Various people in my life, including my oldest son, my wife and my deputy editor are galloping through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The verdicts so far are extremely positive.
There's a glowing review of the genius of JK Rowling, from the Australian, here.
Rather than appealing to "the lowest common denominator", the Harry Potter books, like the great fantasy novels, fairytales and myths, appeal to the deepest common denominator. Yet Rowling also allows for a good deal of ambiguity and contradiction in her characters, even in what I call the Dark Lord test.
We get a real sense of the pitifulness as well as the evil of Voldemort, something that isn't true of Tolkien's Sauron or Lewis's White Witch, while in Pullman's trilogy those associated with the tyrannical church are often caricatures of evil.
And so it is Rowling who emerges, in the end, as the most sophisticated of them all, her magpie mix of gifts at the very heart of her genius.
There's a digested read from the Guardian here.