Jul 27, 2012

"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" by J. K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Author: J. K. Rowling

Series: Harry Potter #1

Read by: Stephen Fry

My rating: 5 of 5


Just when it seems that there cannot possibly be another twist to the Harry Potter tale, Stephen Fry dons his haughtiest and naughtiest tones to bring Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to vibrant life on audio.

Harry Potter has spent the first 10 years of his life at the mercy of the dreadful Dursleys--the aunt, uncle and fat, spoilt brat of a cousin who reluctantly gave him a home after the death of his mother and father. But on his 11th birthday Harry discovers that he is no ordinary boy, and despite the best efforts of his hideous relatives he escapes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to begin his new life as a trainee wizard. And the rest, as they say, is history...

As Harry battles against the evils thrown in his path, Stephen Fry injects the proceedings with a wry, dry and extremely contagious humour that perfectly suits the tale, wringing out the best in Harry and his cohorts as they get to grips with their new lives at the sharp end of Hogwarts. Fry's innate upper-class drone is perfectly suited to the telling of this most magical tale, cracking into the high-pitched squawking of Hermione the swat, or the gentle tones of the firm but fair Dumbledore, or the evil sniping of slimey Snape at precisely the right moments. 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a fine story and much has been written about its success but until you have heard Fry's cracking reading of this most magical of stories then you simply haven't lived.

My Thoughts on the Audio Book:

Ok, so there's no need to talk about this book, the story & the characters & writing, everyone knows what happens in it, and I've read the printed edition lots of times, so it wasn't exactly a new experience for me. But, I absolutely loved listening to it. 

First of all I have to say that this was the first audio book I've ever listened to. I decided to try listening to an audio book of something familiar, and something that I love, and the Potterthon Read-a-Long was the perfect opportunity to do that, and of course the fact that this audio book is read by Stephen Fry played a big part in my choice also ;) 

I love Stephen Fry as an actor & I've always loved his voice, so I thought he'll be perfect for an audio book, and he definitely was. He made me laugh a lot, and he made me cry, and he brought a magic of his own to his book with his storytelling or should I say with his reading ;) it was just so wonderful. 

I actually found myself surprised that I couldn't stop listening to the audio book. Usually, when I'm re-reading the Harry Potter series, I can't stop reading them (yeah, they're addictive, and I can never get enough of these books), but I don't know why I thought it will be different with the audio, but it wasn't. It was amazing & I listened to the complete audio book in 4 days & I loved every second of it. 

Now on to the scene that got me teary-eyed, and that it was probably my most favourite part in this audio book, and it happened quite early. For the tears I blame Stephen Fry. Why? Well, I've read this book many times, and I've never gotten tears in my eyes until Stephen Fry read the last sentence in Chapter 1: "He couldn’t know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: "To Harry Potter – the boy who lived!"" - and yeah, this got to me in a way it never have before. I've always loved this sentence, but the way he read it, it was just so amazing & wonderful & heart-breaking, I got teary-eyed. After that nothing surprised me, I loved it, and I'm definitely planning to get the rest of the series in audio books, read by Stephen Fry

So, if you are a fan of the Harry Potter series (or even if you still haven't tried it) I highly recommend this audio book! Stephen Fry with his reading compliments J. K. Rowling's writing & the world she have created in a wonderful way!



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