Friday, 26 February 2016

Audiobook Review: Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone [Harry Potter #1] by J.K. Rowling


Title: Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
Author Info: Website|News|Twitter|Facebook
Narrator: Stephen Fry
Series: Harry Potter #1
Source: Midas PR
Running Time: 8 hours 43 minutes
Publisher: Pottermore from J.K. Rowling
Publication Date: 20th November 2015
Rating: 4 stars

Tell Me About It
"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 Thoughts
When Harry Potter was first published I was very much out of the book scene, and I really did not know anything about it. I got the DVD when it came out as a present 'because I like that sort of thing', but it sat unwatched on my shelf. It wasn't until my brother insisted I HAD to read these books that I actually picked one up, and I was hooked. The first Harry Potter Book that I purchased was Order of the Phoenix, that is how out of the loop I was.

Thankfully time has changed me, so when I was offered up the audiobooks for review I jumped at the chance. It's been several years since I last visited Hogwarts through the pages of a book and getting to listen to them was something I looked forward to. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first book in this series, and it's the book that not only introduces us to Harry Potter and the Dursleys, but also the this fantastic world of magic, something that is also new to Harry.

Harry doesn't really feel at home with the Dursleys, he is the unwanted Nephew, someone who they hide away in a cupboard under the stairs. But strange things happen around Harry, and when the owls start arriving with letters Mr Dursley decides its time to pack up the family and move away where Harry wont be found. But moving isn't as easy as he planned, and Harry is found by Hagrid, the gamekeeper at Hogwarts, and Harry soon learns the truth about his parents demise, and his heritage.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is just as good as I remember it to be. I really enjoyed visiting Harry's world again, and seeing how it all began. I love the unique mixture of characters, both the good and bad guys. The story itself is a perfect size for a first book and it only took a few days of listening to finish this one. Just like Harry, it's so easy to fall into this magical world, and not want to come back to real life. I really enjoyed joining Harry and his new friends on adventures and midnight wanders, learning about this new world, and what it holds in store. I liked how we get to see glimpses of what is to come, that Voldemort isn't really truly gone.

Narration
Stephen Fry is hilarious, and getting to listen to the books while he narrates just made this a great 'read'. He has the perfect timing and knows exactly when to up the ante, make you laugh, or keep you wondering what will happen next. I thoroughly enjoyed his narration and I can't wait to hear him read the rest of the series.

Final Verdict
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a fantastic introduction to a series. The characters are easy to relate to, and it makes you want to get your own letter for Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling has written a world so full of magic that you really don't want to leave it.

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