Michiko Kakutani breaks the embargo:
a copy of which was purchased at a New York City store yesterday, though the book is embargoed for release until 12:01 a.m. on Saturday
And writes Rowling a love letter. [Warning: There be spoilers.] Excerpts:
..monumental, spellbinding epic, 10 years in the making, is deeply rooted in traditional literature and Hollywood sagas — from the Greek myths to Dickens and Tolkien to “Star Wars.”
While Ms. Rowling’s astonishingly limber voice still moves effortlessly between Ron’s adolescent sarcasm and Harry’s growing solemnity, from youthful exuberance to more philosophical gravity..
This same magpie talent has enabled her to create a narrative that effortlessly mixes up allusions to Homer, Milton, Shakespeare and Kafka, with silly kid jokes about vomit-flavored candies, a narrative that fuses a plethora of genres (from the boarding-school novel to the detective story to the epic quest) into a story that could be Exhibit A in a Joseph Campbell survey of mythic archetypes.
In doing so, J. K. Rowling has created a world as fully detailed as L. Frank Baum’s Oz or J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, a world so minutely imagined in terms of its history and rituals and rules that it qualifies as an alternate universe..