I just finished Order of the Phoenix. My sister beat me to it by a day. I guess she was up last night until 3:30 finishing it, and now I’ve been up till 4:30. (I was up till at least 3:00 last night too.) Obviously, it gets compelling at the end.
Actually, there were times in the middle where I felt it was too compelling. I think Rowling has a propensity for suspenseful writing, even when it’s inappropriate, although, with a novel of this size, I guess you probably need suspense wherever you can get it. I just didn’t really appreciate it at times.
I had this revelation looking back on it… It’s probably an idea only suited for novels of this popularity (and I don’t think there have ever been any others), but when a novel is this length, I think it would make sense for the publisher to come out with two versions of the thing, a regular version, and a “authors cut” version. This would work especially well for the H.P. series, because so much of the audience is young, and you could make the shorter version also a “younger” version.
Of course, I realize I would never settle for reading a shortened version, even though, having read the long one, my main complaint was that it could have been about 2/3rds as long and still retained pretty much everything of any importance or significance to plot or character.
I will go to sleep now, and possibly dream of long corridors with mysterious doors at their ends.