I did it. I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday. My overall impression, without spoilers? Yes, well, right; I'll agree with John Scalzi, then. "It could have been shorter."
I rewarded myself by going to see "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" at the movies. My thoughts, without spoilers. I was saddened to find that this movie was the first in the series that could not stand alone. All the others can be judged on their own merits. This one will leave the non-fan scratching their head and muttering "What the fuck?" as they exit the theater. This is not a good sign for the future. Yes, they'll probably make movies of the remaining HP books. If they don't find a director with more vision and an independent spirit, the remaining movies will also be in the 'blah' class. And I do wish they'd insist on more acting classes for the principal actors. They really should be a bit more expressive by now. I am as fond as the next guy of watching young talent stretching themselves on the boards at the local high schools. I am less charitable when I have paid more than I did for my first car to get a ticket, a box of popcorn and a lemonade (only a slight exaggeration for effect). The special effects (FX) were nice.
Despite the less than rousing revue, I do suggest you read the book and see the movie. It's a cultural phenomenon, after all. Besides, it gives me a safe topic of conversation with grandchildren.