Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1), by J. K. Rowling
Narrator: Stephen Fry
Length: 8 hours, 25 minutes
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
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!
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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