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Harry Potter fans begin book sale frenzy

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows

Story by Jack Foley

HARRY Potter fans of all ages have helped to ensure that final novel Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows has flown off the book shelves in record numbers.

The first copies of the eagerly anticipated novel were snapped up from book shelves across the world within seconds of going on sale at midnight on July 21, 2007. And in the UK, demand has been staggering.

Book giant Waterstones claimed to have sold copies of the book to more than 250,000 fans who turned up at midnight to become the first to read it.

While WH Smith estimates it is selling 15 of the books every second at stores throughout the country.

Supermarket chain Asda – which was at the centre of one of several pre-sale controversies during the week – recorded 250,000 sales between midnight and 9am.

Fans of all ages headed to book shops in their droves in time for the publication of the novel – sometimes turning up in fancy dress.

In advance of the midnight sale, author JK Rowling posted a message on her website informing fans: “All the secrets I have been carrying around for so long will be yours, too and within hours you will know what happens to Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest in their final adventure.

“Those who guessed correctly will be vindicated, and those who guessed wrongly will not, I hope, be too disappointed!”

Deathly Hallows wins critical acclaim

Newspaper critics were quick off the mark to publish early reviews of the final novel – and most have been positive.

The Times described it as “the most adult” of the series and The Sun wrote that it was “a classic good-versus-evil tale on a par with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy”.

Greig Watson, of the BBC, wrote: “Those who wait feverishly for the last pages to see who meets a grisly end will find themselves surprised at how often – and how soon – they receive bad news.

“Places and institutions which have become familiar over the past six books are sent tumbling to earth.”

He continues: “Deathly Hallows delivers exactly what fans will expect of the series’ final instalment. It is written in a deceptively simple style that makes for easy reading but still manages to pack dramatic punch.”

The New York Times, which published details of the book early and attracted the wrath of Rowling, also lavished praise, describing it as a “monumental, spellbinding epic”.

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