*No spoilers in this post, honest. I wouldn't do that to you.*
Yesterday I did something I've never done before. I bought a book on the first day it was published. You know the one...
I'm not a frantic fan (with respect to those who are...hi jj!). I like the series; no more than that. I've read them all, mostly a year or so after publication. So why did I rush out and buy this one?
It was the spoilers, my friends, the spoilers. I never like to know the ending of a book before I've read it. I'm not a Last Page Looker. With the panic and furore about extracts on the web, reviews that reveal the plot and the general chit chat in the media about Harry's possible fate, I realised that sooner or later I might tune into something that would tell me what happens before I get the chance to discover it for myself. That would annoy me, and annoyed koalas have teeth and claws and a family to use them on.
So I bought the book. And after I bought it and made myself part of the fastest-selling-book-ever-on-the-planet phenomenon I started to feel slightly...dirty. Something started nibbling at the edges of my brain. It was the memory of the devious ways of marketing men. Of sweaty fifty-year olds that flick through catalogues of pretty young things commenting on their boobs, then pick 200 of them to leer over in the board room, and then send the chosen beauties to city bars to order a specific high-alocohol drink simply so they can tell the person next to them how yummy it is, like drinking chocolate pudding, and then move on to another bar to do the same thing, and again, and again, and again...
So what if the spoilers, the reviews, the general chit chat that the publishers, the agents, the marketing men are all so upset about are not an accident? What if behind the scenes the marketing men are rubbing their chubby little hands together and saying:
'Top hole Aubrey, that little 'accident' in sending out early review copies really worked! You even fooled the New York Times into doing our work for us! Now the muggles will rush out and buy the book as soon as possible so they don't find out the ending before they read it!'
'How about that spiffing little spoiler you managed to arrange by losing a manuscript on the train! Sheer genius, Carruthers.'
'And all those fake blogs Geoffrey's been working on down in the basement. The ones he's been writing for the past two years, simply so he can start posting hints and discussions that the muggles think come from real people!'
'I say chaps, it's been a team effort and we are all simply marvellous! Another Choccy Fizz? It tastes just like dessert you know. Chin chin!'