Stephen King’s Latest Novel: 11-22-63…What Would You Do?


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The Day Kennedy Was Shot…

The Day That Changed The World…

What If You Could Change It? 

I must confess.  I have only read one novel written by Stephen King.  I have enjoyed many of the movies derived from his novels, but I just never cared to read any of his books.  I enjoy a good horror movie, I just don’t read books from that genre.  What a shame.

While wondering the aisles of my local Barnes and Noble this past November, I happened upon King’s latest novel 11-22-63.  The unusual title caught my attention.  I picked the book up and read the inside jacket.  The basic premise of the story idea sounded intriguing and with some hesitation, the book is 750 pages, I headed to the cashier.  I was excited about reading a King novel and even more anxious to see how this plotline would play itself out.  The story line presented endless possibilities to my imagination. (Note: there are no spoilers!)

From the author’s website: Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time. 

While reading the novel, I couldn’t help myself from thinking about events I would like to change if given the chance to go back in time.  There are some stipulations attached to this idea.  You can not go back in time and change something in our own personal life.  I’m sure there are many things we would like to change.  There would probably be fewer ex-wifes or ex-husbands banished from our timelines.  The decision to change careers could be erased.  The money lost in that bad investment would be back in your pocket. That night you had one to many drinks at the party and got behind the wheel to drive home could be erased.  However, that is not the question raised in this book.

If you could go back in time through a portal what national event would you change?

It would reason that most of us would like to change the outcome from September 11, 2001, a date that resonates with us just as 11-22-63 does.  However, I don’t know if it would be possible to stop a network of terrorists.  Unless you’re Jack Reicher, Mitch Rapp or Garbriel Allon.  In King’s novel, the goal is for one man (Epping) to stop another man (Oswald).  It would be impossible for one person to stop the entire network of terrorist and preventing the horrific events of 9-11 from every taking place.  You can not just march into the White House and warn the appropriate people.

Here in my homeland of Oklahoma, I’m sure there are many who would like to go back and stop Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols from blowing up the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City which caused the deaths of 168 people and injuring 800 more.  At the time, it was the worst domestic act of terror in the United States.  Seems the odds of stopping two men from their intended plans is not too far-fetched.

Earlier this month we celebrated Martin Luther King Day.  It would be gratifying to celebrate his birthday every January 15th with him still alive.  Thwarting King’s assassination seems possible for one  person to attempt with a realistic chance of success .  Who knows what the future would look like if a shot never rang out that day at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.  The race riots that followed would be erased.  Imagine the beautiful speeches he had yet delivered.

For those seeking high adventure and dangerous odds maybe you prefer to go back in time to Nazi Germany and prevent Adolph Hitler from ever seizing power.  I imagine that, at some point in Hitler’s rise to power, it would have been possible to stop him.  What would the world look like today if the Holocaust never happened or World War II never took place?

Of course, maybe you are not interested in changing a national event or risking your own life to do so.  Maybe you prefer to go back in time for personal gain.  Imagine the money you could stockpile gambling on future sporting events where you already know the outcome!  Maybe you would like to beat Steve Jobs to the punch and take credit for all of his future inventions.  You could live like a King. Own your very own deserted island.

If you’re a music fan you could travel back through the portal to prevent Stevie Ray Vaughan from boarding that helicopter in East Troy, Wisconsin headed to Chicago.  Perhaps you try to prevent Jimi Hendrix from overdosing that night at the Samarkand Hotel in London.

The possibilities are endless.

Would you be willing to go back in time?  What national event would you go back and try to change?  Or would you rather time travel back through a portal for personal gain?

Trying To Find My Way Home


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Some of you may have noticed my blog has been MIA since Christmas.  Some even sent messages of concern, which was very kind of you.  I wish I had a terrific story to explain my disappearance, but I don’t.  I wasn’t attacked by wild hogs or kidnapped by the Mexican drug cartels.  I’ve been in God’s Country – South Texas along the Rio Grande – for two of the past three weeks.  I had three blogs written that I intended to post the last week of 2011, but those plans were thwarted when the new internet device failed to provide service to the compound where I was staying.  I enjoyed writing them, but they are dated so there is no need to publish them now.

Like that evil step-mom or obnoxious mother-in-law, I couldn’t stay gone forever.  In fact, Karen McFarland, one of my favorite bloggers, found my secret hiding spot and has brought me back to the blogosphere world today.  I’m glad to be back.  I have a pocket full of blog ideas to write in the future.

Karen asked me several weeks ago to be a guest blogger on her site.  This was a first for me, but with it came the formidable task of writing something that would uphold to her standards.  She has had several previous guest bloggers, and the list is quite impressive with many published authors lending their words to her blog page.  Why she asked me I have no idea, but it was truly an honor to do so.

So for further proof that I am still alive and writing, please click on the following link to check out my first guest blog.  I hope you enjoy the blog and further enjoy reading Karen’s blogs.

Click on this link to read my guest blog at:  Karen McFarland’s Blog – Expressions From the Heart.

No date has been set for my welcome back party, but I have plenty of beer on ice.  Hope you enjoy today’s post.

Merry Christmas…Redneck Style!


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Merry Christmas to everyone who has faithfully followed my blog.  I sincerely thank each and every one of you for your support and comments.  I hope you are having as much fun reading this as I am writing it.  May your holidays be spent with family and loved ones, never losing sight to the real meaning and spirit of this holiday season.  Merry Christmas!!


Friday in the Park – A Christmas Stroll Through the Blogosphere 12/23/11


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As we near the big day I decided to move my Saturday post up a day.  So welcome to my Friday stroll through the park, a collection of blogs from the past week that created static in my airwaves.  My mashup is a buffet of sorts from some of the best blogs and most talented bloggers I follow.  In honor of the Christmas season the following blogs are all holiday theme oriented.

Are you looking to create the ultimate Christmas card to send to family and friends?  You will be amazed at the talents of Susie Lindau in her blog titled  Cutting Up at Christmas.

Searching for the holiday spirit?  Has the overcrowded malls, long lines, and full parking lots have you down?  Check our Louise Behiel’s blog this week  Christmas Music Past and Present.  After watching these videos you will have a smile on your face and regained your Christmas magic!

Are you lost in the commercialization of Christmas?  Have you forgotten the true meaning behind it all?  Leave it to Linus in the Charlie Brown Christmas to remind us all in Myndi Shafer’s   The Reason We Celebrate.

Are you or someone close to you struggling to cope during the holidays? Read Debra Kristi’s excellent blog The Elephant in the Room: Dealing With Grief at the Holidays.

Do you still recall the magic of Christmas from your childhood?  Do those feeling come back to you year after year, or have you lost that Christmas feeling?  Check out Jessica O’Neal’s blog this week   Is Christmas Really Just Meant For Children?

Have you ever tried to rewrite a Christmas classic?  Well, that just what Julie Hedlund did!  To see what an amazing job she did, read her blog  ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: Holiday Contest

No holiday recap is complete without a great holiday baking recipe.  The multi talented writer and healthy baking blogger, August McLaughlin shares with us her delicious ideas in Cinnabon’s Healthy Cousins.

Happy Friday everyone and may the joys of this season find you and your family!

Merry Christmas From the Fam-E-Lee


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Today’s blog is for all those that are stressed out over the holidays, for those who haven’t even started shopping, and for the lost souls who continue to search for a parking space at your local mall.

One of my all-time favorite Christmas songs from talented Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen.

Hope you enjoy the song and the video….

Feliz Navidad!!

This little funny was sent to me yesterday via email:

A Christmas Story

A married couple had been out shopping at the mall for most of the afternoon, suddenly, the wife realized that her husband had ‘disappeared’.  The somewhat irate spouse called her mate’s cell phone and demanded: Where the hell are you?

Husband:  Darling you remember that jewelry shop where you saw the Diamond Necklace and totally fell in love with it and I didn’t have money that time and said Baby it’ll be yours one day.

Wife, with a blushing smile:  Yes, I remember that my Love.

Husband: Well, I’m in the bar next to that shop.

Book vs. Movie: Crow Killer vs. Jeremiah Johnson


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“Some say he’s dead…some say he never will be”

Welcome to Come Monday where on my blog where we celebrate the joys of reading.  Today marks the third week of Book vs. Movie.  Today my choice is a little more obscure and off the beaten path.  Far off the beaten path, and high up into the mountains.  A trip back in time to the days of fur trappers, mountain men and the old west.

In the first two weeks of this series, we discussed books and movies by the same name, which were extremely successful and popular during the time of release.  To Kill a Mockingbird and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are works that transformed from book to movie with overwhelming success.  I hope everyone enjoyed last week’s guest blogger Samantha Warren.

Today’s pick was a popular movie in its time, but the book went relatively unknown.

From the moment I saw Jeremiah Johnson in the movie theater as a young boy I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up – a mountain man!  The great outdoors, the mountains, hunting, fur trapping, log cabins and danger behind every mountain pass.  Bear claw necklaces, winter coats made of different animal hides, leather fringed pants and knee-high moccasins.  What was there for a young lad not to like?   If there were a heaven to be found it was somewhere high up in the Rocky Mountains.

The Book

The book Crow Killer The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson by Raymond W. Thorp and Robert Bunker was first published by the Indiana University Press in 1958.  The story is a biography of a relatively unknown Rocky Mountain trapper and Indian fighter in the mid-nineteenth century told and retold by word-of-mouth sources.  It’s part folklore, part mythology.

The story of John Johnson, the eater of Crow Indian livers, begins with the scalping of his Flathead wife by Crow Indians in 1847.  The story follows his revenge and the Crows attempted retaliation in the ensuing decades.  It is the personal history of Liver-Eating Johnson from 1847 until his death in 1900 told to the author from oral legend.  The oral accounts came from “Del” Gue who trapped with Johnson and another mountain man White-Eye Anderson.  I imagine Gue and Anderson had a ‘good time’ with the author, telling tall tales and pulling the writers leg where ever possible.  They claimed Johnson killed close to 300 Crows and ate their livers.  I have no doubt the feud between Johnson and the Crows is historically accurate.  Killing 300 Crows and eating every liver?  Sounds like a tall tale from the old west.  At least, I hope so.

Many years after seeing the movie, and realizing I would never become a mountain man, I read the book.  I enjoyed revisiting the accounts from my childhood hero, fictional or not, did not matter too much to me.  The book is an engaging look back into our history, of the westward movement through the frontier, and of a rugged, individual who took survival of the fittest to the extreme.

The Movie

The movie starring Robert Redford as “Jeremiah” Johnson was released in May, 1972.  The movie was filmed in Utah and directed by Sydney Pollack, who also directed famed movies such as The Way We Were, Absence of Malice, Tootsie and The Firm.

The most immediate and notable difference with the book is the renaming of John “Liver-Eating” Johnson to simply Jeremiah Johnson.  In the movie version Redford is never referred to as John or  Liver-Eating Johnson.  Many of Johnson’s exploits in the movie follow the book closely, whereas many other scenes are sensationalized by Hollywood.  Hard to argue against following a book, based on oral histories.

As “Del” Gue is credited by the author for his part in the oral telling of the story, actor Stefan Gierasch does an excellent and colorful job of playing Gue in the movie.  Will Geer portrays “Bear Claw” an experienced mountain man and ‘grizz’ hunter who occasionally shows up and shares a campfire and his wisdom with Jeremiah.

Pollack does a terrific job of capturing the beauty and ruggedness of the mountains in Utah.  The casting of Redford as Johnson was a wise choice (it was rumored that Clint Eastwood was originally offered the part).  Redford has always listed this movie as one of his favorites and most influential to him.  Parts of the movie were filmed near his ranch in Utah.


The movie remains an all-time favorite for me.  Whenever the weather takes a turn for the worse, on those cold and snowy days, I find myself popping the dvd in and reliving my dreams to become a mountain man.  For those interested in the history of the frontier, and of more infamous mountain men like Jim Bridger, this is a powerful retelling of that time in our history when the west had yet to be  civilized.

Saturday in the Park – A Stroll Through the Blogosphere 12/17/11


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Welcome to my Saturday stroll through the park, a collection of blogs from the past week that created static in my airwaves.  My mashup is a buffet of sorts from some of the best blogs and most talented bloggers I follow.  I know you still have a lot of Christmas shopping to take care of today, so I will keep this one short!

Does your husband spend more time in “the library” on the throne than he does in the kitchen or taking out the trash?  Still looking for the perfect Christmas gift for his hobby?  You must read Natalie Hartfords’s For the golfer in your life: the potty putter (yes…you read that correctly)

Ok.  I’m guilty of this, as well.  For another funny blog please read Jenny Hansen’s Blog More CowbellMy Brother is a “Bag Whore”

Does your wife claim that women are born to shop?  Mine does!  My daughters think so, as well.  I’ve got news for them.  Read Jessica O’Neal’s  Myth or Reality: A Woman Who Doesn’t Like to Shop

The suspicious death of famed actress Natalie Woods has been back in the news recently.  You can’t go the Christmas season without watching Miracle of 34th Street and not admire the talents of a very young Woods as she plays Susan Walker in the film.   Karen McFarland takes a look back at Natalie Woods in her blog, Splendour in the Grass 

For two great and informative blogs about blogging check out Anne R. Allen’s How To Blog: A Beginner’s Guide for Authors and How Not To Blog: Beginning Blogging for Authors II.

There you have it.  I read so many great blogs this week that there is not way possible to include them all here.  I hope you enjoy these articles as much as I did.  Click on their links.  I’m sure you will find, just as I did, that there are some truly talented writers out in the great blogosphere.

I hope you are nowhere near a mall today, and are able to spend a nice Saturday at home relaxing.  Leave the long lines and pushing and shoving in the stores to the suckers that haven’t finished their shopping!  Happy Saturday in the Park…

Taking A Chance – The Naughty List Exposed


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We all take chances at some point in our life.  We roll the dice and hope for the best.

We take a chance on love.  We take a chance on that new job.  On that used car we plan to buy.  During this time of endless debates in the political arena, there are men and women taking a chance.  Each day our men and women put on the uniform, be it military or public service officials, and take a chance.  The oil and gas industry is rooted in a great game of chance.

In the pursuit of chance, we risk a lot.  Our feelings.  Our personal happiness.  Our families financial future.  We open ourselves to failure.  To ridicule.  To embarrassment.

In my pursuit of writing I was taught something that has never left me:  to be a skilled writer, you need to be unique.  You can’t attempt to write like Cormac McCarthy or even Stephen King.  You have to be yourself.  The reader has to get to know you, identify with you and believe in your words.

Easier said than done.  Writing is a lonely profession.  There are no co-workers in my office.  Just me at my desk with my computer.  Writers labor over each word, each sentence, each paragraph and with each page we reveal ourselves.  After all, it is our imagination that fuels the story.

Last week the very talented writer and blogger August McLaughlin introduced a game – a version of the Naughty or Nice List – which was a terrific writing exercise.  Making the list forced me to expose myself in ways that weren’t comfortable.  The goal of the game is for the writer to reveal things and take a chance.  Hopefully, the lessons learned will carry over into our other writing – the novel.  It was a game intended to let the reader learn more about us – good or bad!

Her blog Naughty & Nice: Confessions of a Goodie-Goodie was great fun.  So much fun, I decided to accept her invitation and play the game.  Click on her link for a better understanding of how the game works, and for an entertaining look at her naughty or nice list.

My list was of things that I MAY or MAY NOT have done.  Maybe I was guilty of everything on the list, or maybe none of it.  It was up to the reader to decide which exploits happened, and which are just a fixture of my imagination.

So to further embarrassment here are the answers to my list:

I am so naughty, I:

1. Passed out and woke up locked inside a bar in New Orléans the next morning with no way to get out.

Answer:  Ha! Most of you got this one wrong! I have been to New Orléans and did try to drink the town dry, but lost.  This happened to a good friend of mine.

2. Found myself surrounded by ten Mexican Federales, screaming at me in Spanish, with machine guns pointed directly at me while at a bar in a small border town in Mexico.

Answer:  Unfortunately this one was true.  Still have no idea why they singled me out of the group at our table, but they did.  Frightening experience.  Never went back to Mexico after that.  Even more dangerous there now.

3. Tried to take a 6 foot hotel Santa Claus decoration up the elevator with me.

Answer:  Most of you got this one wrong, as well.  I was present when hotel security took Santa away from my friend and off the elevator.

4. Played naked red rover at a house Christmas Party.

Answer:  Happy to report to all, including my mom, that I never did this one either.  It just sounded funny so I included it on this list.

5. Bribed my high school biology teacher into giving me a “C” in his class after catching him smoking pot after school.

Answer:  Yes we did catch the little orange-haired teacher after the Friday pep rally smoking a joint!  Later that night, or the next night, my friend and I confronted the teacher at our high school dance.  We had a few beers in advance and decided to take a chance. We confronted him, and after a series of denials (his) and threats (ours) he relented.   At the end of the year my friend and I got a ‘C’ in the class, as promised.  How stupid was I back in high school?  I didn’t ask for an ‘A’, thought it might be a little too obvious, and the parents would think something was amiss! 

6. Wahoo’d beer from the same convenience store week after week while in high school and never got caught.

Answer:  This happened as well, and to this day we still marvel out our luck at never getting caught.  I guess the Houston police had bigger things to worry about.  I forgot to mention in the original post, that we would also place a couple of burritos in the microwave oven next to the door, and heat them up before giving the Wahoo yell.  A free dinner of bean and cheese burritos and beer!

7. Drove a jeep off a cliff.

Answer:  Long story, but yes this happened.  There were four of us in the jeep.  We bailed out just before it went over the cliff.  To this day we never admitted who the driver was – until now I guess.  Seconds after the jeep went off the bluff someone is the group asked, “Did anyone see were the ice chest landed?”  Out in the middle of nowhere in the South Texas brush country, we walked home.  Along the way we were partially  sprayed by a skunk.  Once we arrived back to the house a rain storm hit, the power went out, forcing us to ration the ice-cube trays in the freezer.  By the way, the Jeep really didn’t have any brakes, really.

8. Broke wind at Sound Warehouse and when the attractive girl across the record aisle looked up, I pointed at my friend Chris, without him seeing me.

Answer: Remember Sound Warehouse?  We would spend hours in there after school.  Now is as good a time as any to finally apologize to my buddy Chris for this one.

9. After a dare and several beers bunji jumped at the state fair.

Answer: Oh hell no!  I have a total fear of heights.  Bunji-jumping would be the ultimate in torture for me.  Putting my life at risk with a heavy-duty rubber band and Carney worker?  Me stupid?  Yes.  But not that stupid!

10. Ate cow tongue at a pub in London and like it.

Answer:  I can thank my Father for this one and his tricky ways.  We were sitting in a pub in London on a fine afternoon and doing as the locals do, having a few pints.  The pub had some sort of sandwich spread thing going and my Father brought to the table samplings of the meat and some bread.  We ate away and washed it down with the suds.  He asked if we enjoyed the food.  We all replied that yes indeed the food was pretty good.  He then told us we were eating cow tongue!  

11. Fed the homeless in Chicago on Thanksgiving one year.

Answer: Yes!  Even a crowned dunce can do something selfless now and then!!

12. Had dinner and drinks (lots of drinks) with a King in Dallas, Texas.

Answer:  This was sort of a trick question. In Oklahoma, the number one pastime (besides making meth and chasing tornado’s) is college football.  Former coach Barry Switzer was nicknamed, “The King”.  Upon my graduation from college, I worked in the Media Relations department of the Athletic Department while Switzer was still the head coach.  Following his career at the University of Oklahoma he coached the Dallas Cowboys.  He was part-owner of a restaurant in Dallas.  We happened to both be there at the same time one night, and he invited me to his table.  The two of us had a great dinner together and finished the night with drinks at the bar. He is the nicest King you will ever meet!

13. Got tongue-tied when author Harlan Coben said “How you doing, Big Guy”

Answer:  Yes, my oversized inner dork made an appearance at the wrong time.  

14.  Broke into the Priest’s supply room at my all-boys high school and ate all the unblessed communion wafers.

Answer: Yes, this happened as well.  That was so many years ago I can’t remember why.  Maybe, just because!

So there you have the answers, the truth revealed, and the shame begins.  I am not proud of some of the things on this list.  The list was not an attempt of boasting or bragging about past exploits.  I have opened myself to the reader, and quite frankly, I honestly don’t like how it feels!
I’m just glad I never got a phone call from my Mom after she read the list!

Making a List…Naughty or Nice – You Decide


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When your children were at a young age, the age when they still believed in the big red guy, did you ever use Santa to help discipline your child?  Did the threat to call Santa ever work?  During a recent tantrum by my daughter, a simple “Maybe we should call Santa and see if you are still on the nice list” was all it took.  The tizzy was over just as fast as it started.  Over the years I owe Santa a lot of thank you cards.  I don’t think Santa ever intended for parents to use him as a disciplinary tool, but hey, if it works I will use it for all it’s worth!

So what is it about Santa’s naughty or nice list?  Was the intended purpose of the list nothing more than a means to bribe to our children to keep them orderly?

Last week blogger extraordinaire August McLaughlin made her own version of a naughty or nice list.  Her blog Naughty & Nice: Confessions of a Goodie-Goodie was great fun.  So much fun, I have decided to accept her invitation and play in her game.  Click on her link for a better understanding of how the game works, and for an entertaining look at her naughty or nice list.

Picture this as an adult version of the naughty or nice list, only this time, you get to play Santa and decide.

Now this game is not quite so simple.  I will list things that I MAY or MAY NOT have done!  Maybe I am guilty of everything on the list, or maybe I didn’t do any of it.  It is up to you the reader to decide which exploits happened, and which are just a fixture of my imagination.  (Note to my Mom who reads this: I did not do any of these things. This is just for entertainment value.)

I am so naughty, I:

1. Passed out and woke up locked inside a bar in New Orléans the next morning with no way to get out.

2. Found myself surrounded by ten Mexican Federales, screaming at me in Spanish, with machine guns pointed directly at me while at a bar in a small border town in Mexico.

3. Tried to take a 6 foot hotel Santa Claus decoration up the elevator with me.

4. Played naked red rover at a house Christmas Party.

5. Bribed my high school biology teacher into giving me a “C” in his class after catching him smoking pot after school.

6. Wahoo’d beer from the same convenience store week after week while in high school and never got caught.

7. Drove a jeep off a cliff.

8. Broke wind at Sound Warehouse and when the attractive girl across the record aisle looked up, I pointed at my friend Chris, without him seeing me.

9. After a dare and several beers bunji jumped at the state fair.

10. Ate cow tongue at a pub in London and like it.

11. Fed the homeless in Chicago on Thanksgiving one year.

12. Had dinner and drinks (lots of drinks) with a King in Dallas, Texas.

13. Got tongue-tied when author Harlan Coben said “How you doing, Big Guy”

14.  Broke into the Priest’s supply room at my all-boys high school and ate all the unblessed communion wafers.

So guess away!  In the comment section below let me know which things you believe I did or didn’t do.  The winner gets….well, nothing.  The correct answers will be revealed in next Tuesday’s blog.

Book vs. Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Guest Blog by Samantha Warren


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Welcome to the second installment of Book vs. Movie.  Today I’m thrilled to introduce my first guest blogger, Samantha Warren.

Samantha is a fantasy and science fiction author who spends her days immersed in dragons, spaceships, and vampires. With her pet dragon, Anethesis, she ventured to the ends of the universe, but the cost of space travel cut into her sock fetish fund, so she sold her ship and returned home. When she isn’t writing, she’s milking cows or trying to feed them Pop-Tarts. She spends a lot of time in her weed patch (aka: garden), watching any show featuring Gordon Ramsay, or posting random things on her blog (

Ladies and gentlemen, faithful readers and followers please welcome Samantha to Static in the Airwaves!

Harry Potter. There’s not a soul on this planet that hasn’t heard the name. Ok, so I’m sure there are a LOT of people who have no idea who Harry Potter is. But I doubt anyone reading this blog is unfamiliar with him. He is an international icon, loved by millions around the globe. Did JK Rowling know when she released Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 1997 that she would have the entire human race in the palm of her hands by 2007? Did she know that the world would cry as one united front when Deathly Hallows was finally published? The woman is a marvel and has given us some of the best books written to date, in my very skewed opinion, of course. I’m sure some of you disagree with me, but we’ll leave that debate for another day.

The novel: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

If you’re anything like me, you were craving this book by the time you finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. You spent hours pondering how on Earth Ms. Rowling was going to finish up one of the most iconic series of all time. You stalked the UPS Tracking page as you waited impatiently for your book to arrive on its release date and practically tore it from the delivery person’s grasp. The flimsy cardboard was nothing for your eager hands and you carefully tossed aside the dust jacket so that you could enjoy the story unencumbered.

I think it took me two days to read the book and that was simply because work interfered. If I’d been smart, I would’ve taken the day off, but I planned poorly. I began crying almost immediately and I’m pretty sure I went through a full box of tissues by the time everything was said and done. It was that day that I grew to hate JK Rowling. My hate for her is the kind of hate you develop for someone who has made you love something so deeply, and then they take it from you in one fell swoop, heedless of your feelings. I lost some of my most cherished heroes that day. I shall not spoil it for those who have not read it. I will simply say Why are sitting here and not reading the book????

Unlike some, I feel that Deathly Hallows is an excellent end to the series. It is emotionally captivating and impossible to put down. I long for the day it is on Kindle so that it’s easier to read. I’m convinced that those who said it was a crappy ending either didn’t read the previous books or skipped over chapters to get to the “good stuff.” The very end, the epilogue where Rowling ties up all the loose ends,  does feel a bit rushed and weak compared to the rest of the book, but I can’t fault the author for that. How does one finish such a powerful story and bring it to a satisfactory close when you know fans are going to be asking for more, more than you might be willing or able to give? As attached as I became to some of the characters, I can’t imagine what Ms. Rowling was going through. If I were her, I’d need therapy for years after finishing that novel.

The Movies: Parts I & II

Now let’s discuss the movie(s). The book was so ginormous, it had to be split into two. I think, given the limitations of film, they did an excellent job. The first movie was a little boring, especially for those who hadn’t read the books. There was not a ton of action and a lot of necessary information was missing. To be fair, if they wanted to include all the important stuff, I think they’d need four or five movies to do it.

The first part of Deathly Hallows ended with the death of a character who was extremely important in the books and who everyone who’s read them knows and loves. But in the movies, his role is downplayed quite a bit. Few who watched only the movies and never touched a book really grasped his importance and were left wanting at the end of part one.

Part two was packed full of action and was an excellent movie in and of itself. I went opening night, of course, and though I tend to mock those who cry openly in theaters, I was trying desperately to hide my own sobs. The girls behind me weren’t so lucky. Like the first part, there was so much missing, though, and some pieces didn’t make a ton of sense taken out of context as they were. I ended up explaining parts to non-reading friends who were just plain confused.

My .02

I absolutely love both the books and the movies. I learned early on, probably around the time of Goblet of Fire, that the movies must be treated as separate entities. To compare them to the books is folly. They will never match up, and that’s just because of the limitations of film. There is only so much you can share in such a short time, and who honestly wants to sit through a 10-hour movie?


There are a few things about the movies that really bug me, though.

  • Colin Creevey was replaced by some kid named Nigel. So not cool. Colin was Harry’s biggest fan and put himself on the line numerous times to deter the bad guys. That kid had some guts. A huge disservice was done to such a heroic little boy.
  • There is a distinct lack of enlightenment on the deaths that occur during the big battle at Hogwarts. Some important characters are taken down during that fight and most of them are only given a brief glimpse. Again, I won’t ruin it for you, but if you read the books and watch the movies, you’ll understand who I’m talking about.
  • And I don’t think Snape was given the proper treatment near the end. He was shafted and a particular scene involving his most important moment wasn’t done as well as I had hoped. I could care less about the switching location, but the whole scene seemed lacking. But then again, I’m Team Snape all the way.

All in all, the movies are well done and enjoyable. But really, what movie can ever top the book? Now that you know my take on both the movies and the books, I want to hear yours! Do you think the movies hold their own? Are they missing too much? What missing piece (or pieces) was the most noticeable from a reader standpoint?