‘snob’

    When I was about 14 I told my mother she was a snob.
    “I’m not a snob, schatje, I’m just choosy”
    I never analysed it before … just realised she did a spin doctor trick on me.  LOL

    Foyle’s circled in the guide to watch on Sunday night; pretty easy decision – ‘nothing else’ on.
    Saw it a year or so ago – from memory it’s pretty easy to watch.
    Foyle is a Chief Superintendent. But the series is set during the Second World War and the rank was not introduced until 1949.

  14. the rank was not introduced until 1949.

    Never realised that. I watched it when it was on- reasonably well acted. What gave it away on the Spit was the 6 exhausts, not the 3 that the Mk II should have had- I don’t think there are any MkI/II’s left, and the set dresser didnt know/care to disguise (See- a snob AND a sad git).  I also shout at the TV whenever anybody says “chainmail”. I ended up annoying everyone during the latest BBC series of ‘Robin Hood’ at all the idiocies.  Now the Robin Hood made by the Xena people- that was class- 12th Century Hotpants!!

    “I’m not a snob, schatje, I’m just choosy”

    Quite right (but a little bit of mindless can relax- “Demolition Man” is great, except when the insist on having a plot)

  15. In terms of foyle’s war – it’s freeky keep seeing the neighbouring town on tv, and my old man keeps saying – “ah that’s such and such place”

  16. When my Wife put the pre-order in on HP7, we got a free book called ‘Mister Monday’ by a guy called Garth Nix. Just started to read it- looks good. Could try that while you’re waiting. (Feel sorry for him- no matter how good it will be, he’s the guy you got free…)

  17. I just Googled Gath. smile

    he’s the guy you got free…

    He sounds like a ‘glass is half-full’ sorta guy; it’s an opportunity to get his name out there.
    I’ve put him on my library list … along with Terry Pratchett.  wink

  18. LJ- once you get the swing of Discworld and especially Ankh Morpork read the City Watch series- Guards Guards, Men at Arms, Feet Of Clay, The Fifth Elephant, Night Watch, Thud!  The early ones develop towards Nightwatch, felt by many fans- including me- to be his finest.  It is one book I reread again and again- once starting again as soon as I’d finished.  I think you’d like Vimes.

    If you’ve read ‘Hat’ you might want to try ‘Wintersmith’, the sequel- though HFoS is #2 of the Tiffany books.

    ‘Wintersmith’ revisits one of the inventions that TP has written about before, and why I think he writes a better realised world that JKR- the ‘other’ Morris Dance.  We all know Morris dancing- blokes in beards looking like prats with staves and bells, and based on old fertility rites designed to give Nature the hint it’s time she got busy.  The Black Morris is the one that closes summer down at the end of the harvest- sort of logging off properly. TP puts an Authors Note at the end saying

    “I invented the Dark Morris for another book…reasoning that as the year is round the seasons might need more than one push.  Once, when I was on a book signing tour a Morris side turned up all in black, just for me.  They danced the Dark Morris in silence and in perfect time, without the music and bells of the ‘summer’ dance.
    It was beautifully done. But it was also a bit creepy. So it might not be a good idea to try it at home…

    1) How cool is that for an author- beats fake scar and glasses among your fans

    2)The idea that he invents the ‘Dark Morris’ shows a creativity that I do not feel is in JK*, and the fact he puts the idea into a kids book shows he believes his readers have a certain level of sophistication.

    *Before I am drowned in cries of ‘Snob’ may I say that I feel the most interesting character in HP is Snape, in the same way the most interesting characters in Star Trek are Spock, Data, and the Holographic Dr.

  19. I finished the Nix book ‘Mister Monday’ today, and have put this review on Amazon.

    Mister Monday came as a free gift for pre-ordering HP7 at a bookshop.  An injustice to the author.  Nix is more creative that Rowling- from the opening pages you know it’s something different. 

    The universe was created by The Architect, but she (yes she) is more analogous to the Big Bang, and it is clear that life evolved- one of the ‘recorders’ notes how easy it was when we were just single celled organisms.

    The original plan – the Will- was broken into seven by the seven trustees, and locked and hidden away.  They now have power over one day each.

    The main protaganist- Arthur- becomes a reluctant hero in the fight against the ‘morrow days’.  The ‘Real universe’ is represented as something between a civil service and observers of our ‘secondary realm’.

    If I have a criticism, it is that just occasionally the writing is a little clunky.  The main ‘clunk’ is at the start of chapter 2, where Arthur’s bio is given- is disrupts the flow, and doesn’t help the suspension of disbelief required.  it is basically two pages of ‘His mum is top doctor, dad is former top musician, still famous’.  However with just a little rewriting this could be made much smoother. I have given it only 4/5 because of this.

    Saying that, the book comes in at about 325 pages paperback, and there is little wasted writing.  This does not mean that he skimps, its just that it doesnt feel as if he has gone out of his way to make a impressive tome- each paragraph moves the story.

    I shall certainly be reading the rest of the week (as it were), and trying to wean my children from JKR to Nix instead.  A kids book that CAN be read by adults.

    Go on- it’s definately worth a try.

  20. LH:(Feel sorry for him- no matter how good it will be, he’s the guy you got free…)

    Don’t feel sorry for him, LH. Hell, I Know dozens of writers would all but kill for a shot like that. Think about it, he’s reaching thousands and thousands of readers who have probably never heard of him, and if he does his job well and writes a decent story, he’s just created a whole new audience that might actually buy his next book. It’s the kind of thing that can push a guy right onto the best seller lists.

  21. I thought the Harry Potter books were pretty entertaining. I’ll even admit to reading more than one of them more than once, but Rowling is no Tolkien. Or C.S. Lewis, or Piers Anthony (esp Incarnations of Immortality) either. But she got a good read. Roger Zelazney (Zelazny?) of the Cronicles of Amber is really good, too. Of course you have the immortal Robert Howard.

    There’s a newer auther I’ve recently read, David Brinn I think his name was. Kiln people. Excellent book. I read it straight through.

  22. I’m not a big fan of Rowling, but you’ve actually managed to pick three authors that I think she actually is better than.

    Tolkien bores me to tears, his books are ten part description to one part action, a formula that makes even Stephen King’s prose look bare bone.

    C.S. Lewis is more Christian allegory than entertainment and he has a habit of hitting you over the head with his “message”.

    As for Piers Anthony, the man writes like William Shatner acts. You’d think he bought his exclamation points wholesale.

  23. Personally the only writer that anyone’s mentioned that I’ve enjoyed is CS Lewis. Pratchett and Piers Anthony both seem like wannabe failed stand up comedians without the keen sense of timing to me. I admit, I liked Gaiman’s comic books a bit – but having read his unillustrated fiction I’m not convinced that it wasn’t more of a “I like this art” thing. Rowling’s Harry Potter books aren’t terrible, and neither is Tolkien, but I wouldn’t place them high on my fiction list. William Gibson is one of those writers I consider incredibly over-hyped and overrated. CS Lewis though? If you push past The Chronicles of Narnia and what I consider to be a truly awful series of science fiction, you get eventually get to Till We Have Faces, which I consider to be sufficiently provocative and beautifully written to stand up to the works of just about anyone.

    On the other hand, my atheism isn’t something I automatically consider as a primary influence on my reading list either. I’ve got a beautifully bound and antique version of Paradise Lost that I love and have enjoyed, and thanks to the unending attempts at conversions I have more Bibles than I know what to do with. I mean, I see the Christian themes in some author’s work but it doesn’t bother me an awful lot. Certainly not in fiction as much as it does in the news and politics.

    Anyways, it’s been interesting comparing people’s tastes in books. I keep telling myself that eventually I’m going to start hauling boxes back down from the attic and review the thousands of books I’ve got more thoroughly, but realistically I probably won’t ever have the time. If everyone read the same things then we’d undoubtedly be victims of censorship anyways. 😀

  24. The list of sf or fantasy writers that I read is very short. Too many writers who slide through on concepts and ideas without the skill to tell a good story.

    There are a few, however, that are exceptional. Harlan Ellsion, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, William Gibson, Neil Gaimen, the guy who wrote the Thomas Covenant books whose name I’m too lazy to look up. All great storytellers.

    My main interest has always been detective fiction and my list of exceptional authors there is much longer. The highlights would by Raymond Chandler, Robert Parker, Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, Robert MacDonald, John MacDonald, Gregory MacDonald, James Lee Burke, and John Sanford.

    Since I’m listing away, in horror fiction I’m fond of Stephen King, James Herbert, Ramsey Campbell, August Derleth and Robert Bloch.

    Favorite author of all time would be Charles Dickens, the king of popular fiction.

  25. I couldn’t possibly nail it down to one all time favorite. But yes, Lewis would be one of the top 10. I bawled over A Grief Observed. If we are opening it up to other genres…

    Right on to Asimov, Heinlein and Bradbury. Stephen King I have a love/hate relationship with and would rather read Dean Koontz.

    But favorite books of all time? Here’s a few off the top o’ me head, anyway.

    Not in order.

    Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

    The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenaince by Robert Pirzig

    Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

    the robot series by Isaac Asimov

    Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee

    Book of Five Rings by Miamoto Mushashi

    Zen Training by Katsuki Sekida

    The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell and Bill Myers

    Megabrain by Michael Huchinson

    Little House on the Praire (the whole series) by Laura Ingalls Wilder

    The Great Brain (the whole series) by John Fitzgerald

    The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (yep) by Douglas Adams

    ok, never mind, this has gone far enough…

  26. ah, favorite books…  grin

    Following your example of no paticular order

    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter Thompson

    An Edge In My Voice by Harlan Ellison

    The Cat Who Walked Through Walls by Robert Heinlein

    Bright Lights Big City by Jay McInnerry

    Bleak House by Charles Dickens

    American Gods by Neil Gaimen

    Bag of Bones by Stephen King

    Confess, Fletch by Gregory MacDonald

    Looking For Rachel Wallace by Robert B. Parker

    A Ticket To The Boneyard by Lawrence Block

    All Heads Turn As The Hunt Goes By by Ramsey Campbell

    Hell House by Richard Matheson

    Wolfen by Whitley Streiber (yes, that Whitley Streiber, before he went insane)

    Bank Shot by Donald Westlake

    Phantoms by Dean Koontz

    Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

    Black Cherry Blues by James Lee Burke

    hmmm, I could probably do this all night. Guess I’ll stop here.

  27. RE Garth Nix
    (restarting the post from the 13/2)
    I HAVE bought all the way to Friday (Lady Friday only published this month). All I can say is

    GO AND READ THEM NOW.

    If you read fantasy you should try them.  They have a breadth of imagination I haven’t seen in many other childrens writers. Some of you may baulk at the quasi-religeous undertones, but I like the idea of a civil service to run the workings of the universe. Personal favourite at the moment is Dr. Scamandros’ tattoo, which are animated, and perform little vignettes depending on his mood and emotions- at one point they are of ships hitting rocks, but the crew manages to launch life boats and get away- this while he is thinking about a tricky task, that might just work.

  28. I was pleasantly surprised that Amazon shipped book 7 to me today even though I had used super saver shipping.  The last email I got was Thursday night saying it was being prepped for shipping, and I figured I’d get it sometime during the next week.  What SUCKS is that this is my finals week and all I want to do is read book 7 before somebody spoils the ending.  I may have to stay offline until I finish reading it. Hell, I probably won’t even read any responses to this thread until I do! wink

    I’m with Les on the purpose of reading Rowling – it’s a relaxing thing.  During the semester, I read Star Wars, H. Potter, LoTR, StarFIST, etc, to de-stress.  I like to read physics books by S. Hawking and Brian Greene, but since I tend to think through the concepts, I find I can’t read them while I’m taking upper level Engineering courses.  There’s only so much my brain can take before needing to relax.  Same as when I was working 12-16 hours a day in software development – I would not get on my home system for days at a time because I was tired of sitting at a keyboard.

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