I got my copy of HP #6 on Saturday afternoon. Real Life intruded, so I could not get to it until Sunday, but on Sunday...nothing could get in the way. It took me almost 12 hours to finish it. And, I know, I know, I am no hi-fallutin' lit critic, and I loved it.
I have also sent a copy to a friend back in Yugoslavia. She'll have to wait a bit, but that is better than waiting months for a Serbian translation - English is better anyway.
Unlike some other people, I did not bother re-reading #5 just before the release of #6 so it took some time and effort to remember the events from #5 and some minor characters from it (e.g., Tonks), but I did fine.
The beginning was a little slow and uneven. I cringed a few times when I sensed that the descriptions were made to fit with the movies. Particularly jarring was a short description of Uncle Vernon - Rowling did not describe her fictional character, she described the actor playing Vernon instead!
But, as the book progressed I got gripped into JK's pincers and she did not let go of me until she was done with me on the last page...after which I saught solitude, peace and quite for a while.
I heard on NPR a few days ago some lit critic comparing Rowlings to Dickens. Not so fast! At the age when most kids today are reading Harry Potter, I was reading (unabridged) Dickens: David Copperfield (twice!), Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers... Perhaps Rowlings is performing the role for current generations that Dickens filled for some older generations, but still, she's no Dickens.
That same critic was also positing that the book is about 1930s England, with obvious parallels between Dumbledore and Churchill, Voldemort and Hitler, Fudge and Chamberlain, anti-Muggles with anti-Semites... but such paralells could be drawn for other periods and other countries just as easily. Of course, there is nobody on this planet who is not going to make parallels between the Prime Minister in the book and the real Tony Blair (as well as The President, who MUST be Bush).
Who is going to wait for #7!!!! And what are we all going to do afterwards? When is the next movie coming out?
Of course, blogosphere is discussing Potter a lot (in-between much posting about Rove/Plame, Roberts etc.). If you have not read the book yet and want to avoid spoilers, go and comment on Respectful Insolence, Archy, or Berube blogs, or do it in the comments of this post here.
On the other hand, if you have finished the book and want to compare your thoughts to others who have read the book, thus you do not mind spoilers, you can do that on Lance Mannion or my older post here. WARNING! While those two posts do not contain spoilers, the comments do and you are free to add some more, but avoid the comments if you do not want spoilers.