AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1), by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1), by J. K. Rowling

Date(s) listened: August 28, 2012
Genre: MG Fantasy

Audiobook Notes
Narrator: Stephen Fry
Length: 8 hours, 25 minutes

Series
1. Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone Amazon | Goodreads
2. Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets
3. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban
4. Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire
5. Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix
6. Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince
7. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows

SYNOPSIS
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed for ever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!

My Thoughts
I originally wasn’t thinking I’d write a review about J. K. Rowling’s amazing first book to her equally amazing Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but the second I started listening to it, I knew I had to write something.

Yes, I listened to this one on audio. I had read this series in university, starting when the fourth book came out. I remember making fun of a friend of mine who was reading the books because they were MG books – kids books. I could never enjoy these!

But, like most people who started reading these books, I was immediately entranced from the first few sentences. Even now, listening to it (only my second time reading the book), I fell in love instantly. The only reason I decided to listen to this one was because I was waiting in the car and the wait time turned out to be LONGER than I had anticipated. I was bored with my music, so I flipped through my audio books and picked this one.

So much love – SO much love – for this one! I was leery about the audio – this one narrated by Stephen Fry – but it was wonderful to listen to. I found myself finding more things to do during the day just so I could continue listening to it. Stephen Fry was a wonderful narrator. I’ve heard that his narration is nothing compared to Jim Dale’s, but I really love the sound of his voice. One of the arguments I had read was that Stephen Fry’s narrations are much LONGER than Jim Dale’s, but this was something I liked. Stephen Fry takes … his … time … while … reading … and it’s great. I loved his enunciations and the emphasis he put on certain words. I LOVED his Hagrid voice because it was so much like Robbie Coltrane in the movie.

And the story! Can I really say anything else about the story that hasn’t been said? Probably not. But I’ll continue to gush. This story is MAGICAL. I just can’t get over the way the story is written – it’s something that is juvenile, but still a book that can appease adults. I can’t explain it, but it just doesn’t come across as juvenile as some books do – it’s not too silly, but just silly enough. It’s silly in a unique, magical way. It’s unbelievably funny – I found myself smiling for the majority of the book. Sure, it might not be the BEST-written book, but it’s fun and one that I could listen to over and over again.

While this is just my second time reading the story (if you’re like me and consider listening reading), I’ve actually seen the movie quite a few times. I ADORE the first movie – seeing the actors so young and cute – so I found myself immediately wondering about the differences between the books and the movies. The first chapter of this book outlines Harry being brought to the doorstop of the Dursley’s and there is so much DETAIL that I couldn’t get over it. The movie is also quite detailed, but I found myself getting lost in descriptions, the people, and the interactions. It was wonderful.

The only thing that bothered me – and it’s probably just because I’ve seen the movie so much – is Harry and Ron’s relationship with Hermione. She just seems so snooty and bossy in the book, whereas they’re best friends pretty much right off the bat in the movie. BUT, it was entertaining, to say the least. It only bothered me here and there.

This was a great reread – I loved the humour, the magic, the mystery, and the characters. I can’t wait to continue on with the rest of the series!

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© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.

18 thoughts on “AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1), by J. K. Rowling

  1. K I fail here. I haven’t ever listened to an audiobook nor have I ever read the Potter books *gasp* right? LOL my sister and dad were obsessed with them but I just couldn’t get into them. Great review, you make it sound like the narrator is really good and maybe if I listen to this I will get both of those never’s happily out of the way. Great review!

    • Honestly, I don’t think Harry Potter is for everyone! It’s just one of those books that a lot of people have read. I love them. Though, I’ve only read the books once — now going through the audiobooks. Some people read these once a year!

      Maybe, hopefully you can give them a whirl sometime. :)

  2. <3 <3 <3 Harry Potter!! I'm read this series soooo many times! I started reading it in Middle School and read it once a year as each book came out. These were the only books I was ever super excited for and counting down the days til the next release. <3

    Great review! I'm glad you love it too!

  3. Yay! My sister and I collectively have all the Harry Potter books on audio. I’ve read them in book form all the way through, and listened to them on audio at least twice. so magical and SO much fun to listen to! I’ve got the Jim Dale versions, and I love them, but now you’ve got me curious about Stephen Fry. I want to compare!

  4. I never finished this whole series, but gawd, I NEED to start at the beginning and read them all! Despite your great review of the audio, I think I’d want to read it again in book form – it’s just been too long. BUT, if my husband would agree to listening to audiobooks when we’re in the car, I’d be all over this one!

    Are you going to reread the rest of the series on audio?

    • I’ve only read these books once in physical format. I’ve been wanting to reread, but audio was the better way to go — easier to work my way through them! And yes, I plan to listsen to the rest of the series on audio!

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  6. It’s surprising to me that I have never actually listened to the HP audiobook before, despite having been obsessed with the books since I was 11 years old myself. But I really would love to sometime. I’m not sure which one I would choose though – I do quite like Stephen Fry and his enunciation of words, but Jim Dale does, like, 150 different character voices! He has won Grammy’s for his work on the audiobooks and everything.

    Heh, yeah you forget how annoying Hermione can be in the beginning. And it’s amazing how fond of that same bossy-ness I became in later books!

    • Oh, you should listen to the audiobook! I really want to try out one with Jim Dale. I listened to him narrate Liesl & Po and it was AWESOME.

      I don’t think Hermione’s bossiness is really present as much in the movie — it was a little jarring when I was listening to see how bossy she was!

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