Harry Potter finally reaches France and Germany
26 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - The secret is out for most of the world, but the last Harry Potter book was finally released in France on Friday with the publishers still trying to keep the plot under wraps.
26 October 2007
PARIS (AFP) - The secret is out for most of the world, but the last Harry Potter book was finally released in France on Friday with the publishers still trying to keep the plot under wraps.
Special lead seals were put on the trucks that carried one million copies of "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows" across France for the release of J.K. Rowling's finale in the seven-book series.
Dressed in their long capes and black hats, about 500 people waited in line outside the Virgin store on the Champs Elysee in Paris to get "Harry Potter et les Reliques de la Mort", though many said they have already read the story in English.
More than 25 million copies of the English version have already been sold around the world and hundreds of thousands of French readers snapped up English copies.
French publisher Gallimard has ordered 2.3 million copies of "Reliques de la Mort" printed for the biggest ever book release in France.
One student was arrested in August for putting up an unauthorised translation into French on the Internet, which was quickly deleted.
Jean-Francois Menard spent 12-15 hours a day from July 21 until September 15 producing the official translation.
He has worked on all seven Potter books, changing Hogwarts school to "Poudlard" because the English version was hard to say and thinking up other French-friendly magic expressions.
The launch was not magic for everyone involved though. The Sud union condemned the Virgin store on the Champs Elysee, saying its decision to stay open until 1:30 am was a bid to introduce 24-hour shopping, no matter the impact on its workers.
In Switzerland, the first French copies were delivered by post because authorities refused to ease restrictions on shop opening hours so that stores could stage a midnight launch.
About 8,000 Swiss fans got special deliveries at home just after midnight in a bid to get around Economy Minister Doris Leuthard's ban on special opening times.
The book's German language version, "Harry Potter und die Heiligtuemer des Todes", will go on sale just after midnight on Saturday.
Its publishers, Carlsen, have printed three million copies, one million more than for the launch of the previous book.
In regions where laws allow special opening hours, bookshops are holding launch parties and inviting customers to dress up as characters from the books.
The Potter books have been translated into 64 languages in all with more than 350 million copies sold, making Rowling into a billionaire.
Subject: French news