Impatient Potter fans to skip to last page

LONDON Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:27am BST

Author J.K. Rowling [L] and her husband Neil Murray arrive at the British premiere of the new film ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'' in London July 3, 2007. Nearly a fifth of Harry Potter fans say they will skip straight to the last page of the final book to find out how what happens to the boy wizard, a survey showed on Saturday. REUTERS/James Boardman

Author J.K. Rowling [L] and her husband Neil Murray arrive at the British premiere of the new film ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'' in London July 3, 2007. Nearly a fifth of Harry Potter fans say they will skip straight to the last page of the final book to find out how what happens to the boy wizard, a survey showed on Saturday.

Credit: Reuters/James Boardman

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LONDON (Reuters) - Nearly a fifth of Harry Potter fans say they will skip straight to the last page of the final book to find out how what happens to the boy wizard, a survey showed on Saturday.

Fans' web sites are buzzing with speculation over the possible ending of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", the seventh and final book in the series.

Author J.K. Rowling has fuelled the intrigue by saying that "more than two" characters will die but she has refused to name the victims or give any more clues.

According to the poll of 500 children for the Waterstone's book chain, 17 percent of readers will flick to the end without ploughing through all 608 pages first.

But a third say they are prepared to stay up all night to finish the book after its July 21 release.

Girls will race through the novel quicker than boys, taking about 30 hours to finish.

Nine out of 10 think it will be sadder saying goodbye to Harry than Prime Minister Tony Blair, the survey said.

"There's no doubt that Harry will be missed, he's a hard act to follow," said Waterstone's spokesman Wayne Winstone.

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