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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing; the best Harry Potter book yet!
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said by someone here? It was absolutely amazing! I've loved the Harry Potter books since I read the first one last spring, but this is my favorite of them so far. The beauty of it, the layers of betrayal and friendship that are slowly peeled away chapter by chapter, are all simply breathtaking.
I started...
Published on 13 Oct 1999

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Harry potter and the prisoner of Azkaban was a very good reed I thoroughly enjoyed it, I would get this amazing book.
Published 12 months ago by Pink balloon


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative!, 13 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) (Hardcover)
When I first started reading this book, my impression was that it could never live up to the first two Ms. Rowling wrote. I thought that it was good, but it was unable to hold my attention, and my mind kept drifting. I believed the book to be a marvelous story, but nothing out of the ordinary for today's more brilliant authors. I even hazarded that Ms. Rowling had lost her touch! I now wish that I could take those words and destroy them! By the time I had read the first two chapters, I was hooked. By the time I had started the fifth chapter, I knew that I would finish the book that day if I had to stay up until four in the morning to do it. (I finished the book, but by 8:00 pm)!
I think that in this book I learned more about the main characters, and more new ones than ever before. (Hermione is still my favorite) I think that Professor Lupin will always be my favorite Hogwarts teacher-I hope he appears in the next book! However, Professor Trelawney was very different-If I were Harry, I would drop Divination!
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Harry's parents, too. The ending to this book was exceptional, but different from the endings to Ms. Rowling's other stories. In the others, Harry defeats Voldemort, he's a hero, and everyone goes home happy. This ending is very different, but I loved them both.
Many people have asked me why Harry Potter books are appreciated by both adults and children. I think I have an answer. The Harry Potter books are well-written, imaginative, and happy. But there is much more to them. There are some parts that make you want to laugh, cry, scream, and pace all at once. I know-I have. The most important element in Ms. Rowling's work is that in her books you can escape. You can start reading, and you forget about work, school, television, Kosovian bombing, and everything else in the real world. Harry Potter books help give us a way to escape to a world that is magical in more ways than one.
Before I read this book, I knew that I either wanted to be a Senator or an editor of children's books. Now, when faced with the decision of working with imaginative and creative writers like Ms. Rowling, or spending hours in committees going through legal paperwork, there is no contest.
I know that Ms. Rowling majored in French when she was in college, so I will end this review in that way: J'adore tes livres d'Harry Potter, et tu es magnifique. Brava, Joanna, Brava!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent :Best books I ever read, 9 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) (Hardcover)
The latest in the Harry Potter books is the best I have ever read, all you seem to do is want to read on and on you never want it to end. Rowling's ability to keep you reading is exquisite as she allows readers young and old to enter the magical world of Harry and his friends. Having read the book constantly over and over again you develope an understanding of such imagination which has captured such a wide audience. I would often stay up an extra hour to read on and all characters have their own indevidual mystery, my favourites being Albus Dumbledore and Professer Lupin, not forgetting the badies which are easily disliked as all badies should be. The succes of future books is inevitable, and I am glad to hear that the books have been given a flying start in the US, and prospects for a film are buzing to that I am delighted. I often encourage anyone who has not yet discovered the magical world of Harry to read them, and I would advise them to start at the begining to get the most of them although you can read them in any order as each is a very enjoyable experience. I am eagerly awaiting the launching of the next in the series which is released next year (2000), and I will continualy read all the books about Harry and his adventures until then. By Victoria Seville Aged 16
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable Read, 7 Nov 2003
By 
C. Hall "Chris" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Of the first three Harry Potter novels, I can honectly say that I enjoyed the Prinsoner of Azkaban the most. Perhaps this is due to the aging of Mr Potter et al. in the books. The first two seems very obvious and child like, but no. 3 went a little bit furthur.
The plot is well spun and revealed to the author in understandable chunks. What Rowling does very well, is turn nothing into something. There is always a surprise - if you have read the previous novels, then something established in those will feed into the next - it is a great technique. As an example, think of the snake in the Philosophers Stone, and Harrys talents in the Chamber of Secrets. In this case the Whomping Willow suddenly has greater purpose.
There have been comments about the possible inspirations for these novels, and this book is no exception. Azkaban's Dementors owe a lot to Tolkien's Ring Wraiths, and some times you get the feeling that even simple names have been listed from Tolkien - Butterbur and Butterbeer for example. There are also many Star Wars moments, the whole perversion of the Dark Side and so on. But then, in essence, perhaps these are just the great traits of fantasy.
In summary, I'd recommend this read to all, child and adult. I would also add, that you should endure the first two books to get here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!, 28 Aug 2001
By A Customer
What more can I say, probably my favourite book out of the four currently published.
The plot thickens (as the saying goes), and what a plot. Darker and more exciting than ever before, Rowling seems to have become more acustomed to directing the books at adults as well as children and doesn't disappoint either age-group.
There are more twists and turns here than a kentish country lane, and the end is about as expected as 10 inches of snow in the middle of August! (although I suppose here in the UK anything can happen!)
The introduction of new character Remus Lupin (the new Defence of the Dark Arts) is one of the best yet, and although he only stays on for the one year, I am sure we will see more of him later.
The absence of the usual showdown between Harry & the dark lord at the end is inspired - we readers had come to expect it, and this twist goes to prove that nothing should be taken forgranted.
Despite the absence of an actual appearance by the dark lord, he is still very much in evidence, and with all the happenings with dementors, werewolves, hippogriffs and of course, Sirius Black there is never a dull moment and you dont even notice Voldemorts physical absence until the book is finished and you have stopped reeling from the shocking events at the end!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 7 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) (Hardcover)
Once again, another book cult has started. Roald Dahl, C.S.Lewis, Enid Blyton and now J.K.Rowling. Parents squabble over who gets to read Harry Potter to the children at night, children themselves ( I'm sure a lot like me !!! ) spend hours under the blankets with a torch just to finish the book!!! It all started off when Harry was only a baby. The Dark Lord Voldemort killed Harry's parents then tried to kill Harry, but , for some strange reason, he couldn't. The only mark Harry bears of this is a lightning shaped scar on his forehead. Then, when Harry is ten, coming eleven, he finds out he's a wizard.Now in his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry discovers that Sirius Black, once friend of Harry's parents,escapes from Azkaban, the wizard prison and is looking for Harry!!! Guards from the prison ( Dementors ) are posted all around the school, hoping to capture him. One day, whilst playing quidditch, the cult wizard sport, Harry sees a Dementor, and Harry starts hearing the last moments of Harry's parents lives. But what happens - well everyone needs a little suspense in their life, so I'm not telling you - you'll have to read the book, but trust me.......you'll enjoy it!!!
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece!, 2 Dec 2001
By 
Mrs. J. Curry (Witney Nr Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
I thought Harry Potter couldnt get better after the Philosophers Stone but then I discovered The Chamber of Secrets and now, to surpass them all comes The Prisoner of Azkaban! Stephen Fry continues to amaze me with his ability to draw the "listener" into the story. I listen to Harry Potter every morning and evening on the way to and from work. Before discovering Harry, I used to get frustrated with the hours drive home in traffic queues but now look forward to having a long journey home, just so I can hear more of Harry. Im an addict - officially! Im 25 and my partner thinks Im crazy for being into this "kiddy" thing - well im here to tell you that imagination doesnt stop when you leave school and I find this the perfect antidote for a stressful life - I can escape it all and listen in bliss to the great Stephen Fry excelling himself and complementing the already brilliant Harry Potter!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a wonderful story!, 26 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) (Hardcover)
My son borrowed the first two Harry Potter books from his best friend. I should have known there was SOMETHING different about these books when he sat down and read 60 pages of the first book in little over an hour.
So, as soon as we saw The Prisoner of Azkaban in a local store, he asked if I minded him spending the money he had been saving (for some long forgotten about toy) to buy the book. What mother in her right mind would object to a thing like that?
Well, this book he asked me to read with him. All I can say is WOW! The book captured me with first chapter and didn't let go until the last page had been read and what a sad moment that was because now we will have to wait until the next book comes out to find out what happens in Harry's fourth year.
It was so good to read a book that had a mystery, humor, drama and suspense all deliciously rolled together. I also liked the fact that things didn't always work out quite the way one might wish, it added a nice touch of realism to the magical world of Hogwarts.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far more intense and sometimes dark than what’s come before, 8 Feb 2003
Rowling manages the rare trick in an author of making each of her books better than the last. Harry Potter’s history is slowly revealed throughout the books along with his day-to-day schooling at Hogwarts and the current danger imposed by Voldemort or one of his underlings. It is the sewing together of these three strands that makes Harry’s adventures so gripping and original along with the increased maturity each novel brings (the themes of love, death and evil are intensified in each new book). Whilst the Philosopher’s Stone was suitable for a wider audience each subsequent book grows alongside Harry meaning Prisoner Of Azkaban may not be suitable for children under 12 or as well appreciated.
With the inclusion of more wonderful characters to add to the storyline such as the sinister dementors, Lupin and Sirius Black POA excites with the unfamiliar but still retains those elements that make Harry Potter books what they are. Time travelling, flying griffins, a map that changes and a certain pet rat’s history adds to the Harry Potter series’ charm and for over three hundred pages Rowling transports you to a new world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Escaped Convict ? You CANNOT Be Sirius !, 16 Mar 2004
First published in 1999, the book covers Harry's third year at Hogwarts and begins with the end of the summer holidays approaching. The previous summer, at the start of the Chamber of Secrets, Harry had been blamed by the Ministry of Magic for a spell performed by Dobby in Dursley's house. This summer, Harry panics as he accidentally casts a spell on a thoroughly obnoxious aunt. Convinced he was going to be expelled from Hogwarts, he decides to go on the run - but, before long the Minister for Magic corners him at Diagon Alley. Harry is somewhat surprised to be let off, given the trouble he got into the previous year - but relieved all he same.

The Magic Community seems to be much more concerned with a very dangerous criminal called Sirius Black who has become the first person to escape from Azkaban (the wizard prison). He had been sent there after being found guilty of murdering thirteen people - twelve of them muggles - with a single curse about twelve years earlier. Widely believed to be have been a big supporter of Voldemort's, the rumour is he's hunting for Harry. As a result, some Azkaban guards (disgusting creatures, known as Dementors) have been posted at Hogwarts for the protection of the pupils and staff.

Harry is, once again, joined by Ron and Hermione at Hogwarts. There's a bit of trouble between the trio this year, however. Much of that is caused by Hermione's new pet Crookshanks - a crazy cat, who seems determined to kill Ron's rat, Scabbers, at every opportunity. There are further some changes to life at Hogwarts. This year's Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher, is Professor Lupin who proves hugely popular with the majority of pupils. Despite the fact he dresses rather shabbily and gets strangely ill from time to time, Lupin actually seems to know what he's doing - unlike the previous post-holders, Professor Quirrell and Professor Gilderoy. However, it's obvious that Snape despises him nearly as much as he despises Harry. Although it's no secret that Snape has always wanted the Defence Against The Dark Arts, there seems to be a depth of feeling Quirrell and Gilderoy were spared.

The three friends are also taking a couple of new subjects in their third year. One of these is Care of Magical Creatures, taught by their old friend, Hagrid. Unfortunately, his first lesson leads to trouble with a Hippogriff. Another is Divination, taught by Professor Trelawney - who seems to be something of a crackpot. She apparently foresees at least one student's death every year, and this year picks on Harry. She somehow picks out the Grim (a death omen) from Harry's tealeaves. Harry probably wouldn't have been too worried, only he'd already seen something of a death omen when he was leaving Privet Drive.

This is the third book in the Harry Potter series and, for me, is comfortably the best in the series. It's an excellent story, with has a strong mystery element running through it, and is very easily read. I probably would be better reading the series in order. However, that shouldn't be too much of a burden, as the previous two books are also very enjoyable !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book and the others are amazing, 22 April 2000
By A Customer
I am 14 and i am extremely impressed with this book and the others in the series. Unlike most other books that are in series, it doesn't take half of the book to explain all of the things that have happened, just a few lines. this makes it more satisfying to read because if u've read the other books then u already know what's happened. While i read this i was actually on holiday on a canal boat. i read it within 2 days, a surprisingly long time for me to read a book in as it normally only takes me a day, but this was understandable, as most of my time was taken up with doing locks and steering the boat. I actually ended up reading about half of it in the early hours of the morning, as i woke up in the night and i couldn't get to sleep and i thought i'd read a bit. i got completely lost in the book though, so i finished it then. the last few chapters were a bit of a blur, as i think u have to be completely awake to understand it, but i am now re-reading it and it makes a lot more sense. I have read through all of the negative reviews and i understand the people who are talking about the characters being a tiny bit 2 dimensional, but does everything have to be as complicated as it is in real life? I know that all of the other stories have had surprising twists in them, so as i started this book i was guessing what this one would be. I couldn't figure it out then but reading through again i can find tiny hints such as it saying that scabbers has only one toe. not a very significant detail i thought at the start, but i was to be proved extremely wrong. anyway this book is just brilliant, and u can always tell what a good childrens story is if adults and children enjoy it the same. my mum and dad and 16 year old sister have all started to read or read the first two and they think that they're amazing too. This book is a strong competitor for my favourite, i'm currently stuck between skellig, kits wilderness and this book.
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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) by J. K. Rowling (Hardcover - 8 July 1999)
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