I bought J.K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and I wish to God I hadn’t.
Now, before you think this is going to one of those I Was So Disappointed posts, you’re wrong. It’s the opposite, quite the opposite.
She’s is top form, trademark, hang your hat it’s a Rowling, kind of form, and that’s what makes my heart hurt. I miss Harry, I wept over Dumbledore, Snape (especially Snape), and the twins. Reading this book brings back all that pain. I want to go back, bury myself in The Philosopher’s Stone but I can’t because I read book seven, and it would just be too personal. So, I sit reading the words of Dumbledore and wishing so badly there’d been a Harry Potter 8…Let’s face facts, I’m just not one of those people who have the filters to define reality and fiction. Those characters are no less real to me that the flesh & blood people I know (and I think we’ve all had that experience of feeling like the fictional characters are more real than the people we know–it’s what makes us readers and writers), and when I read Tales of Beedle the Bard, I want to go back, to see them all, wish them well–to ask how they are and if the pain has ebbed.
Rowling has the advantage on all of us. The characters are hers. She thought about all the possible plots, picked the best. She can go back in her mind, re-create, re-write, and redo history. We don’t have that advantage. We can only live with what she gave us, but don’t you wish you could have sat down with her and said, “Look, do they really have to die? Can’t we bump someone else off, instead?”
Of course we can’t…but it would be nice, wouldn’t it?