Harry Potter's schooldays are turning into a via crucis.
Rowling's universe expands. The Ministry of Magic and Grimmauld House are wonderful. The Ministry makes me think of the Circumlocution Office in little Dorrit. Grimmauld House (inspired name) makes me think of Arthur Clennam's house- also in little Dorrit.
In fact all the way through I was thinking of Little Dorrit. (Little Dorrit is my favourite novel). Mature Rowling is a lot like mature Dickens- lots of jokes but an unremittingly sombre vision of life.
Dolores Umbridge is so New Labour.
This is a very ambitious book. As inventive as ever, but with a deepening moral complexity.
Will the movie be able to deal with the moral complexity? I doubt it.
Invention+moral complexity=literary greatness: discuss.
Oh, it's not perfect. Nothing so big could possibly be perfect. I didn't care as much about Sirius as I think I was supposed to. But I do care about Harry's anger. Harry's anger is wonderful. Rowling remembers what it feels like to be 15.
And Luna Lovegood. Now there's a truly Dickensian creation.