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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't remember enjoying any book more
I laughed at my adult son when I found him reading Harry Potter. He said "don't knock it until you've tried it" and gave me the Philosopher's Stone for Christmas. I am now addicted and have bought and read them all.I am an avid reader of all types of literature but these are something else!
Published on 1 July 2000

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The films are better and too much description!!!
kinda boring. The book has too much information and spoils it. other than that, pretty good. I think the films are better definitely this one!!!
Published 8 months ago by Arly23


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't remember enjoying any book more, 1 July 2000
By A Customer
I laughed at my adult son when I found him reading Harry Potter. He said "don't knock it until you've tried it" and gave me the Philosopher's Stone for Christmas. I am now addicted and have bought and read them all.I am an avid reader of all types of literature but these are something else!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable little tale!, 24 Mar 2013
By 
Rory Q (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
I've dug my heels in for years now over reading or watching anything Harry Potter, but finally decided to give it a go...

Despite being sceptical, I've got to admit (and eat my own words!) it's actually fairly enjoyable. The characters are all unique, there's a definitely feeling of innocence, fun and humour; and the basic concept of good versus evil (and shades of grey) is explored in a satisfying way.

I realise I'm not the target audience by any stretch - I don't like fantasy and I'm hurtling towards my 30s, but there's something in this book for everyone, and I was no exception.

The pace moves at a decent rate, the chapters are broken into easily digestible chunks, and there's nothing here that I felt was a slow or boring part.

I did wonder at a number of points when the Philosopher's Stone was going to put in an appearance and then worried it was going to all get squashed in at the end. And indeed, after the climax I did wonder if it was all going to be a bit "deus ex machina". However, Dumbledore's explanation of events put my fears to rest and the whole story, along with its many threads, are taken to a satisfying conclusion.

Like I said, I'm not the target audience, but if I was 13 again or I had children of my own, I think it's definitely an exciting series and universe to get into, and a great way to get kids involved in reading!

A definite thumbs up!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 24 Jun 2008
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I've read the Spanish translation of Harry Potter as part of my attempts to read and continue learning Spanish. Starting off with the translation, yes it is indeed biased towards Latin American usage but that should in no way affect your enjoyment of the book, as long as you aware of the vosotros forms why should it? If you had learnt Spanish with Michel Thomas and books from McGraw Hill you may not even be aware of the vosotros form anyway!!

One reviewer says that the use of "ustedes" is equivalent to calling people "your graces" to Spanish ears, which is just ridiculous. Anyone at a sufficient level to be able to start reading books such as this should be aware of the differences between Peninsular and Latin American Spanish and be able to adapt without their enjoyment being spoilt. I am sure the Spanish themselves do! A book that I can recommend (although a slightly easier reading level) which liberally uses vosotros forms is the translation of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (Charlie y la Fábrica de Chocolate) if you want some exposure.

Another criticism the same reviewer levelled at the book was the use of the English character names like "Snitch" and words like "muggles". Whilst I see his point, this did not spoil my enjoyment. Although if I had been reading aloud it would have been hard to change smoothly between English and Spanish, so I can see why he feels this way. However, the book is set in England, and therefore I personally am happy for the characters to keep their English names so I ultimately feel the decision was valid. If I was to read an English translation of a Spanish novel set in Spain I would not really want Juan to become John, and Enrique to become Henry as this would seem out of context with the setting of the book.

Aside from debate about whether this is a good resource for learning Spanish, of course the story is great. Every chapter seems to end on a note which makes it almost impossible to close the book with the intention of continuing later. As someone who has long denounced and mocked Harry Potter as "for kids" - I have not seen the films nor read the books in English - I humbly admit I was wrong!
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful and interesting learning tool, 11 Dec 2003
By A Customer
I read this book in English and loved it, well who hasn't dreamed about being a wizard or witch? The decision to read the Spanish version was the result of a desperate search for material with which to improve both my reaiding and writing in this language. It was great, ok so afer only 18mths learning Spanish I found some passages tough, but knowing the english version meant that I could piece the story together and enjoy the challenge. I would reccomend this to any Spanish people looking for a fun read and any students searching for a way to improve their Spanish. Trust me you'll learn idioms, new vocabularly and it looks impressive on the bus!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MARAVILLOSO!, 2 April 2001
By A Customer
Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal es un libro esencial para cualquier aficionado a la literatura fantástica. No es un libro solo para niños, si no que es mucho más, es el reencuentro del adulto con ese mundo de fantasia que creia olvidado en el fondo de su alma. Será porque somos todos un poco muggles...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for girls and boys, 31 Jan 2013
This review is from: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Paperback)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone
By J.K.Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone is a book about a boy called Harry and when he is a baby something terrible happened to his parents. This very evil wizard called Voldemort killed his mum and dad however he tried to kill Harry but somehow he could not. Therefore Harry had to go to live with his aunt and uncle. Eleven years later he had a letter saying he is invited to go to Hogwarts. Harry travelled there on a scarlet red steam engine. At Hogwarts Harry Ron and Hermione, Harry's friends, were caught out of school and their punishment was to collect unicorn blood from the dark woods. Then Harry and his friends go on a big adventure!

I think the book is very exciting! My favourite part is when Harry and his friends go on a very exciting adventure!

I think this book is suitable for eight and above. Eleven out of eleven people from Bancffosfelen school said they loved the book! My mark out of ten is nine!

By Sam Davies
Year 6
Ysgol Bancffosfelen
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant, whatever your age., 28 Jan 2001
By 
marijean@mcs.net (Chicago, United States) - See all my reviews
I was somewhat suspicious of the hype surrounding the Harry Potter books, but when I saw this book laying on our endtable I picked it up. I am a US college student with very little time, but I made time to finish all the currently available Potter books. It was well worth the effort. By the end of the first few chapters I was in love with Rowling's ideas, characters, writing, and message. Rowling has a style that would be conversational, but is cleaner and smoother. This gives her writing a sense of effortlessness perhaps only seen in children's books--a sense that I think many of us lose as we grow older. It also makes the books remarakably easy and enjoyable to read. By the end of five days I had finished off the first four books and was seriously considering rereading them.
I have recommended this book and all the subsequent books to everyone I know, of all ages. They are intelligent and imaginative without pretention or condescension, making them something everyone can appreciate and learn from. This series more than deserves the "hype" it has recieved, and will certainly far outlast it. I look forward to reading these books to my own children someday.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun fronm start to finish., 14 Nov 1998
By A Customer
I bought this book for my nephew but having heard how good it was I read it myself. I was not disappointed - it's an excellent read and one of the more original childrens' books I've read for some time.
In fact I enjoyed it so much I've just bought the new book and I can hardly wait for the next one. There is no age limit to enjoying good books!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The start of a classic series, 8 Feb 2010
By 
A. L. Rutter "Floor to Ceiling Books" (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I don't give out five star ratings very often. In my view a book has to be simply excellent to warrant it - it has to be a book that I return to again and again. In my opinion, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone falls into this category. It isn't as though it's a perfect book - the writing is pretty ropey at times and the basic story is not dissimilar to others I have read - but it is a warm, entertaining, and very inventive read.

Who doesn't know the story by now? Harry Potter is on the cusp of his eleventh birthday, living with the beastly Dursleys, when he is visited by Rubeus Hagrid who informs Harry that he is a wizard. From here Harry goes to Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He finds out that he is famous, thanks to events that occurred when he was just a child and managed to defeat Voldemort (or He Who Must Not Be Named). In this first tale about Harry, we are swept into the world of wizardry and straight into a first-class mystery about the object being guarded by a three-headed dog...

So why do I love this book so much? Well, I can tell you why I don't love it! The plot is straight out of other books - who hasn't read about the orphan child who discovers hidden powers, and learns to use them in order to defeat evil? When have we not met a kindly elderly gentleman with long white hair and rather formidable magic skills? I can name a number of authors who have written about similar ideas, especially in the field of fantasy. Rowling is writing nothing original here, in terms of plot.

The reason why I was so taken by this lovely debut novel is the 'surroundings' to the plot. The world of Hogwarts and the fantastic little twists on familiar items that Rowling adds in are simply superb. Right from the first time we hear about chocolate frogs that can actually jump, and portraits which the subjects sometimes leave, I was hooked and felt that every little detail of the world was delightful.

Rowling also writes with great humour and an appreciation for the minds of children, and what would appeal to them. My favourite moment in this respect is when Harry and Ron are being held by the Devil's Weed and Hermione is fretting about not having wood for a fire when Ron yells "Have you gone mad? Are you a witch or not?" The relationship between the three main characters is written beautifully, from the way they defend each other to the bickering that breaks out amongst them.

In fact, all of the characters are very solid - it is easy to see this when people who have read the series pick out different favourites! I enjoyed the sarcasm and quiet menace of Snape, and was keen to find out more about the reasons why he hates Harry so much. McGonagall reminds me of my old English teacher (stern, but with a heart of gold underneath).

The writing is reminiscent of both Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. From the former, Rowling cherrypicks ideas from her various school stories (e.g. Malory Towers - castle-like school on a cliff, with four Houses, travel by train to get there). From the latter, she uses the sheer inventiveness and wit of taking common items or ideas and turning them on their heads. I have no objections to the hint of plagiarism since I love both authors and hence have taken this series to my heart as well.

Extremely good fun and a great way to encourage younger readers. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic moralistic beauty, 9 July 2006
If reading this review, I assume you belong to three types of character. You are either

a) Wondering whether you should buy this book DESPITE the hype and want to know if it is as good as it's rumoured to be

b) You may have read it in the distant past and are lightly skimming a review to see if you want to obtain a copy

c) Bored and reading the reviews in case you find an opinion you dislike in a review and can comment on or simply want a fresh look

Well, whatever you are, "a" "b" or "c" and I assume the majority will be "a" I am going to recommend this book.

I always maintain that in most cases, if the book is well-written and has an okay plot line whether it's a good book or not is entirely up to the reader. And in a lot of cases, the first Harry Potter book is a good book. Below I attempt to outline the main reasons I think it is:

1. It is well-written and funny. J. K. Rowling has an inescapable wit and charm that permeates her books. The detail and intricacy cannot help but be adored and her level of observation reminds you in part of another literary giantess, Jane Austen. (Albeit in a modern guise for those of you who insist Jane Austen's genius can be compared to none.)

2. The imagination that is drawn into it is astonishing and you realise the level of intelligence this woman possesses to have created such a complex, diverse and yet intensely loveable world.

3. The morals are perhaps the main reason (and this fact becomes more relevant as the series progresses) the whole good overcoming evil concept is immensely gratifying. Indeed, you may observe that Harry is one of the truly good characters of the series, devoid of any malice.

4. The pronounced humanity. Harry's confused grief at his parent's death, and in further books, other significants, strikes a chord in many hearts. It makes it a book to treasure.

Whether you will like this or not, I don't have any control over but if I retain the ability to sway you in a direction, I hope it's positive because despite the hype and despite the pretended paganism it is a fantastic novel.
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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (Paperback - 8 Oct 2001)
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