I know this is a very long post... however, I didn't want to put in any more than the one lj-cut, which is for spoilerage. That way, people who want to read the rest can, without fearing the spoilerage.
Newly discovered feature of the NY Times: If you double click on a word (say to copy and past it into a dictionary) it will open up a new window with the definition, etymology and pronunciation of said word. It calls itself The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge
. I had chosen bildungsroman
“formation novel” (German); a novel that chronicles the development of a hero or heroine from youth to maturity.
bil·dungs·ro·man or Bil·dungs·ro·man (bĭl'dʊngz-rō-män', -dʊngks-)
A novel whose principal subject is the moral, psychological, and intellectual development of a usually youthful main character.
[German : Bildung, formation (from Middle High German bildunge, from Old High German bildunga, from bilidōn, to shape, from bilōdi, form, shape) + Roman, novel (from French, a story in the vernacular, novel; see roman).]
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS
By J. K. Rowling. Illustrations by Mary GrandPré
759 pages. Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic. $34.99.
July 19, 2007
BooksAn Epic Showdown as Harry Potter Is Initiated Into Adulthood
By MICHIKO KAKUTANI
So, here it is at last: The final confrontation between Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, the Chosen One, the “symbol of hope” for both the Wizard and Muggle worlds, and Lord Voldemort, He Who Must Not Be Named, the nefarious leader of the Death Eaters and would-be ruler of all. Good versus Evil. Love versus Hate. The Seeker versus the Dark Lord.( Read more... )
----------------------------In other Potter News:
July 19, 2007Early Shipping of ‘Harry Potter’ Brings Lawsuit
By MOTOKO RICH
Scholastic, the United States publisher of the Harry Potter series, sued an online bookseller and its distributor yesterday for “flagrant violations of their strict contractual obligations” not to ship copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” before 12:01 a.m. Saturday, the time and date set by the publisher.
In a breach of contract suit filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois, Scholastic accuses Infinity Resources, which owns the online retailer DeepDiscount.com, of shipping some copies of “Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final installment in the series by J. K. Rowling, to customers up to a week before the on-sale date. Levy Home Entertainment, a book distributor, is also named in the suit for failing to ensure that DeepDiscount.com did not ship the books early.
Levy Home Entertainment declined to comment. Andrew Moscrip, vice president of Infinity Resources, said: “We take the situation very seriously and are doing an internal investigation on it. Other than that I am not permitted to comment.”
Scholastic learned of the shipments through an article that ran yesterday in The Baltimore Sun, in which a reporter spoke with a customer who had received a copy of the book from DeepDiscount.com on Tuesday. The publisher is seeking unspecified damages from Levy and Infinity.
In a statement yesterday, Scholastic said “the number of copies shipped is around one one-hundredth of 1 percent” of the 12 million copies printed by the publisher.
Lisa Holton, president of Scholastic’s trade and book fairs division, said the company had a list of people who had ordered “Deathly Hallows” from DeepDiscount.com and was currently calling them to ask them to put aside the book until 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
--------------First off, I severely doubt that any one of those people will put aside their book. Sheesh. Otherwise, what about shippers who have guarantees that you'll receive your book on the day of release - like amazon.com? Almost as bad as the bookseller who sold a copy to the NY Times journalist. Although with the use of this book by big chains as a loss leader
in order to draw people into their stores - the little guy has to find some strategy in order to even carry the book on their shelves.
-------------someone took pictures of the entire book and put it into a PDF and up on the web! NO WAY! Though CoB says that many of these sites (whether original or mirror) were taken down shortly after he retrieved his image.
July 18, 2007New Potter Book May Have Made Its Way to Web
By MOTOKO RICH
Frustrating perhaps the most elaborately orchestrated marketing machine ever mobilized for a book, photographs of what appeared to be every single page of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the breathlessly awaited seventh and final installment in the series by J. K. Rowling, were circulating on the Web yesterday.
To the publishers of Harry Potter, there is no time or date more sacred than what they are calling “midnight magic,” 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. Then, and only then, can readers buy their copies of “Deathly Hallows.” Both Bloomsbury, the British publisher, and Scholastic, the publisher in the United States, have gone to great lengths to safeguard the book’s content and release date, ordering booksellers not to sell a single book a minute earlier than the official time.
But those less mindful of the publishers’ wishes could go onto various file-sharing Web sites yesterday to look at amateur-seeming photographs of what appeared to be each pair of facing pages of a copy of the book. The pictures, which could be downloaded through sites like the Pirate Bay and MediaFire, showed the book laid out on a green-and-red-flecked beige looped carpet, with fingers holding the pages open. Some of the photos made the text difficult to read, but the fiercely protected ending was definitely legible.
Lisa Holton, president of Scholastic’s trade and book fairs division, said the company was asking various Web site hosts to take the photos down. “We’re not confirming if anything is real,” she said. “But in the spirit of getting to midnight magic without a lot of hoo-ha, can you just take some of this stuff down.”
The company’s lawyers were also pursuing the identity of the person who posted the pictures.
On Monday, the company issued a subpoena to Gaia Online, a social networking and gaming site, ordering it to take down a link to some photos purporting to be “Deathly Hallows” pages posted by a user. Bill Danon, a Gaia spokesman, said that within hours of the subpoena, Gaia removed the photos and banned the user for 14 days.
Some fans were convinced that the images posted around the Web were authentic. Emerson Spartz, the founder and Web master of MuggleNet.com, one of the biggest Harry Potter fan sites, said he thought the photos were the real deal.
“I read enough of it to where I could tell,” he said. Although he did not read to the end, he said: “I’m not even really hopeful that it won’t get spoiled for me. I’m just expecting it anytime I log on to check e-mail.”
Doris Herrmann, an English teacher in Clear Lake, Tex., who is also a project coordinator for the Leaky Cauldron (leakynews.com), another big fan site, said: “I hate to say it, but it really does look authentic.” She said that while it was possible to work wonders with Photoshop or other programs, it would be difficult to write a whole manuscript, typeset it like the originals and then photograph the whole thing.
Tens of thousands of people downloaded the files yesterday, according to BigChampagne, a research firm that tracks file-sharing. By midday, many of the Web links were no longer working.
On the link-sharing site Digg yesterday, a person using the name TocsinFilms appeared to take credit for uploading the images, then said he was simply “one of the first” to do so. He wrote on Digg in May that he had obtained a copy of the book from “someone who works for a Scholastic Distributing company for Waldenbooks” and had posted photos of its pages online. Those photos have since been taken down. This person did not respond to e-mail or telephone inquiries.
Some who say they have copies of the book or knowledge of the plot have been posting snippets and scans of supposed manuscript pages for weeks. Ms. Holton acknowledged that some of the photos looked genuine. But, she added, “it’s a bunch of people who are going to extraordinary lengths to make it look like they have the authentic book.”
There were also six photos posted on Flickr, the picture-sharing site, by a user named hermionepotter77, a reference to one of Harry’s best friends. Over the caption “Here ya go kids, the Deathly Hallows ending!” one appeared to show the first page of the final chapter; others showed the table of contents and more pages. This material was almost entirely different from what appeared in the images of the full book, meaning one or both had to be fake.
“This happens with every book, and there are a lot of them out there, and we appeal to everybody not to put them up,” said Sarah Beal, a spokeswoman for Bloomsbury in London. “It’s amazing how creative people can be. It may look real, but it doesn’t mean they are.”
Hype and frenzy have been building for weeks as readers anticipate the release of this final Harry Potter book. Ms. Rowling has hinted that two or more characters are likely to die, leading to speculation from many fans that Harry may not survive his own series. Fans have been hypothesizing about other important plot points, too, like who will end up with whom and whether Prof. Severus Snape, a character whose moral character has been in question, is genuinely evil.
Despite the possible leak, bookstores across the country continued to gear up for festivities on Friday night, expecting long lines of readers at midnight. Scholastic is publishing a record 12 million copies, and Ms. Holton said the company had no plans to move up the release date.
“If in fact the book is posted online or the ending is revealed prior to midnight on Friday, it will not result in us selling a single less copy of the book,” said Steve Riggio, chief executive of Barnes & Noble, which has 1.3 million orders for “Deathly Hallows.” As far as Mr. Riggio is concerned, the press coverage generated by potential spoilers just increases advance orders.
Judy Bulow, children’s book buyer for the three Tattered Cover bookstores in Denver, said she doubted that Web spoilers would deter readers from buying the book or attending the midnight parties.
“I think kids are still wanting the great big book,” she said. Tattered Cover is planning parties at two locations and will raffle off the chance to be first in line to buy a copy.
David F. Gallagher contributed reporting.
July 17, 2007The Voice of Harry Potter Can Keep a Secret
By MOTOKO RICH
Jim Dale is either one of the luckiest men in America or one of the most tortured.
A little less than two months ago, Mr. Dale, the veteran Broadway actor turned voice of Harry Potter, finished recording the audio version of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final installment in the colossally successful series by J. K. Rowling.
So that means that he knows how it ends.
His grandchildren, who visited from England after he completed the recording, literally twisted his arms trying to get him to divulge a clue. His wife is still in the dark. Everywhere he goes, people want to know What He Knows.
“It’s a surprise ending,” he said on Friday, during an interview in his Park Avenue co-op. “Let’s say that.”
It is not quite four days until Harry Potter’s legions of fans can procure a copy of “Deathly Hallows” — in hardcover, CD or cassette — and find out for themselves exactly who does what to whom. Mr. Dale signed a confidentiality agreement so that he will not breathe a word of the plot.
But after spending eight years creating more than 200 voices for all the characters in the “Harry Potter” books, Mr. Dale really believes that readers — and listeners — should discover the end for themselves.
“For those people who say, ‘C’mon, Jim, how does it end?,’ it’s like parents who say: ‘There’s a surprise gift for you in the next room. It’s a bicycle,’ ” said Mr. Dale, whose apartment could easily make a Hogwarts professor feel at home with its eclectic collections of Victorian cake decorations, pewter plates and Persian swords. “Let the child find out for himself by opening this gift.”
Mr. Dale, 71, was born in central England and has had a long and storied career as a stand-up comedian, a pop singer and an actor in everything from the British “Carry On” series of films and Shakespeare at the National Theater in London to Broadway productions of “Joe Egg” and “Barnum,” for which he won a Tony Award.
Serendipity landed Mr. Dale the part of reading “Harry Potter.” Back in 1999, Listening Library, then an independent company, acquired the United States audiobook rights to “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first book in the series, for just $15,000. Timothy Ditlow, the son of the company’s founders, was at a dinner party with a group of avid theatergoers who recommended Mr. Dale. (In Britain the audiobooks are produced by Bloomsbury, and Stephen Fry, the actor, author and comedian, reads them.)
Mr. Ditlow recalled Mr. Dale’s performance in “Barnum” and a few other Broadway shows. Although Mr. Dale had recorded only one audiobook, which was never released, Mr. Ditlow offered him the job. “I think it’s just one of those combination factors of luck and just going by your gut,” Mr. Ditlow said.
Since he first went into the recording studio in the summer of 1999, Mr. Dale has recorded every single word of the “Harry Potter” series, amounting to 117 hours and 4 minutes of reading time across the seven books — or a lot of long car rides. Including sales of CDs, cassettes and digital downloads, the audiobooks have sold more than 5.7 million copies, according to the Random House Audio Publishing Group, which now owns Listening Library.
For his work on the “Harry Potter” series, Mr. Dale has won a Grammy Award and holds the record for creating the most voices in an audiobook in the Guinness Book of World Records.
“Deathly Hallows,” which runs to 784 pages in the ink-and-paper version, took about two and a half weeks, working six-and-a-half-hour days, recording about 18 to 20 pages an hour, to finish. As with the other books, Mr. Dale received the manuscript only two or three days before he was scheduled to begin recording.
“That makes it impossible for me to actually read it before recording it,” said Mr. Dale, who does not possess the 13-year-old megafan’s ability to inhale the book in a weekend.
So he read about 100 pages ahead, and noted all the different voices he needed for the first few days of recording. The benefit of reading in chunks, Mr. Dale said, is that: “I don’t ever know how the book is going to end so I can’t unconsciously lead you in the direction that the book is going. I don’t know who the villain is because I am just reading 100 pages at a time.”
By now the publisher has digital files of all the voices he has used for long-running characters like Hermione Granger, one of Harry’s sidekicks, as well as more minor recurring characters like the Death Eaters, so that Mr. Dale can recreate those voices for the latest book. He takes into account the aging of the main characters, who started out as 10 and 11 in “Sorcerer’s Stone” and are now 17 and 18 in “Deathly Hallows.”
For new characters Mr. Dale uses an old-fashioned cassette recorder and tapes one or two sentences in the new voice and notes the place in the text. Then, when he shows up in the studio and starts to read, he will go to his tape recorder, rewind until he finds the right voice, and play it back to refresh his memory before recording the text. To create the range of voices, he calls on his knowledge of dozens of accents from across the British Isles and imitates the voices of friends and relatives.
For Peeves, the poltergeist, he used the voice of an old comedian friend. For Prof. Minerva McGonagall, Mr. Dale chose the voice of an aunt on his wife’s side, who, perhaps fortunately, did not live to hear herself commemorated that way.
As with the earlier books, Ms. Rowling (whom Mr. Dale said he has met twice) sent along a list of new words and character names and their corresponding pronunciations. Whenever he stumbled on a word not on the author’s list, Mr. Dale would record it in context in several ways to account for every possible pronunciation.
The producers are sticklers for absolute fidelity to the text. “If she says ‘someone laughs, ha, ha, ha,’ and I do four ‘ha’s,’ I am stopped and told, ‘Just do three,’ ” Mr. Dale said.
This Friday night, in the run-up to the release of “Deathly Hallows” at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Mr. Dale will appear at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square in Manhattan, where he will invite children onto the stage to do impressions of his voices. After the book is released, he will do a tour of Houston, Washington, Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C.
Since attracting a fan base for his “Harry Potter” readings, Mr. Dale has been recording other children’s classics, like “A Christmas Carol,” “Peter Pan” and “Around the World in 80 Days.”
“So if we can encourage the children who follow Jim Dale to listen to other books he records,” Mr. Dale said, “then we are really encouraging them to read or listen to other books that they may never find on their own.”
This fall fans will also be able to hear Mr. Dale’s voice as the narrator of “Pushing Daisies,” a new television series from Barry Sonnenfeld, the director of “Men in Black.”
But it is his role as the aural embodiment of Harry Potter that has brought Mr. Dale a chance at the kind of immortality that many performers crave.
“We have been part of history — big, big history,” Mr. Dale said. “It’s like the people who were connected with Lewis Carroll or the people connected with J. M. Barrie when ‘Peter Pan’ came up. It has been marvelous. Now my voice can be heard in hundreds of years’ time. We all need to leave something behind, and I am leaving behind a legacy of the ‘Harry Potter’ audiobooks.”