Review: Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone

potter1Title: Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone
Author: J. K. Rowling 
Narrator: Stephen Fry
Published: 2015
Listen Time: 08:23
Listen Date: July 9-12, 2017
Description: “Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter ‘H’.”

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Review: This was such a treat! This is my third time reading the book, and this time around I chose to listen to the audiobook. I’ve heard the Jim Dale version–so actually this probably be my fourth time round. I managed to track down the UK audiobook version and Stephen Fry was an absolute delight to listen to; he nailed the characters perfectly.

The first time I read this book, I was reading it to my oldest daughter. She was between 5-7 at the time (we were late to the Harry Potter craze). She’s 22 now and it boggles my mind that this book is 20 years old. It was fantastic then, and it held up over the years.

I never forgot how much more Hermione was in the books than she was in the movie. But Harry…I forgot how sweet and innocent Harry was in the beginning. Later he becomes more petulant and you can see why the sorting hate wanted to put him in Slytherin, with his “any means necessary” attitude. But here, in the first book, he’s just an emotionally and physically abused boy, who is unwanted by his remaining family. He just wants to fit in and receive affection, and he finally finds it when he gets to Hogwarts. Never was there a better example of picking the family that’s best for you than this book.

I enjoyed re-reading (listening) to this again, and I look forward to getting to the rest of the series. If you haven’t heard the Stephen Fry version of the book, I highly recommend it!


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